What Can You Learn from the England Team?

Football may not have come home, but everyone was impressed by England’s performance.

Gareth Southgate’s team was young, confident, humble and driven, which could even score penalties! Here is why England was successful, and how you can copy some of its tactics.

Adopt the right mind-set
When Gareth Southgate was appointed manager he focussed on transforming the team’s attitude. He hired psychologist Pippa Grange, and together they made it normal for players to talk about their thoughts and feelings with each other. This created an open, honest and trusting environment, where everyone felt supported.

At our Employment Symposium in York business psychologist Carol Brooks discussed the importance of building personal resilience through self-reflection, and using practical approaches to help find a new career. A good knowledge of the likely emotional challenges Service leavers can experience whilst embarking on a significant career change can help to reduce stress, and help you to think about the situation with greater clarity.

Tell your story
From the start, Southgate was determined to move on from the 66 World Cup, and the pressure of delivering in those tough moments. Instead, players were encouraged to rethink the problems they faced, with the challenges becoming opportunities. Ahead of the semi-final, England midfielder Dele Alli when asked if he was nervous replied: “Excited, not nervous.” It was partly this approach that enabled England to score penalties.

In your job hunt consider the story you want to tell about yourself. You should have a one sentence and paragraph descriptions. Your CV should outline your career journey, especially achievements, and what you are working towards. This should also be reflected in your LinkedIn profile and how you present yourself when networking.

Always be professional
The England team always appeared professional, never appearing in the newspapers for
bad behaviour. Instead, players focussed on performing well, and always thanked the fans for their support. Ultimately England did not bring the World Cup home, but even when defeated by Croatia the team remained gracious in defeat. They congratulated Croatia on winning, and Southgate discussed how England can learn from the experience.

You need a targeted approach to your own career transition. Paul Coverdale, a freelance Sustainability Consultant and former Royal Navy officer, said: “Adopt a growth mind-set. All the skills and experience you acquired during your career will be useful, but don’t rely on them alone. Since leaving the Armed Forces I’ve learned how to create my own website, started a blog, organised events, appeared on live TV, spoken in public and collaborated with many people and organisations. All of this was possible because of my willingness to experiment. Not everything worked, but that doesn’t matter.”

In summary

  • Be excited, not nervous
  • Focus on your goals
  • Build on your setbacks and think positively about the future.

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