Charlie Stobo's work placement journey exemplifies the importance of exploring diverse opportunities, embracing new connections, and finding purpose beyond a primary career path. His story serves as an inspiration for other ACA members, encouraging them to take advantage of career development programs and pursue various avenues of growth and fulfilment.
An ACAs Work Placement Program allowed Charlie Stobo to explore his interest in renewable energy and sustainability through environmental and social governance.
Charlie, a professional West Australian cricketer and Arts Law student, embarked on a work placement with Future Proof Consulting, an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) consultancy.
Future Proof Consulting specialises in assessing companies' environmental footprint and developing strategies to help them achieve more sustainable practices. Initially working one day a week at the company during the off-season, Charlie’s role gradually evolved into a more flexible remote work arrangement, allowing him to contribute to specific projects and take on more responsibility when he could fit it into his already crammed schedule of cricket and study.
While balancing his double degree, work placement, and cricket has been demanding, Charlie's determination and adaptability have enabled him to make it work.
“It’s been challenging but I was blessed with the ability to work remotely,” said Charlie.
“We did a project recently and the nature of that was that I could chip away at that whenever I was home from training or had some spare time.”
Exploring a role through a work placement program can be a catalyst for both professional and personal growth, particularly for people like Charlie, who have pursued options outside of cricket to prepare for life beyond the boundary.
Through his work placement, he discovered that there are avenues beyond the traditional paths, for pursuing his interests, and the nature of small business challenged his assumption that certain careers are limited to specific fields of study.
“I was in a bit of a unique situation in that I wasn’t involved in state junior programs for cricket straight out of school, so I had to explore my options outside of cricket and have been supplementing it the whole time,” he said.
“I think it just gave an appreciation that there’s an avenue for me outside of cricket and it isn’t necessarily a big law firm, that I really enjoy. I guess sometimes the assumption is that you to a finance degree or an engineering degree or a law degree and you have to go into these big companies when in fact I quite enjoy the small business side of things.”
Participating in the work placement program has given Charlie a broader perspective and helped him understand that his cricket career is not the sole focal point of the world. This realisation alleviates some of the pressure associated with performing on the cricket field.
“The word perspective comes to mind when I think about what I’ve got out of the program. It’s easy for professional sportsman, not just cricketers, to assume that what they’re doing is central to the world and how the world operates. I think knowing, that there is an option outside of cricket that I enjoy, alleviates some of the pressure that comes with having to perform on the cricket field.”
Charlie's transition out of and back into cricket has expanded his thinking regarding careers and the utilisation of programs such as the ACA work placements.
“I can really take the time to soak it all in and enjoy it, knowing that there’s something afterwards that I’ll also be able to transition into and find purpose in. Which is a big thing for professional athletes – to find a bit of drive, a bit of meaning in what they’re doing.”
Reflecting on his journey, he expressed that he would have been more diligent in pursuing experiences beyond cricket at a younger age. While focusing on one's passion is important, diversifying interests and exploring other areas can be beneficial in the long run. Such endeavours help relax the cricket brain, nurture additional passions and interests, and contribute to personal and professional growth.
Charlie emphasized the importance of exploring options beyond what people already know they love. The program provides an opportunity to try different fields or roles that may not be familiar or fully understood. It acts as a stepping-stone for self-discovery and enables individuals to gain insights into potential career paths, helping them make informed decisions about their future.
Charlies work placement experience, although primarily remote, provided a valuable platform for connecting with professionals in his field of interest. Even if the immediate outcome isn't securing a job, the opportunity to engage in conversations with industry experts is incredibly valuable.
“I’ve learnt, even by doing this, rather than waiting to do the program on something you’ve already found out you love, it’s almost just as important to do it and explore options that you might not have considered going into,” he said.
“It’s a way of giving yourself a bit more of an idea of whether you want to pursue that path after you’ve finished playing or rule it out and try something different. You almost just want to try loads of different things to eliminate what you don’t want to do, as a way of then finding what you want to pursue.”
For further information on career development opportunities, ACA members can contact their PDM or the GamePlan team.