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"I'm a professional footballer & I want to work in banking"

After a career in professional football, I am looking to move into banking and I would like some advice. 

I believe that working in banking has similar challenges to being a professional footballer.

Both require an ability to work under pressure: football and banking are results games. Both are about adapting to new surroundings, cultures and language barriers. To succeed in professional football, you need to build relationships with a diverse group of players, management, directors and owners. There can be difficult conversations and tough sessions (training session/team meetings) in which both you and your team are pushed to succeed.

Football and banking are both competitive environments. If you thrive in football, you should thrive in banking.

I believe that my experiences as a professional footballer have demonstrated my work ethic and ability to analyse situations quickly under pressure. I play in central mid-field, which means I have to effectively communicate and make decisions that could sway the outcome of a game. I've learned to maintain confidence and resilience during setbacks like injury or loss of form. In football, you must have the maturity to emotionally detach yourself from the process so that you get the job done; this is second nature to me after all these years.

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The world has a global finance infrastructure. Like football, this unites and brings together different communities and cultures. Banks facilitate the transactions that help the world economy. Time and resources are invested into market research, looking at the numbers and dissecting balance sheets. I want to be a part of this.

There's a great clip on YouTube by Jim Donovan, an MD at Goldman Sachs, which sums up why I'm suitable.  I enjoy being around ambitious driven people in an intense environment. I like doing important work that helps others by using the tangible and intangible skills he mentions.

I've already applied for some roles through athlete transition programs. But if anyone can offer me further advice in the comments below, it would be greatly appreciated. 

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AUTHORYaser Kasim Insider Comment
  • Th
    ThomasLee
    10 November 2023

    It can be daunting to think about your future, especially when there can be so many unknowns, but well done in asking the question as you think "what's next?". St James's Place have an Academy to help individuals, like yourself, to make the transition into a new career and have a great track record with (ex)sports professionals. There is loads of information on their website and LinkedIn but feel free to connect with me if I can help.

  • Ho
    Howard L
    4 October 2023

    An example of such transition is Julien Bagasse, the Head of Asia Capital Markets at Morgan Stanley. He was a professional soccer player in Belgium before entering banking.

  • CT
    CT
    27 September 2023

    If you want to make the transition then completing an undergraduate degree in economics in a world class university whilst completing internships would be the best way to secure a role.

  • Ze
    ZedEx
    26 September 2023

    While you can draw a lot of parallels between football and investment banking, I think both the worlds are very different in their touch and feel. Your football career is most likely fuelled by your passion for the sport, but for most, their investment banking career is fuelled by money, lifestyle and prestige, and not so much by the love for the game (more stress on the 'most').


    If those are not your driving factors, then even though there are parallels you can think of, you will find IB to be an unsatisfying career choice. My advice would be to think what really drives you for your next career move and choose your career accordingly. Key characteristics of an IB career (e.g. teamwork, client-facing, high pressure, high technical knowledge) can be common for a lot of other career choices, but they don't imply you can be suited to all those career choices.

  • Ja
    Jasper King
    26 September 2023

    Goldman Sachs has just created a “sports franchise” unit within its investment banking division, and has named Dave Dase and Greg Carey as the co-heads, with Elis Jones leading the team in Europe. They're focused on the "global sports ecosystem across all major sports, including federations, leagues, franchises and clubs, as well as sports media, entertainment and tech businesses". Sounds like a good place to start!

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