How I got where I am today: Jan Stander

What did you want to be when you were young?
I was brought up around our family business and always had in my mind that was where I would end up working one day but being a professional sportsman was a dream.

What are the main career stepping stones you have taken?
I started working at a young age which gave me first-hand experience of having to think on my feet for the family business. In 2003 and 2004 I came to Aberdeen from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, as an overseas amateur and carried out some part-time work while I was here for the summer.

In 2005 I was offered the role as club coach at Aberdeenshire Cricket Club which went very well and was quickly followed by a recruitment offer as Grampian development officer for Cricket Scotland. In 2009 I qualified to play for the Scottish National cricket team and decided it was worth separating the part time playing of cricket with the day job of development officer.

I remained in sport but broadened my remit to all sports now as the Grampian coaching manager which was a local partnership funded by sportscotland, which became a direct funded post as partnership manager with a wider remit. My part-time cricket coaching continued with a move to Stoneywood Dyce Cricket Club.

Jan Stander

My last step was probably the most significant as I retired from playing internationally and moved out of my full-time job in sport to the oil and gas sector as sales and marketing manager at First Integrated Solutions in Aberdeen.

Anything you would do differently?
I think we can all look back and imagine we do things differently, but I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given along the way. The good and bad experiences have made me a stronger person and prepared me for the job I’m doing today. Joining First Integrated Solutions at an earlier stage in my career knowing what I know today would have been a good decision but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Are you scared of making mistakes?
No, mistakes have helped me develop. As long as it doesn’t cost the company money or damage reputations, I feel supported by my managers.

Best achievement so far?
I was privileged to have played in 2009 T20 World Cup as part of the Scotland team, which was a dream come true but a really challenging experience at the same time.

I am pleased with how I have managed to build my career over recent years and transferring skills from professional sport into business. Joining First Integrated Solutions in February 2014 has been a big career change for me but very rewarding too.

What do you want to achieve in the rest of your career?
I want to continue to grow as a person and can’t think of a better place to do it than at First Integrated Solutions. I’ve learned a lot about the sector in the last 14 months and feel excited at the prospect of the future for the company and ability to provide learning opportunities to the staff.

What’s your idea of the perfect retirement?
The ability to spend time with my family but still having a job/hobby where I can make a difference.

Is the “career for life” a thing of the past?
Being a Christian I believe your path is set out for you and as long as one can reflect and continue to learn you should make every day part of a career that is for life with clear goals and values. Putting the same effort into every day and learning from mistakes is a good recipe to allow changes to be the basis of your “career for life”. Some people just enjoy a challenge and I’m one of them!

What would your autobiography be called?
Understanding Why!!!!

People often know: What we can do or How to do it, but do they understand, why we do what we do? Hopefully someone knows me well enough to be able to explain the ‘Why’ factor for me.

What has motivated you?
I’m been very fortunate to have very successful and goal driven individuals in my life that played their role through informal mentoring without them perhaps even knowing they have done it. We all have good and bad points and the ability to learn from others good points goes a long way.

What’s your best career advice?   
Work hard, be honest and fair. Remember the importance of your family and work balance.

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