If you’ve read our posts this week, you know we’re not real high on services that sell scouting or agent classes. While they may provide excellent know-how on the business, that’s not what gets you hired. In the end, your success in finding a job will turn on your ability to create opportunities.

That’s why, Wednesday morning while I was at the gym, it was so satisfying to get this text from a friend with an AFC team: “Hey Neil do you have any potential interns trying to break in?” Of course I do, I told him. As soon as I got home, I sent him eight candidates. By noon Wednesday, a couple told me they had already heard from the team. I wished them luck, of course. The trick is matching good opportunities with good people. I’ve got another friend who’s requested a list of former NFL scouts who are on the street now, and their contact info. I got that to him last night.

These kinds of requests are great, but don’t come in very often. That’s why we tell our clients who are scouting hopefuls that we can provide them with tools, but no guarantees. It’s great when someone asks us for names, but in the end, we try to help them create their own opportunities.

Here’s what we give our Next Wave clients (aspiring members of the football business, who get a one-year subscription at an 80 percent discount, $70). We help them contact the teams they need to contact, and we work one on one with them, where possible, so they know where the opportunities are. One way we do that is by compiling all the openings in our Scouting Changes Grid. Of course, we also expand on everything we hear (in ways you can’t do in a Twitter format) in our Rep Rumblings. We don’t put a lot on Twitter except hirings and firings. Buzz, rumors, speculation, analysis, what we think — all in Rep Rumblings. If you’d like to join our ranks, click here. If you’ve got questions, email us.

Still, even when we’re helping, and even with the resources we provide, there are things that enhance your odds of success. Like getting to know ex-NFL types, befriending them, working hard for them, and getting them on your side. Ex-NFL people tend to know still-active NFL people, and if you treat them right, they go to bat for you. The best way to do that is by working for a school in their personnel department, but you can get creative and find other places to volunteer.

Also, living in an NFL market is an incredible advantage. Take Houston, for example. If you’re here, you not only have a chance to find ways to volunteer for the Texans, but you could easily drive to two other markets (Dallas and New Orleans) if opportunities arose there. Teams don’t pay for people to come interview. We also had a Super Bowl last year, which had endless opportunities to pitch in and maybe catch someone’s eye.

At the end of the day, it’s all about hustle. Don’t forget about that. The odds of getting a job in scouting might not be in your favor, but if you create enough opportunities, good things will happen.

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