In college, Josh Martin struggled to answer a question that stumps plenty of students: What’s next?
Martin played football for Columbia University from 2009 to 2012 but wasn’t expecting his career to consist of tackles and sacks. He majored in anthropology and considered law school, but a student-athlete adviser told him he didn’t have the grades to get into a top program.
“I wasn’t quite sure what I would do after school,” Martin said. “I didn’t really have any career goals. That was an issue for me in college. I didn’t have that sense of purpose.”
The adviser recommended that Martin and his teammates sign up for LinkedIn to start networking. So he joined, using his football headshot as a profile picture. However, before he had to enter the rat race, the N.F.L. called with a job offer. In 2013, the Kansas City Chiefs hired Martin as an undrafted free agent. Since then, he’s also been employed as a linebacker by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and New…