I’m 37 years old now and have played football on and off all of my life. I started playing for my junior school side when I was 10 years old and then played throughout my school time and on until a teenager. I took a break for a few years due to a dodgy knee injury but have been playing again pretty regularly over the past couple of years. I’ve played for school sides, with friends and spent a couple of seasons playing for a non-league amateur team based out of a local pub. I’ve won some competitions in that time and have some medals to confirm my ability and accomplishments.
I have experience playing 5-a-side, 7-a-side and of course full 11-a-side and have covered a number of positions. My main position is central defence as I am quite tall and a solid player able to stand up to opposing forwards, however I am also good when playing on the left wing, where my ability to play with both left and right feet enables me to sidestep fullbacks and deliver searching balls into the box for forwards. I grew up just around the corner from Steven Gerrard, who now captains Liverpool FC and can see he’s made a pretty decent career out of playing football. I know he learnt some programming with BBC computers when at school as I have friends who went to the same school as him but he decided football was a better career path. I’m now wondering if I have made the right decision.
After 16.5 years within the IT industry, I’ve noticed Premier League footballers seem to get paid really well and they are always moving around clubs. Lots of new players appear in the English leagues all of the time so I’m thinking now would be a good time for me to move into Premiership football. I have doubts though about which club I should play for?
Can anyone advise me which club I should apply to? Do you know if there is a special academy or training centre I can attend that will get me a footballing provision certificate and let me interview with some Premiership sides? What about my experience, do you think it allows me to get a trial with someone like Liverpool or Manchester United or would I be better aiming to speak to some Division 1 teams first to get some experience on my CV, then hopefully move up to a Premiership team soon after?
I’m really doubting what I should do about this and hope all the experts here can give me some guidance and advice.
Back to Reality
Ahem… I’ll take the tongue out of my cheek now and get back to my normal, marginally more serious tone. The above fantasy discussion is of course all made up (well, I have actually played a lot of football, got some medals and did indeed grow up around the corner from Stevie-G although our mutual acquaintances have never confirmed or denied his prowess with BBC Basic…)
I’m trying to take a bit of a light-hearted view on so many of the postings we see here in the Career Centre on a daily basis. So many people come on here basically saying something like “I’ve heard an SAP career is great and pays well, I’ve used SAP a bit and want a job as an SAP consultant – please tell me what that job should be and what area it should be in.” Every now and then I’ll attempt to answer and tell the people asking these questions that no-one but yourself can make decisions on your own career. Of course, people can offer advice (and many are happy to and will – there’s points at stake of course!) but it is just that – advice. It is no substitute for doing your own research, your own reading and enhancing your own understanding of SAP (or indeed any other career path you may be thinking about) so that when you finally make a decision, it is 100% your own.
What happens if x number of years down the line you decide that you don’t really like your job as a SAP HANA Cloud Evangelist and you really wish you’d stuck to something with more promise, like the SAP Mobility Platform? That user on SCN (HANA_IN_THE_CLOUD_RULES – a 43 year old ABAP programmer from Norfolk) who told you that’s what you should do was wrong. Wow – now what?!
Do you come back to SCN and ask for further advice?
Ok, a different question to consider – do you post to BCN (the Breakfast Collaboration Network website) to help you decide what you should eat of a morning? No, of course you don’t as it is a personal decision for you and you alone.
Some final points:
- By all means ask for advice but please keep it focused and specific – simply asking “what should I do?” doesn’t help and although you’ll often get 10’s of answers on here, they are typically all on a par with my left footed lob into the box from the left wing – they aren’t going to pay the bills.
- Before asking vague questions, think about why you suddenly want an SAP career. What are the reasons? – such as more money, technical learning, less/more travel, offices full of hot young members of the same/opposite **** or something else? Also think about the why and your motivation.
* delete as appropriate and prepare to be disappointed
- When you do eventually ask for some advice, read the answers and try to understand them. Don’t just ask the same vague questions over and over in the hope that some random stranger you’ve probably never met (and probably never will) at the other end of an IP address will have the magic bit of advice that will set you off to SAP stardom and 4 Champions League medals – it’s highly unlikely to happen.
In short, take ownership of your own career and the decisions that form and guide it – the clue is in the “your” bit… Don’t just think you should do something because it sounds good and others say they enjoy it.
Gareth – a 37 year old ex (rubbish) amateur footballer with 2 left feet and a red-card from last weekend for hitting a friend’s young son in the face with the ball (sorry Jack!)