It is said that many coaches who job-hop could be trying to get out of a negative situation, or they could be that negative situation and the club/organization are letting that coach go. Exactly how often can you hop before you tarnish and burn your bridges? If you’re a job hopper and seeking employment, any experienced Director of Soccer Operations or Club management aren’t even going to talk to you, not to mention hiring you. I no time you’ll find your career paths blocked.
Early in your coaching career, a little job hopping is for many acceptable. It’s viewed even as a sort of experimentation, which is simply par for the course when you’re just starting out as a coach. Frequent job hopper however can signal you as a coach with a lack of discipline, or that you’ve been unable to meet the demands in your assigned roles. Or it can simply suggest that you don’t know what you’re doing or what you want. In truth, any of these perceived reasons may be the true underlying cause of the issue.
Going from soccer organization to soccer organization can also raise an eyebrow as to a candidate’s professionalism and skill set: “Is this person’s skill set sub-par and they keep getting fired?” or “Can they not get along with other coaches, directors and board members?
I can give you the perfect example: I’ve witnessed a local coach that landed here in Central Florida with the intentions and arrogance to dominate the Goalkeeper Market. Well, that didn’t happen. He’s hopped from managing a goalkeeper glove Brand franchise, to a DOC position at a small local youth soccer club, then he was hired as a soccer Academy Director at a very popular and respected sports academy… and now he’s a GK coach at a franchise that he once called “Crap”. All of this “career hopping” took place in a little under an 18 month time period! Along with all this hopping a LOT of talk, things that he claimed were going to happen and they never did, or they happened, but without him being involved!
This is no surprise to me or anyone else that knows that coach, because as pro-soccer player, he had the same pattern of “job bouncing” as of today. Taking a closer look at his dedicated Wiki page, I noticed he played for 20+ different soccer clubs in a 20+ year playing career. RED FLAG!!
Soccer coaches: It’s best not to push your luck beyond two less-than-two-year stints. There comes a certain point — for example, 10 jobs in 10 years — no academy director, manager or head coach is even going to look at you, and that’s a pretty terrifying thought. If you really can’t stay in your position for more than six months, over and over again then the problem is you!
You could have played and coached at a pro level for decades, you can have all the pro-soccer-licenses you want. If you hop, hop, hop, you’re going to end up like this coach and at the end you’ll have to take whats going at the bottom of the barrel. You’ll have to work under someone and for less. You’ll end up moving around the state and eventually the country to find work.
Lots of soccer coaches inevitably leap at the first (potentially) good thing to come along, only to find it isn’t all they had hoped for. Then they’re right back where they started. They get anxious to move and inevitably make another bad decision.
This is the well known vicious cycle of job hopping in the soccer industry. Once it starts, it’s difficult to stop. You’re constantly reacting to the present rather than being proactive about the future. This is the mindset that has to shift in order to break the cycle. But coaches that are money hungry and want to be dominant, there really is not cure!
To them that hop I would suggest you go through a process of self-evaluation, use the time in your current role to gain as much experience as you can. Soak up knowledge, take on new and exciting challenges and keep build your competencies. You’ll actually take these things with you wherever you go, so nothing is really lost by giving your current position the absolute best. Add to that, you’ll ensure to have professional references for the future.