Workplay: Beyond the Game

ESSENDON forward Bonnie Toogood and Melbourne midfielder Lily Mithen have each tasted the ultimate glory as AFLW players, and have time on their side to add more medals to their collections.

But while success on the field will remain a focus in the coming years, Toogood and Mithen have each started turning their minds to what might follow their football careers.

Workplay: Beyond the Game co-hosts Toogood and Mithen joined Jackie Short, People Business Partner at Coates, on the second episode of the vodcast to discuss career succession and how to empower female leaders.

Plan for a post-sports career

Toogood is AFLW co-captain and women's pathways coordinator at Essendon Football Club, but was eager to know more about how to plan for a post-sports career and build skills in an elite sport environment to take into future workplaces.

"Say yes, particularly to the things that frighten you, because it's an opportunity to learn,” Short said.

"We know we learn when we're thrown in the deep end, and you probably see that in your careers as professional athletes, that you're asked all the time to do things that probably are out of your comfort zone, like be part of a leadership group, captain a team, change positions every once in a while.

"I think you can really use that and harness that in your career after football.”

Short gives more practical tips and strategies for planning for life after football, including to reflect on your existing skills and understand your preferred learning style.

Empower female leaders

Strong leaders are critical on the football field and in guiding young players, and with the right skills and strategies in place can have a similar influence in any workplace.

Coates understand this and have education and training programs specifically for future female leaders that would sound familiar to AFLW players.

"It's got all those fundamentals of leadership but shaped specifically for our females. They get to come out of their day-to-day roles and really immerse themselves in a classroom environment, but a collaborative one with other female leaders,” Short said.

AFLW stars Bonnie Toogood and Lily Mithen, and Jackie Short from Coates, have more advice on planning for a future career and empowering future female leaders, on the second episode of Workplay: Beyond the Game.

Workplay is a careers and networking platform that provides a community for female athletes to connect with like-minded organisations and global industry leaders that support their off-field careers.

Episode 2 of Workplay: Beyond the Game is out now. Watch here or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

To learn more about Workplay visit

Missed episode 1? Catch up here.