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Developing employability through sport and physical activity
Developing employability through sport and physical activity

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Session 4: Beyond the game – how external awareness shapes employability


In the previous sessions you have already covered two out of the three domains of the OU Employability Framework – core skills and competencies, as well as personal attributes and behaviours. In this penultimate session, you will now explore the remaining domain, external awareness. While external awareness may seem disconnected from the world of sports at first glance, engaging in sport activities offers a unique avenue for its development. This session explores how participation in sports can foster the growth of external awareness as an employability skill, enabling you to thrive in dynamic and evolving professional landscapes.

Described image
Figure 1 Manager looking out from the stands

External awareness encompasses a deep understanding of the broader environment and context in which you operate (Taylor, 2016). From a professional perspective it involves being attuned to industry trends, market forces, and societal changes that impact business operations. Individuals with strong external awareness possess the ability to connect the dots between various factors, identify emerging opportunities and anticipate potential challenges.

Furthermore, it extends beyond the immediate context, and recognises the social, cultural, and technological changes that impact society as a whole. This broader perspective allows us to identify potential collaborations, partnerships, or innovative approaches that can enhance performance.

Within this session you will be focusing on:

  • Commercial and/or sector awareness
  • Global citizenship

As with the previous sessions, you will investigate these facets through the lens of sport and identify their transferability into your professional life. However, taking a slightly different approach, this session will explore how sport can serve as a platform for developing these skills and present opportunities for further growth, especially for those who have not yet engaged in them. Therefore, you might find that this session focuses more on creating new chances to develop your skills rather than reflecting on what you have already experienced within sport.