Five Things Tim Tebow can Teach you About Switching Careers

Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow hopes to hit a career home run with a job as a professional baseball player — and those of you hoping to switch careers can learn a lot from him, even if he isn’t successful.

On Tuesday, Tebow’s agents announced that the 2007 Heisman Trophy Winner, who is now an ESPN broadcaster, plans to try his hand at yet another career: a player on a Major League Baseball team, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN . The 29-year-old was a football star at the University of Florida, but mostly struggled as an NFL player between 2010 and 2012. He has reportedly been training for nearly a year, and at the end of the month will invite all 30 MLB teams to watch him train in the hopes of getting a spot on a team.

“Tim’s athletic ability, his work ethic, his leadership and his competitiveness were evident in football and will show in baseball,” Tebow’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, told ESPN. “Knowing Tim’s passion and desire, we won’t be surprised by anything he accomplishes.”

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That said, a career switch won’t be easy for the athlete. But even if he fails, those of you aspiring to make a career switch can learn a lot from Tebow’s baseball career aspirations. Here are five lessons.

Shore up your finances before you make a switch

Making a career switch can be costly, as you may have to wait years to land a well-paying role, if you ever even get one. That’s why it’s essential that career switchers make sure they have some financial padding before making the jump, says New York based career coach and author Roy Cohen . In Tebow’s case, “he has the bank account … he can afford to make a mistake,” says Cohen.

Make a concrete goal — and a plan to help you achieve that goal

A vague idea of what you might like to do isn’t likely to land you your dream career. Instead, you need to have a solid career goal -- and a plan to make it happen, says Cohen. Tebow has just that: His goal is to play on a Major League Baseball team, and he will invite all the teams to watch him practice later this month in the hopes of signing with one of them; for the past year, he’s been practicing in both Los Angeles and Arizona to make sure he’s as good as he can be for this audition.

Put the time in

Tebow has reportedly spent roughly a year preparing for a baseball career. Cheryl Palmer, the founder and a career coach at Call to Career , says it’s a great lesson for others hoping to switch jobs: “He has put the time in … that gives him credibility.” For aspiring career switchers, this may mean taking classes to give you skills you need in your new career or even taking on an unpaid internship to bolster your resume.

Be honest with yourself about your abilities and skills

Though you may be passionate about a career field, you may not have the skills to make that passion a career. Thus, you must look at current skills and see how they might apply to another industry or in another role, says Elaine Varelas, the managing partner at talent management firm Keystone Partners . In Tebow’s case, he knows he has at least some baseball skill -- he was an All-State baseball player in 2005 when he was in high school in Florida and would likely have been drafted by the Angels, according to one report — and has been brushing up those skills.

Find credible people to champion you

Tebow has his agents and others talking up his skills at baseball , and while most career switchers likely won’t have quite the same caliber of cheering section, they can learn from this.

“Have other people who are your champion,” Palmer says. “If you just say to an employer ‘I’m great, you should hire me,’ it’s not the same as if you have credible people in that field speaking on your behalf.” Even if you don’t know these kinds of people offhand, look to find them through networking, social media and other means, experts say.