Guest post from James Craigen, newly appointed Head of Talent at LAPS and professional footballer for Arbroath FC
First and foremost I’m delighted to start my new role as Head of Talent with LAPS!
I’ll be working more closely with our members, my priority is keeping you aware of all the very latest opportunities from the organisations we work with.
If you are actively searching for a job, I’ll be the one pushing the team to find a suitable placement for you. My experience working in the partnership team means I know the challenges they face and how the process works so I’ll be able to work with you as effectively as possible whilst giving you the important & relevant information along the way.
Not only will I help LAPS members with job opportunities but I’ll also be sourcing and sharing feedback from you on how we can improve our products and services. I will be on hand to support and assist you in anyway you need, so if you’re after employment right now or have some feedback to share, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Since I joined LAPS I’ve been working in the Partnership team and as many of you know in September we launched our new LAPS placement services. Subsequently I’ve been speaking directly to organisations making them aware of the fantastic talent pool we have amongst our LAPS members. I’ve also been championing the transferable skills athletes possess whilst also discussing the many advantages of hiring a current or ex elite athlete. Has it been a challenge? Yes of course, but a challenge I’ve tackled head on and I can honestly say we are making great progress, within the team we have had a number of live job opportunities available for our LAPS members.
Firstly I feel I’ve learnt an awful lot. Transitioning out of football myself last summer this has been my first role away from the pitch. Simple tasks such as contributing positively to a team meeting or constructing an email to a client (re writing that same email multiple times to get it perfect. I’m sure we’ve all been there). These are all things I’ve had to get up to speed with quickly. However, what has also been reinforced to me are the skills I already had whilst being a full time athlete, the skills that I had built up throughout my sports career have enabled me to fulfil my role here at LAPS.
I like to think I’ve managed to juggle my other commitments pretty well. As well as my role at LAPS I play for Arbroath FC in the Scottish Championship. As a club we managed to stave off relegation after a poor start to our league campaign, being one of only two part time teams in a full time league this has been a great achievement. I also work as an Area manager for Gold & Gray Soccer Academy. Coaching has given me that balance away from my laptop which has had a positive impact for me and I have definitely realised I have a passion for coaching as well as business. Juggling all these commitments has been a shock to the system at times. Whilst playing full time football I used to love an afternoon nap but they’ve long gone and now some days I’m eating lunch on the go but I wouldn’t change it.
This role gives me a chance to furthermore develop my skillset and allows me to focus more on our LAPS members rather than targeting potential clients. It will give me the opportunity to get close to our LAPS members, learn exactly what they want to do and push the partnership team into finding them an opportunity. I’ve always welcomed conversation and this role and its aspect really appeals to me.
On the field, I’d love to carry on from the success of last season with Arbroath and make sure we continue to play Championship football for years to come. Personally I still feel I can develop as a player and whilst I’m still playing I’ll be open to learning as much as possible. In terms of coaching, I want to continue with my coach education and work my way through my coaching badges and see where that takes me. Finally with LAPS, I want to speak to as many LAPS members as I can and ultimately help them with their future careers.
“Head of Talent is a role that James is the perfect fit for. He’s such a positive guy that it’s infectious on everyone he speaks to. Therefore having him closer to our members, especially at critical moments in their lives, is something we really wanted to facilitate as soon as possible.”
“I’m really excited that James has agreed to take up this new role with us. With our partnership team finding more and more opportunities for our members we felt it was important to have someone on hand to support LAPS members through the process. James is the perfect person to do that. Everyone who has spoken to James knows how approachable and accessible he is, and I’d encourage our LAPS members looking for a new role to get in touch with him.”
You can connect with James here:
Twitter – @Cragsy28
Instagram – @cragsy28
LAPS Members can discuss James’ post on our Community page.