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Career Q&A with the Dublin Ladies Football Team

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At Cpl, we are proud supporters of the Dublin Ladies Football Team and over the last few months, we have had three members of the team – Caoimhe O’Connor, Kate Fitzgibbon and Niamh Heterthon – working in temp roles at our Merrion Square office.

We recently caught up with them to learn a little bit more about their lives, their experience working in Cpl throughout the summer and their thoughts ahead of this Sunday’s All-Ireland Final against Galway, where the team are aiming for three-in-a-row.

Can you tell us a little bit about your backgrounds?

Kate: I have done a degree in Education Training in DCU. I studied Education Training for three years and then took a year out. I am now doing a masters in Primary School teaching in Marino. I just finished my first year and I will be going into my second year in late September.

Caoimhe: I just finished my Leaving Cert last year and am now studying Social Care in Colaiste Dhulaigh. Next year I’ll be going to DIT to study further.

Niamh: I just finished my Leaving Cert in June and I’m going to be studying Accounting and Finance in DCU this year, which I am really looking forward to.

What roles have you taken on at Cpl for the summer? What does your day to day work usually look like?

Niamh: We have done a little bit of everything. That includes admin work in terms of auditing files, and lately we have been doing some sourcing in terms of helping recruiters to find candidates which is very interesting.

Caoimhe: We also prepped some CV’s which again was quite interesting to be involved in and a new experience for us.

Kate: I am with the Insurance Team and was doing similar work in terms of preparing CVs and sourcing. I also got to sit in with one of the recruiters who was meeting a candidate and see the process involved. It was very interesting to see how it is done.

Are there any highlights/moments from your time working here that stand out?

Caoimhe: Meeting a lot of the people on the team. None of them play football so it’s nice to see people from other backgrounds who aren’t involved in the game.

Kate: I would agree with Caoimhe, meetings people from different backgrounds and getting to know them has been something that stands out from our time at Cpl.

Are there any skills that you have learnt or developed from playing football that have helped you in your current role?

Kate: I think there a lot of things you can take from playing team sports that transfer over into a workplace. Especially playing inter-county football, you do develop a lot of discipline in terms of time-management, organisational skills and how you present yourself.

When you come into work, like on the pitch, you need to be accountable for what you’re doing. A strong work ethic as well, because we play at such a high level you always want to present the very best of yourself, no matter what environment you’re in.

Niamh: Teamwork as well. You are not just working for yourself but for others and you are building both relationships and trust, so I think that definitely relates to both business and sport.

How do you find time for work, sport and family/friends with your busy training schedules? Would you have any advice to those who are trying to find a better work/life balance?

Caoimhe: We have become accustomed to it over the years, so it has become a little bit easier to manage. On your off days is when you spend the most time with friends or family. It is hard but because we have been doing it for so long, it has become the norm.

Kate: The three of us and a lot of the girls on the team are lucky as we have such supportive family and friends. They understand at this stage that training is the priority and that our lives revolve around it.

For me the balance is preparation. Even little things, like packing your bag the night before or giving yourself enough time to get to and from training, make a big difference. However, you learn along the way that you can’t always say yes to people and after a while, you just accept that.

Resilience is a big part of sport and business, any tips for building up resilience and learning from your mistakes – either on or off the pitch?

Niamh: When we’re on the pitch and we make mistakes we always analyse them afterwards and try to rectify them. It’s the same in the workplace if you do something wrong try to learn from it and improve the next time.

Kate: I agree – you can always take new learnings from a mistake. You need to accept that from time to time mistakes are going to happen and although they are not done intentionally, you can always evaluate how you can do it better in the future, whether that be in the approach or execution. A positive approach can make a huge difference in these types of situations.

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking of doing a temp role for the first time? Is there anything that surprised you about working as a temp?

Niamh: Just give it a go. I think I can speak for the three of us in saying that none of us ever thought about taking on a temp role or being involved in recruitment, but we decided to give it a shot and I’m glad we did!

Caoimhe: I was a little nervous when I first started as I never imagined I would be working on a computer so much! After a few days though you get used to it. It is also something completely different working and not an environment I could’ve seen myself working in a few months ago so from that perspective it is quite exciting. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is in two minds about trying a temporary job.

What kind of career would you like in the future & why?

Niamh: I am going to study Accounting so that would be where I see my career going. I have always preferred numbers over letters I guess so that would be the main draw in going down that path.

Caoimhe: I am studying social care so I would like to be a social worker after that. I love working with kids and I really enjoy helping those who may not have had the opportunities that I was lucky enough to have growing up.

Kate: With me, I am looking to become a primary school teacher. We’ve has a lot of opportunities through football to do coaching, which has led a lot of us on the team to choosing career paths that involve working with children. From a young age, we saw the older generation of players doing the same for us, so it becomes natural to do the same.

And finally, what would it mean to win three-in-a-row in a couple of weeks’ time?

Niamh: It would be great achievement for the group overall. Caoimhe and myself are going for our first so to win would be unbelievable and would be such a great experience to share with the group.

Caoimhe: I would echo that as well. The other girls might have a different perspective as they have been there before whereas we haven’t, but it is a really exciting time for all of us and we are really looking forward to it.

Kate: To be honest there isn’t too much focus or talk about in being for three-in-a-row or even that it is the All-Ireland Final. I know it is a cliché, but it really is a game by game approach and we just treat it as any other match. To us, it is just another game that we will look to win and that is how we will approach it.

Best of luck to the team on Sunday from everyone at Cpl! If you’re interested in learning more about working at Cpl get in touch with our dedicated talent acquisition specialist Jen or Carol.