In the month of February last year I was working in an apprentice coding role within an e-commerce company. On my second day in the job I was sat in a room for 7 hours while the manager piled information on me that made no sense. I was miserable to say the least. The previous month I had quit my part time role at a call centre and also my role coaching in schools to pursue a career in which I could work full time. Just over a month into my role as a coding apprentice I handed in my notice. While this could definitely have been a lucrative career, I am a firm believer that if you wake up in the morning dreading your day of labour, no amount of money can make up for this. So there I was at the age of 22, no job, relatively low experience in the corporate world and with little chance of making a career out of coaching on its own. Although I look back now and laugh, at the time it was something that was mentally extremely challenging. Enough of the sob story anyway, now to move onto the positive.
With the job hunt in full swing I had set my eyes on an apprenticeship, although my age is a bit of above the average to move into an apprenticeship I believed it would allow to develop the skills to build a career while still earning a living.
I still to this day remember coming across the Orange Soccer vacancy. I read the job role and it met all the criteria I was looking for and was in an industry I had a real passion for. With the help of my brother and after several tweaks I was happy with my application. After sending in my application I was pleased to find out I had been invited to an interview. This is where I first met Orrin Benford, the Managing Director and now my boss at Orange Soccer. It was not your conventional interview as the majority was spent making football talk, and discussing what our favourite pair of boots was. The concept of Orange Soccer excited me from day one and I saw real potential in a business which was being lead by a man who had both personal and business skills. Time went on and while I had been offered other roles there was only one job I had my eyes set on. As we know now I was offered the role and it is something that I am thankful for to this day.
Now let’s skip to my first month within the job. Working under Orrin I had developed many new skills from learning the basics of website development on Squarespace, to putting out social media content. While ultimately being frustrated at not being able to put out a certain quality of content due to my inexperience with software such as Photoshop, the main point is I was learning. I get asked what my favourite bit about my job is and apart from being able to juggle a football while I wait for the kettle to boil, honestly it is being given the license to experiment. Due to this license I am now comfortable with Photoshop and Squarespace and have acquired many new skills. If I was working within a corporate company the likelihood is I would have never been given the time or responsibility to allow myself to learn these skills.
Next we go to three months within the job. I am now comfortable with the daily role and am starting to expand into new areas of the job. From going to meetings with Orrin to making it my responsibility to making sure the content put out from Orange Soccer is to a certain standard.
Nine months into the role I have had many great experiences within the business. From pinch myself moments such as helping run our #MomentOfGenius campaign that reached 150k+ people worldwide, to being given the responsibility to design the Orange Soccer Club Partners Pack that will be seen by hundreds of Clubs (http://www.orangesoccer.co.uk/clubpartners/).
Along the way in my role I have met so many great people. From the staff within Orange Soccer who inject so much personality and character into the business, to the parents and children at the Academy, who have the same passion for football that I do.
My 9 months at Orange Soccer has not been completely plain sailing. Adjusting to a apprentices wage has not been easy and like any job there has been days where, workload can get on top of you. But overall the positives far outway the negatives. Along with the business, I have come along way in the last year. I have grown in a business and personal sense, I have developed a set of skills that will help with my career and I have made a lot of friends along the way. Who knows what the future holds, but I hope to be at Orange Soccer for as long as possible and seeing what the business has achieved in under a year, I can’t wait to see what it achieves in the next couple of years.
Currently Orange Soccer is pitching for a £50,000 investment through Crowdcube. While this investment would make a huge difference to the business it will also have a big effect on the people involved with Orange Soccer. If you could take 10 minutes out of your day to view our investment pitch it would be greatly appreciated. www.crowdcube.com/orangesoccer