AS A PROFESSIONAL cricketer, life is great. You’re able to live the childhood dream of playing the sport you love as a job. You get to spend the English summer outdoors, travelling around the UK competing in a sport you once started as a hobby. Throughout the winter that journey continues as you chase the sun, playing in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In truth, it’s the perfect life. But what happens once that journey comes to an end? What’s life after cricket like? What am I going to do?
These are the ever-present questions that you ask yourself numerous times throughout the year and in all honesty, the older you get the more daunting these concerns become.
I knew I had to do something about it this year and during the summer of 2017 I took it upon myself to take steps in the progression of my career.
I wanted to gain insight into the real world of work and have a better understanding of what actually goes on outside of the changing room. This was where recruitment specialist Macildowie came in.
I was fortunate enough to be introduced to James Taylor, Macildowie’s managing director. It was soon very clear to me that we had similar drives in life; all the attributes that he said would be perfect in the recruitment world.
You gain more than you think by playing sport. You develop the skills to be able to outwork, outthink and out plan the opposition, ultimately providing you with the mentality that winning is everything. From what I’ve learned during my short time here, these skills are parallel to how Macildowie approach recruitment.
After securing two days a week – the other three days spent pre-season training with Northamptonshire – I was about to embark on my first day in the real world. With the help of a YouTube tutorial on how to tie a tie, I was sat in my suit at a desk thinking ‘This it’.
I have never ever been as nervous walking into an office in my life, the amount of fear and questions of doubt going through my head was incredible. Strangely, it was worse than any cricketing pressure I have endured.
It was more the fact that with cricket I know I can perform a skill as I’ve practised it numerous times, however with recruitment I had no clue. A basic task such as picking up the phone and calling a candidate, asking questions about their CVs, that was tough!
I even had to ask what the deal was with lunch, should I have brought in my own lunch box? Do I need my own mug?
These were all small things but within cricket we are mothered in a way that everything is done for us; for instance all of our meals are provided – breakfast, lunch and tea.
You can almost become immune to living in a bubble of the cricket life and I’m grateful of Macildowie for allowing me to experience this transition with them.
Since my first day, I haven’t looked back. Despite only being here for seven weeks, I feel there has been a pressure lifted off my shoulders. Prior to this I was apprehensive about the whole “office life”, as I wondered how I would cope from being physically active for the majority of the week to being sat at a desk. This hasn’t been the case.
Within the office, there is a culture whereby everyone is determined to succeed and win. Albeit not all that physical like cricket, but every Macildowie employee shows the same passion towards being successful as my teammates show in cricket and it has been this that has made the transition so much more meaningful and enabled me to get stuck in.
I’ve been given the role of resourcing assistant, allowing me to source candidates for the other members of the finance team from our database and platforms such as LinkedIn. Additionally, I’ve undergone various training in house, learning about Mindmill the psychometric testing tool Macildowie uses, how to build candidate pipelines, how to talent map the entire market place, writing job adverts and marketing campaigns, attending client events and most importantly how to be a recruiter.
JT, the MD is absolutely bang on when he talks about recruitment being like “Office Sport”.
All in all, I feel so much more rounded from this experience. I no longer fear coming out of cricket like I did, the real world isn’t as intimidating as all seems and the office banter here is definitely one the employees should be proud of.
I look forward to progressing my career with Macildowie in the future and I’m motivated by the challenges that’ll come up along the way. It’s quite ironic that I was concerned about not having a job yet my job – if they’ll have me back – could be finding other people a job.