Career Development Q&A News Popular

Career Development: Sia Soliola

The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) has launched a new content series promoting career development opportunities for players and the importance of planning for life after footy.

The Career Development Q&A will each week feature a player who has engaged in meaningful development opportunities away from the field, providing an insight for other players and the industry about their journey.

The content series also highlights academic achievements from within the playing group, many of which have utilised the support available through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program.

Part 7 of the Career Development Q&A features Canberra Raiders player and RLPA Director, Sia Soliola.

Q1 What off field development are you completing or have completed?

I have completed a Certificate III in Personal Training, Certificate IV in Youth Work and a Diploma of Business. 

Q2 Why did you choose this field?

I enjoy working with people and within the community. I think both fields provide practical skills to apply to a diverse range of roles in life, and towards the future.

Q3 Did you always have this career path in mind?

No, not always. You tend to dabble in a few other areas before you get some direction on what pathway you want to head towards.

Q4 Have you utilised any support available to players through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program?

Yes, the grants that the NRL/RLPA provide for players makes for education more achievable whilst playing rugby league.

Q5 What plans or goals do you have for post-retirement?

The plan is to have done as much work academically that I can to qualify in a variety of roles working with or alongside people. Right now, it’s hard to say what that specific role might be, especially given the changing nature of our current times. However, I am hopeful if I do the hard work now, the right opportunities will present themselves when the time comes.

Q6 If you could give yourself one piece of career advice back in your rookie year what would it be?

Make sure you commit to one day a week towards your retirement and complete your Certificate 3/4 in Accounting. 

Q7 How important is it for players and the industry to prioritise career development opportunities?

Very high on the priority list I believe. Rugby League provides us players with a lot. A part of that is our identity. By providing career pathways post rugby league, it will help with that transition for who we want to be after.

Q8 How have the skills you have developed through playing NRL helped with your educational development?

Playing NRL has helped me throughout my education development by understanding processes. With persistence and hard work, you know you can eventually get the outcome you need through chipping away at those small achievements.

Q9 How important is having the support of your coach and football staff when pursuing education options?

It definitely lightens the load knowing that coaches, football staff, family and friends are both understanding and supportive. Both commitments are difficult to achieve on their own, let alone trying to do both at the same time. 

Q10 Was there a time you felt like giving up on your studies and if so, what helped you keep going?

I actually did with my accounting certificates at TAFE that I quit halfway when I was younger. It is something that I regret. If I had just persisted back then, the times when I didn’t feel like going to class, I feel like it could have helped me now. Now that I’m older, basic accounting is everywhere and having that knowledge might have relieved some of the challenges when it comes to managing my own income and outgoings etc. 

Stay tuned for next week’s Career Development Q&A and check out the first six articles with members of the RLPA Player Advisory Group below!

PART 1: Chris Lawrence

PART 2: Christian Welch

PART 3: Dale Copley

PART 4: Darius Boyd

PART 5: David Gower

PART 6: Blake Green