No matter your sport, there will always be a time limit to your professional career. Whether you’ve made the runs and tackles on the field, served from the baseline, flipped and tumbled in the gym or followed the black line in the pool, the life of a professional athlete is complicated by fitness, age and pressure to succeed.

Many athletes, especially at the podium level, are given plenty of opportunity to retrain, study or coach in their chosen field. Some will move into management and administration, media work and public speaking, others will go to university, start a business, work on the family farm or find a trade.

But what ever you choose to do, it is essential that you start creating and maintaining a network of contacts that can help you succeed away from the sporting arena. And social media has made that incredibly easy.

LinkedIn is the world’s premier social network for professionals. There are more than 5 million Australians who have signed up – that’s a quarter of the population. Here are five top reasons you need to create and maximise a LinkedIn profile:

1. Networking. Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know. You’ve worked with some of the best in the field – nutritionists, coaches, administrators, media, psychologists, medicos, officials, and fans. Instantly build a network of connections on LinkedIn so you can share your achievements, your goals and your interests.

 2. Highlight your achievements. LinkedIn is not just about your academic records and jobs. You might have never been to university or written a policy paper. But you will have played in a winning team, won best and fairest, been awarded a medal, come first, second or third, been the fastest, the fittest, or represented your state or country.

3. Getting a job. LinkedIn’s job search feature is the best in the business. Many companies only post vacancies on LinkedIn so you’re missing out if you aren’t a member. Whatever your post-sport interest there will be companies willing to talk to you, and hire you.

4. Educate yourself. There are loads of groups and discussions on LinkedIn that you can join and contribute to. Group members are very generous with their knowledge, time and experience. Make the most of it.

5. Use LinkedIn members to set yourself up in business. From financial consultants, web developers, public relations experts, image makeovers, business advisors and real estate agents, you will find what you need on LinkedIn. It is one big directory of professionals.

Contact me on 0407415493 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for further information on creating or optimising your LinkedIn profile.