Middlesex cricketers James Harris and Ollie Rayner, Essex seamer Tom Moore and Sussex wicketkeeper Callum Jackson attended a successful PCA Taster Day in Recruitment in London last week, designed to give professional cricketers a valuable insight into a possible future career in the industry.
The event was organised by David Townsend, the PCA Personal Development Manager for the South East, and Nick Makin, a former professional rugby player with the Newcastle Falcons and Cornish Pirates, who also played county Second XI cricket for Hampshire.
“Having an interest in an industry and actually getting a chance to work out if it is for you is a situation that most cricketers find themselves in during the off-season,” Townsend said.
“For some the idea of work experience can sound enticing until the realities of a week spent photocopying or cleaning up a tired excel spread sheet become a reality.
"Nick moved into recruitment after he had experienced the highs of a career as a professional rugby union player. Like most players it was filled with a sense of trepidation, as he started off in an industry that he knew little about.
"He soon realised that the skills he had brought from sport would be crucial, however, as he found that the industry was like his previous career: the more effort you put in, the greater the rewards.”
Makin was joined by colleagues, all of whom have an interest in sport, for the taster day which gave the county players a fascinating insight into the highs and lows of the recruitment industry and the attributes required to succeed in the corporate world.
“The exercise as a whole was very educational,” said Rayner.
"I’m still at the stage where I am looking at what options there might be after cricket and I knew very little about what working in recruitment involved. One of the things that stood out was that you didn’t necessarily need a specific qualification to work in this field.
"Many of the stories we heard involved people coming into the industry with little knowledge, but a strong work ethic, and this was the thing that had made them successful.”
At the end of the day Makin discussed the possibility of the county players developing their interest in recruitment with potential work placements.
“We really wanted to give the players a clear idea of whether this area of the corporate world might suit them,” Townsend said.
“We were lucky enough to have four specialists donate their time to speak to the players about what their day to day jobs involved, as well as some of the downsides of this type of job.
"The conversations were honest and covered all aspects of the industry, including salaries, and the players came away from it with a much better idea of whether this was something for them in the future.
"The event was a huge success and I hope to be able to run similar sessions involving other industries in the future.”