This time last year, Jack Fitzpatrick wasn’t in a good way.
Still reeling from the effects of his ninth concussion, the one that ultimately ended his career, Fitzpatrick couldn’t drive for six weeks and was still getting headaches long after that fateful day in Tasmania against the Brisbane Lions.
Now a retired footballer in his mid-20s, Fitzpatrick, who studied regularly throughout his eight years in the system, realised that he was still unsure about his future beyond the game.
“You think you have a pretty good handle on where you’re at but then all of a sudden footy does end you probably realise you don’t have as good a handle as you might’ve had,” Fitzpatrick told AFLPlayers.com.au.
“It was my first AFL game for the season. You don’t go to the game expecting that you’ll never play footy again, regardless of what level that will be. I always had plans of going back and playing local footy with my mates until the age of 35 or 36.
“Footy was great but at the same time it is a game and a job.”
Unsure whether to enter the workforce as quick as possible or to continue his studies, Fitzpatrick enlisted the help of career coaching firm TwoPointZero to guide him through the critical transition period.
TwoPointZero helps clients discover their career passion and direction and provide them with the tools and insights they need to pursue a happy and healthy professional life. TwoPointZero’s programs, based in Melbourne and Sydney, are designed for graduates, students and young people in the early stages of their careers, who are looking for career counselling, guidance and coaching to help them find the right career options.
Fitzpatrick has now almost completed the TwoPointZero program and is more confident in finding a career that suits him.
“It’s very important to work out what it is you actually do want to do and it’s something I’m still working through, to be honest,” Fitzpatrick said.
“I’m still finishing off uni and doing some assistant coaching at Werribee VFL. There are so many people offering advice and say ‘you should be doing this, you should be doing that’ but they don’t necessarily know you as a person and what you want to be doing.
“If you had seen me eight months ago, I had so many things running through my head. The process has been really good in terms of narrowing your focus. If you’re at a crossroads, this program can only benefit you.”