Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, recently launched a series of interviews with Manchester City players to learn how their success can be applied to the everyday careers of professionals.
During its six years as Official Recruitment Partner of Manchester City, Hays has identified many parallels between the world of work and elite sport. These parallels are explored in the ongoing ‘Match your Ambition’ campaign, to encourage professionals to develop their own career using inspirational stories and messaging from sport and business.
In the latest part of its campaign, Hays spoke to six players from the men’s and women’s teams – Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Keira Walsh, Nikita Parris and Jen Beattie – to understand the personal attributes and skills required to forge a success career in top-flight football. Hays experts have taken some of the inspirational stories shared by the players to advise professionals on how they can apply them to their own careers.
Choose your organisation
Fresh off the back of a memorable World Cup campaign with England, defender Kyle Walker spoke about the pull of joining Manchester City and working with manager Pep Guardiola, who is seen by many as one of the brightest minds in the game. Walker said it was a “no brainer” to join the club last year considering the opportunity to work with Guardiola, who has an established track record in developing world class defenders. Walker admitted that if he got “anywhere near” the level of elite player Guardiola has previously worked with that [he] “would have had a successful career” and said that this was only possible under Guardiola’s stewardship.
Defender Jen Beattie also spoke about the unique opportunity of playing for Manchester City. She realised upon joining the club from French side Montpellier that “you buy into the philosophy and the style of play that they want”. She said she has “improved in all areas” due to “very technical and passing-orientated style of play” that is demanded from all Manchester City players.
Drawing on the players’ insights, Sholto Douglas-Home, Hays Chief Marketing Officer, added; “It’s important that jobseekers take the time to research the companies they would like to work for and draw up a target list. An important question to ask yourself is whether your skills will be put to good use and whether you can achieve your professional goals within that organisation. After you have a good idea of the companies you would be willing to work for, you then need to start planning how to get there.”
Make sure your values are aligned with the business
When asked how Manchester City has managed to quickly elevate itself to the top of the game, Walker noted the solid foundation at the club, where “everyone – from the players, to the staff and to the managing staff – wants to be at the same place; at the top of world football.”
Forward Nikita Parris agreed with this view, suggesting that Manchester City has “a methodology and a philosophy so that each player is on the same page”. She said the current women’s team have “never gone in underprepared” for a game as each member of the team knows their precise roles and responsibilities.
Having values and goals that are aligned with your business is crucial, according to Douglas-Home, “professionals must be comfortable in the strategic direction of the company they are potentially going to work for. Therefore, it is important that jobseekers identify a company that shares their own goals and values. It’s essential that professionals believe in what they are doing and want to achieve the same things as the organisation they work for.”
Find a mentor to help you develop your career
Parris also spoke about the importance of inspiring the next generation as a key factor in her development at the club. She believes that she has an “obligation to be a role model” and “to ensure that women’s football lasts long above her playing career”. She also admitted that it is “an amazing feeling to see a girl come up and say, ‘I want to be you’, but said that her reply is always “don’t be me, be better than me.”
Finding a strong mentor is crucial for development according to Douglas-Home. He highlighted that “finding a mentor, whether they are inside or outside the company you currently work for, is extremely important for personal and professional growth”, adding that a “good mentor can share their experiences, helping you with your career goals and helping with any big decisions.”
To view all six player videos, please click here.