[MMM] Monday Morning Motivator | Ex-NHL Player Sean Pronger on Career Transition

Have you been going through withdrawal on Saturday nights? For many who are passionate about the game, the hockey lockout was very disruptive. Well hallelujah, praise Gary Bettman, and pass the beer and chicken wings –  the NHL dispute has been resolved! Canadians can once again return to worship on frozen ponds. 

I have to confess, I am not a “true” hockey fan. Maybe it has something to do with being born in Ireland…I guess I’m not truly “Canadian.” Listening to a lot of commentary about the lockout, there is some discussion about the impact it has on the “journeyman” in hockey. To be frank, for the hockey super stars, there is minimal impact. But the journeymen – the guys that have a relatively shorter hockey life and will not earn not as much income – the impact is greater.

One of these guys is Sean Pronger. Sean has just released his new book, “Journeyman“, which chronicles his journey in hockey (shameless plug: Sean is one of our clients – he went through our Career Transition program.) In the book, he describes his experience of leaving the game he loved and moving towards a new path. Sean and his brother Chris Pronger, have played professional hockey in the NHL for a number of years.


Sean played professional hockey for 11 years and created a wonderful life for his family. Still, he was well aware that an athlete’s career has an expiry date and he had often contemplated his life after hockey. As long as he still enjoyed the game, he wanted to stay in it, but one day “the fun started to fade away inside and outside of the game.” So, after a workout, he arrived at a decision while resting in his loft. “I am done,” he shouted down to his wife. “That’s it!” 


Embarking on his post-NHL life, Sean experienced many of the common fears and doubts associated with moving on to a new career. What would he do? Would he enjoy it? Would he have to start in the mailroom? In fact, these questions illustrate why many players stay in the game even though they are past their prime. They are afraid to leave because they don’t know where they will go next.


I have only played in the NHL,” was one concern that Sean raised when we worked with him to help him understand what he had to offer the job market. He needed to recognize that many of the talents that had enabled him to do well in hockey, like leadership and people skills, along with sound logic and problem-solving skills, could be transferred to other fields. His other strengths were more character related – commitment, perseverance, work ethic, adaptability and ability to function as part of a team. One key advantage that Sean brought to the table was his network.


Through working one on one with our Career Transition Program, assessment, coaching and building a game plan, Sean was able to land a new career, one that makes use of both his sports experience and his soft skills. He has since transitioned successfully to the financial industry with a large international fund company. The attributes that saw him through a decade in pro hockey have helped him in this phase of his career.

Don’t forget to t
ry your January “luck” by sharing your thoughts & advice about maximizing your career in 2013, on our Facebook page. I will choose a winner who will receive $1000 worth of CareerJoy coaching services.

CareerClass Webinar | New Year – New You | Get the Right Career Right Now! Tues, Jan 15:12-1 P.M. ET. Invest 1 hour of your time to take control of your career in 2013, all from the comfort & convenience of your own desk. Click for more details & to register. 


Looking for help with your personal brand in 2013? Looking to become a more effective leader? Who’s your career coach? Need help with a professional resumejob search and interview preparation? Invest in yourself & get the edge in this competitive job market. Take a small step and book an initial coaching session.


Hail Don Cherry, along the road with you!




P.S. Looking for career or leadership coaching in Toronto? We have a  terrific team  to help you reach your potential & advance your career. Click here to get started. 


P.P.S. Looking for help to choose the right career in 2013The Career Identity Program is a terrific way to get your career on the right track. Click here for more details & to get started.