So you want to work in sports...

So you've made the decision to pursue a career in professional sports. Here's what you need to know:

It's not easy: Not only are you competing with other women trying to break into the business, but you are also competing with men, and lots of them. You are going to have to work extra hard to prove yourself and it's not going to be an easy road. This field is not for the faint of heart and people work for years to reach their ultimate career goal.

You WILL get turned down: There were several times in my career I wondered if fronting my resume with Alex instead of Alexandra would get me a job. I was turned down for a couple potential opportunities just because I was a woman. I've heard excuses about how difficult it would be to coordinate trips with a woman on staff (separate hotel rooms, etc) and how I'd be uncomfortable. In the end, the right company will work with you and you don't want to work for something who constantly thinks it's a burden that you are a woman. You are an asset.

You WILL be treated differently: Not a shocker here, but you will be oogled and stared at and judged pretty much on a regular basis. All you can do is act professional, dress properly, and know your stuff. There's nothing better than shocking someone with your knowledge and showing people that even though you are a woman, you know the difference between a wild pitch and a passed ball.

You probably will work for free: Unless you work for a professional sports team right off the bat, you will probably start out in an internship and it will probably be unpaid. Though your wallet may not like it, this will be the starting point in your career and will catapult you to bigger and better things. You have to decide at the beginning if you are willing to live off Top Ramen for a few months to reach your bigger goal. On the plus side, if you work at a ballpark you may get all the free hotdogs and pretzels your little heart desires. Don't be afraid to take an opportunity just because it's unpaid. It may be your way in.

You will work long hours: There are many bonuses to working in sports. The hours are not one of them. 9-5 jobs typically don't exist in sports. News can break at any time and you must be prepared. You won't only work the 3-hour baseball game, but the 8-hour shift before and a couple hours after. You will probably miss out on important events because they don't work with your schedule. Relationships may not survive. You have to decide in the beginning if it's worth it and you have to be willing to give up certain things to be successful. 

You will have the time of your life: Working in sports is an experience many would love to have and for good reason. You get to meet and mingle with professional athletes. You get to call a ballpark your office. You will have great stories to tell your friends, family and children. People will envy you. There's a reason jobs don't open up often, because people don't want to give them up. If you get an opportunity, try and enjoy every minute and be thankful you got the chance to work in such a fun, crazy industry.