This has been an epic week at Sportsbet HQ with Thursday Sept 15th completely devoted to our 2nd Careerdevfest 2.0! It was a day for Sportsbettors to down tools and really think about their careers and development goals. Rather than giving you the HR spin on the day we asked Will Byrne from our Marketing team to share his thoughts on the day. Here’s what he had to say about #Careerdevfest!
“How awesome was #CareerDevFest?
Seriously! How many other companies out there dedicate as much time and effort into the development of their staff in such an enthusiastic way as Sportsbet does? This year’s #CareerDevFest knocked it out of the park for anyone who made it along to the many sessions organised by the HR team.
Rebecca Norma, the Talent Development Manager, kicked the day off encouraging everyone to get involved and participate in the open discussion all around the stadium and as the day progressed you could see that these sessions attracted great numbers of Sportsbettors.
Tania Abbotto, our HR Director, spoke about the importance of taking a break from our daily routines to really concentrate on putting our best foot forward with our development and also the growing numbers of tools and assistance Sportsbet has invested in that are available to really supercharge your career development from The Stadium of Learning to 70:20:10 to Lynda.com (an online learning platform hosted by LinkedIn).
The first session I signed up for was a 1-to-1 with our Head of Organisational Development, Raj Tapper. At our last CareerDevFest I sat in on a session with Raj about identifying your key career drivers and was most impressed with the accuracy of the results and also Raj’s expertise in this area, so it was a no brainer to sign up for this chance to chew her ear off!
Raj’s advice was very beneficial and she really got to the point of where the stumbling blocks for my career development might be in an very insightful way.
Key Takeaway – Courage Can Become a Habit…
Next was a great opportunity to pick the brains of the boss himself, Cormac Barry, and I figured I was in a cracking position to make the most of this given, with both of us being Dubliners, we could revert back to talking at a million words a minute!
I had some questions already thought out and the relaxed conversation ebbed and flowed along so before I knew it, the 30 mins just disappeared.
Cormac gave some great advice about really going out there and chasing down what you want from your career – you get nothing handed to you for free. He emphasised the importance of having a plan, knowing what you want and figuring out how to get there, then just go do it. This was a common theme that came up throughout the day.
We also spoke about the benefits of having a coach/mentor which is something I’d been looking for but hadn’t quite decided on who best to approach, that would change by the end of the day.
Key Takeaway – I miss talking a million miles a minute (!) and plan – Get Yourself a Plan.
I trotted off to the Agile session then with Andrea Blundell, 1 of our Iteration Managers, seeing as how Agility is one of our values, I wanted to learn how I could implement this into my workspace.
It wasn’t exactly what I had expected, thinking I’d be sat down in front of a PowerPoint with spreadsheets about philosophy etc – it was so much more fun! Working with a team of four other Sportsbettors, who I’d never had the pleasure of meeting before, we worked together as a team to pass tennis balls into a box under certain rules and restrictions with the aim of beating our score each round – long story short, we started with 19 balls and by round five had boxed all 60 balls (which Andrea told me was a record for the day! Go Team!).
It was a really fun exercise and great to see how you could work in a team and improve on a procedure to perfect it.
Key Takeway – Collaborate – Deliver – Reflect – Improve.
Next stop was a 1-on-1 with our external career navigator John Dare. John was extremely easy to talk to and gave some quality feedback and guidance on what I should look at to take the next steps along my career path.
John is coming back to Sportsbet to do some coaching sessions so I’d highly recommend booking in some time with him. A lot of our talk covered finding your purpose, exploring mindful meditation and enhancing optimism.
Key Takeaway – Find Your Purpose.
It seemed with all this extra insight into progressing my career, I’d better drop by the ‘Smashing Your Next Interview’ session with Bec Powell from our Talent Acquisition team, in the Library so I can be prepared…and that was music to Bec’s ears as she stressed the importance of preparation before you go into your next interview.
Sometimes we can be a bit casual when approaching an internal interview but the truth is you will be treated with the same respect of an external candidate and so you should come as prepared as you would have if you were coming from outside our walls.
Always lean on members of the HR team for advice before your interview, ask members of the team you want to join about the role and then go back and prepare to prepare so you’re prepared…
Key Takeway – PREPARE and ask Bec for help!
While I waited for Cormac’s closing talk I dropped by the Lynda.com stand to see what that’s all about and was really impressed with the range of tutorial courses available and also how detailed the topics in each category were. You show go check out their website as I’m sure you’ll find something there to spark your interest – www.lynda.com
Cormac wrapped the day up advising that we should be mobile and sing out that we’re mobile as it opens the door to opportunities. He gave away some great prizes to the lucky winners as well, passing on his thanks on behalf of the whole company to Rebecca Norman as the Careerdevfest project manager, who in turn nobly accepted the praise on behalf of the whole HR team, speakers and participants for making it such a successful event.
This review was supposed to be a quick summary of the day and it’s really a testament to how much I enjoyed and benefited from it that it’s at short novel status!
Well done to Tania’s team for executing such a well-planned and engaging event that really had mass appeal across Sportsbet. Whatever your drivers are or at what stage of your development you’re currently at – there was something there to educate you and enhance your development journey.
I joined Paddy Power in 2003 and have worked in several divisions from Operations to Trading to Marketing but never in my time have I been more engaged or optimistic about my future and that’s thanks to CareerDevFest.
As I was leaving I bumped into Raj again who asked how my day went and reflecting on Cormac’s advice I jumped on the opportunity to ask Raj if she wouldn’t mind becoming a mentor to me, to which she thankfully accepted…GAME ON!”