I’ve always been disappointed that so many golf course superintendents and assistants (easily the majority thereof) have elected through the years not do some things that would definitely advance their careers simply because their employers would not pay for it. To me this has always been an example of the height of counter-productive thinking.
Before going further, let me define the level of readily affordable career budgeting intended: assistants would set aside $500 to $1,000 a year and, similarly, superintendents $1,000 to $3,000 a year to be spent solely for career advancement. Reminder: all moneys spent to advance your career are tax deductible, which means that the raw cost to buy career related services and/or products would be reduced by roughly 30%.
These annually budgeted moneys would be spent exclusively to participate in the following career enhancing type events and activities that no one else will pay for:
1. Building Professional Text and Video Libraries:
Through time develop an inventory of turf management and outside golf leadership, management and economics type books and videos to expand your body of knowledge. When presented within resumes and personal web sites, library listings impress search committees thereby fostering job interview opportunities and performance.
2. Attending Educational Workshops (Includes GIS when travel affordable, etc.):
Advances your body of knowledge; adds to GCSAA Education Points; helps to secure jobs and to create notice when applying for jobs – especially when you advise that you paid for this education yourself; no better way to demonstrate personal initiative.
3. Developing Personal Career Web Sites:
Positions you within the “Modern Age;” virtually guarantees job interviews for a while longer; Remember, roughly 50% of job interviews are awarded today to job applicants with career web sites. Within a few years, few will get an interview without a personal web site. Resist at your own peril.
4. Producing Instructional Videos For Staff and Committeemen:
Significantly enhances professional communications capabilities (i.e., one of the profession’s ongoing weaknesses), job security and that you will be in demand elsewhere; identifies you as an initiative-taking industry leader. Perfect off-season exercise!
5. Purchasing Digital Cameras and Laptop Computers:
Obviously these are modern day tools of the trade that enhance your communications capabilities, while also providing ready access to the vast treasures of the Internet.
6. Subscribing To Print Magazines and Online Informational Services: (Both inside and specifically outside golf)
Creates a reservoir of worldwide information that will enhance both your social and professional communications skills; i.e., the only way to become a citizen of the world and to escape a one-dimensional professional lifestyle; feeds interest and ability to write; an effective way to grow into leadership roles.
…paying your own way is often the only way to go in a bad economy because there are so few career-impacting steps you can take today to otherwise secure and/or to advance your career…
Some will say that spending money in areas where you have not done so before is tomfoolery and will prove to be counter-productive in a bad economy. I suggest spending these moneys in the ways profiled above is the only way to go in a bad economy because there are so few career-impacting steps you can take today to otherwise secure and/or to advance your career. This is money that goes beyond being well spent.Superintendents, want to help your assistant(s) on their career path? Print out these Career Corner posts and responses on an ongoing basis and assemble them in a hard copy binder for your assistants and crew.
A little known fact of life is that the Israeli national economy is the second strongest throughout the world on a per capita basis; i.e., stronger than all the economies of Europe and Asia (including China) combined. Of course, the United States has the world’s foremost economy. The accepted reason why Israel enjoys this exalted economic status is because in a country where military service is mandatory for both men and women every citizen brings this military experience and discipline to the country’s private business sector.
Connection To Golf Course Superintendents
Because veteran golf course superintendents operate with a similar decisive management style as the Israeli military, it can be fairly concluded that established golf course superintendents possess the innate ability to succeed virtually anywhere within the small business community; i.e., especially within an entrepreneurial environment. (You might consider adding Dan Senor’s new book entitled, Start-Up Nation: The Story Of Israel’s Economic Miracle to your personal library.)
Accordingly, golf course superintendents should not wait until they are out of a job to explore new job/career opportunities because within this pressurized “I need a job” environment they will likely “settle” for lesser jobs instead of looking to develop second careers. Granted, a bad economy makes it difficult to develop a second career, but at the same time the need to do so will push superintendents to more effectively identify future job/career opportunity. Perseverance will pay off.
You will stand an 80% better chance of developing a second career as an entrepreneur than as an employee at a new job…
Second Career Guidelines
Developing second career opportunity requires a disciplined due diligence approach. For example:
1. You will stand an 80% better chance of developing a second career as an entrepreneur than as an employee at a new job.
2. The key to establishing your own company is being able to match your experience and skill sets to a specific need niche within society. FYI: Second careers may be developed both inside and outside golf. Investigate every possibility.
3. Today’s computer age allows new companies to self-design their business image; i.e., a company logo, stationary, envelopes, business cards and web sites, etc. at virtually no expense. (See former superintendent Steve Renzetti’s new business web site at www.pinnacleturf.net.)
4. Two partners will often do a better job developing a new business than a solo principal simply because two minds function better than one. Accordingly, from time to time you might explore new career opportunities with fellow golf course superintendents. You will find this to be an enjoyable rewarding assignment.
Even if you feel your job is secure now, do not wait to identify future job/career options because in today’s unstable world jobs that are secure today can be gone tomorrow…
Even if you feel your job is secure now, do not wait to identify future job/career options because in today’s unstable world jobs that are secure today can be gone tomorrow. Always be prepared. As I stated at the close of my last blog message: waiting and hoping for the best is a losing strategy.Superintendents, want to help your assistant(s) on their career path? Print out these Career Corner posts and responses on an ongoing basis and assemble them in a hard copy binder for your assistants and crew.
Proactive superintendents (those in the minority who operate within an aggressive “preventive mode” to defuse problems before they arise) will always outperform reactive superintendents (those in the majority who operate in a more passive mode who generally respond to unexpected issues/problems after they arise).
It will surprise some to note just how easy it is to distinguish between these two categories of superintendents because each leaves a widely disparate performance trail; for example – test your personal job security by objectively (not easily done) determining whether your present job/family performance falls within the left or right column below: (Read each line below from left to right.)
If you can identify your job/family performance as falling within the LEFT column above for 15 of the 20 comparisons presented give yourself an A grade; for 12 of 20 a B grade; for 9 of 20 a C grade; for 6 of 20 a D grade; and for less than 6 of 20 an F grade.
If you do not score well on the above test, your job is or likely will be in jeopardy…
The reality of the situation in this economy is that if you score a C grade or less on the above test – your job is or likely will be in jeopardy. (Use the poll to the right to anonymously record your test score.)
Clearly, you can measurably enhance your test results and, therefore, your job security: (i) by getting more aggressive with your job and committing to constructively address the specific job/family performance issues above where you fall short; and (ii) by committing to manage your career within the guidelines of the series of Job Securing Tips this blog has been and will continue to present for some weeks to come. Do not sit by and hope for the best job-wise because: Hope is a game plan for losing.
Superintendents, want to help your assistant(s) on their career path? Print out these Career Corner posts and responses on an ongoing basis and assemble them in a hard copy binder for your assistants and crew.
Is it possible for a family to focus on anything more practical than securing the job of its main wage earner in today’s difficult economy? You may not think so until I suggest that the future career opportunities available to our children and grandchildren will command our anxious attention for years to come because the national economy will dictate so.
Where Is This Economy Going?
Do not be misled by the somewhat constant pronouncements by the national media that the “recession is over” because this is not factually accurate information. In truth, economists advise that there is no core relief in sight for the present economy and that the mounting multi-trillion dollar national debt will outlive our children and grandchildren – promising to undermine the quality of their lives. How do we best prepare our children to face this self-perpetuating economic challenge?
Career Options For Our Children
Clearly, parents who have intended to send their children to college should steadfastly remain dedicated to this cause. However, because the escalating national debt promises to marginalize career opportunity for some time to come (FYI: two years’ of college graduated seniors are now stacked up without job opportunities), it is important that parents counsel their children to build “living wage” options into their careers.
…our children should commit to acquiring a “skilled trade” to complement any college degree earned because America will always need skilled tradesmen…
This means that before, during and/or after the pursuit of a college education, our children should commit to acquiring a “skilled trade” to complement any college degree earned because America will always need skilled tradesmen. Acquired skilled trades will maximize every American’s opportunity to earn a living wage pending the economy’s return to a full-employment mode, which some economists suggest may not be any time soon. However, once the economy does recover, our children would then have the option of applying their college degrees to seek career opportunity in the private sector, or of continuing on with their skilled trade employment status. All the bases would be covered.
To complicate matters, you should note that the Obama administration recently nationalized the College Student Loan Program, which suggests that you can expect a change in tuition loan dispensing policy. Be sure to monitor this program as your children approach college age.
Skilled trades represent a unique opportunity for our children to weather difficult economic times…
Skilled trade education is readily available through adult and vocational educational programs. Everyday examples of skilled trades are: electricians, welders, carpenters, plumbers, car/truck mechanics, masons, butchers, chefs/bakers, law enforcement, firefighters, nurses aides, barbers, court reporters, blacksmiths, dental hygienists and so on. The military, of course, presents another secure job opportunity, as do the always-necessary college degree-based professions of accounting, nursing, pharmacy and golf course superintendency. Many of the above listed trades and professions traditionally have had people shortages.
Never has it been more important in our country’s history to steer our children to secure nesting grounds as it is now. Make your case now, or your children may be living at home longer than you anticipate.Superintendents, want to help your assistant(s) on their career path? Print out these Career Corner posts and responses on an ongoing basis and assemble them in a hard copy binder for your assistants and crew.