The People Behind the FA

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    We speak to some of those working at the FA, including Tes Ludlow, Hr Advisor and Jack Bates, IT engagement coordinator. Both share how they came to work at the FA, what their roles entail and their advice for those looking at a similar career path or even joining their team.

    Fa ludlow

    What does your working day look like?
    I like to start with a visit to the on-site gym before I get to the office each morning; it really helps me get energised for the day ahead. Our team will often meet in the Dugout for a cup of tea, to talk through the work that we are each involved in and plan the day’s tasks.

    It’s a cliché, but every day really does bring something different in my role. I could be interviewing for a new role with the England Team Manager or discussing any number of issues with a home-based employee on the phone.

    St. George’s Park is an exciting and vibrant place to come into work every day, there is always something happening, whether the England teams are in for a training camp or all of the team coaches and support staff are meeting to plan and prepare for the next International fixtures. There is a real buzz and you can tell that everybody is determined to do their best work to support the squads.

    What is your favourite thing about working at The FA?
    Outside of the office, I am lucky enough to be able to go and watch our Men and Women’s England Teams from youth to senior teams. I’ve even had the chance to walk out onto the Wembley pitch at the start of the FA SSE Women’s Cup Final.

    What is your favourite thing about your role?
    I get to work with incredible people who are all at the top of their game in what they do. I learn so much from my colleagues every day.

    What was your career path before The FA:
    I’ve worked in so many different places. I started my career path in HR with roles at Sainsbury’s and Trent & Dove Housing. At Trent & Dove Housing I was lucky enough to be offered a careers exchange to spend time in Kentucky USA, gaining a perspective of how HR looks like in a different country.

    My HR qualifications include a Level 3, 5 and 7 CIPD qualified and a BA (Hons) in Business Management.

    What are the most important skills that you use in your role?
    Be patient and empathetic, this is so important. Working in HR, if you aren’t able to truly engage with people, you will struggle to gain their trust.

    I like to take skills and attributes from the best leaders I have worked with. These people have been inspirational, motivating, and compassionate. They have integrity and really love what they do.

    What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow a similar career path?
    There are so many opportunities within the world of HR. You can take your skills and work in almost any type of industry. My main advice would be to really understand the business you work in, be credible and accountable and that way you can make a real difference.

    How would you describe the culture at The FA?
    There is a sense of empowerment/ownership. It is a diverse and progressive culture in a challenging environment.

    What would you say about the development opportunities at The FA?
    There is always scope for you to develop yourself and progress your career. It’s a great working environment and you are always encouraged to be the best you can.

    How would you describe the senior management team at The FA?
    They are all really well connected to the employees. Their varied experiences, progressive thinking and diverse backgrounds bring a fresh approach to the FA.

    FA jack

    What does your working day look like?
    My working day can range depending on which projects or tasks I have on that day or week. One day I could be up at St. George’s Park running workshops with different members of the coaching team on new technology that we are inputting, on another I could be on web chats with CEOs of County offices making sure they are up to date with the workings of the technology team. I also work closely with members of the Senior Management Team with regards all their technology requirements. To drag out that old cliché of no day is the same is pretty relevant in my role.

    What is your favourite thing about working for The FA?
    The fact that I get to see the inner workings and have an impact of the world of football is a great source of pride as it was something that I have always wanted to do. Also the added bonus of watching football matches is great (even if I am Welsh!).

    What is your favourite thing about the role?
    Getting to meet the diverse people who make up the organisation is probably my favourite thing.

    What was your career path before The FA?
    My first job after University was Marketing Executive at Llanwern Golf Club in South Wales, where I proceeded to become Office Manager. As it was only a small golf club I had responsibility for a lot of varied areas, but it allowed me to develop a range of skills that have enabled me to move into different areas of work. From here I became a learning and development coordinator at an insurance broker, tasked with organising training across the business. My role then moulded into designing and implementing workshops, managing training needs and personal assistant duties to executive level. Once designing and executing a new induction scheme I decided it was time to move on and that’s how I ended up here at The FA.

    What are the most important skills that you use in your role?
    The most important skill that I use is communication, making sure that people have a clear understanding of what is happening within the technology function here at The FA. Finding ways to get people engaged is key to being successful.

    What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow a similar career path?

    I would say that if people offer you the chance to have a new experience or the possibility to gain knowledge in a different area then take it. In each of my working roles I have always striven to gain as much expertise in different areas as possible to broaden my skill set, so that I can adapt to new roles and different ways of working. Also, learn from people that you respect, admire and have had the working experiences you would like to have. Listen to what they have done in particular scenarios and how they conduct themselves in a working environment.

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