Sarah wants mentees to go for Gould at this year’s #RYG
Sarah Gould is one of over 90 mentors that will be offering advice and insight to over 300 mentees at this year’s Raise Your Game conference, taking place at the Woolwich Suite at Emirates Stadium.
Sarah is Customer Services Manager at Birmingham City FC and this will be her first conference. In an exclusive blog for Kick It Out, Sarah explains her role at the Blues as well as offering her advice to mentees ahead of the mentoring conference on Tuesday 28 April.
“I feel very privileged to be asked to be a mentor at Kick It Out’s Raise Your Game conference. It’s a new experience for me and it is going to be great to offer support and guidance to people who are looking to make a career pathway in football. As well as that it is a fantastic opportunity to network and meet people from other football clubs.
“I’ve worked in football for 12 seasons and I feel that is a long time in the industry, with my career dramatically changing through that time. I started off in football as a secretary and now I am the lead in customer services, so I believe I have a wealth of experience that I can offer to mentees in attendance.
“I am currently Customer Services Manager at Birmingham City FC. It’s a very busy role where I head up the department that deals with all the enquiries made to the club. I’m available to all members of the club including supporters because my role is to ensure that everything in relation to our customers is dealt with. Part of the role is to also make sure that our supporters are fully informed about the latest on goings at the club as well.
“Every single day of being in football is completely different, it’s not a 9-5 job, if you want a career in football you are going to have to put the hours in. There are a lot of times when you will be working late into the evening and then back in the office first thing the next morning. It’s about making people aware of what jobs they’re planning to go in to because there is no other industry like it.
“But I will be also trying to get the message across that it is an amazing industry to work in and it’s certainly worth pursuing a career. But they must be aware that the hours are long and dedication is required to make a success of it.
“We are quite unique in the way we employ people at Birmingham City FC in that we don’t go through a recruitment agency. People interested in joining the club in any capacity can go on to our website and see all of our vacancies. We don’t make it hard for people to apply for our jobs.
“Recently as part of our work with Kick It Out towards our Equality Standard, we recently did a recruitment drive in a supermarket situated close to the ground. As daft as that sounds, a supermarket can be at the hub of the local community with everyone going there to do their shopping, so it can be a great place to recruit.
“Off the back of that we’ve managed to take on several staff who have helped with the operation of running successful matchdays. I think that is something that a football club wouldn’t normally do but for us it shows that we are inclusive and look to actively engage with the community.
“I would recommend any mentee attending the conference to do lots of research on their ideal role within football and what it takes to make it in the industry.
“It’s such a fast-paced environment and I think it’s important that people know that you can’t sit back and twiddle your thumbs and you are always going to be busy. But if you are willing to put in the hours I would recommend anyone to get involved in this industry because it’s fantastic and the opportunities to achieve are second to none.”