I have been puzzled through the years why the vast majority of job applicants have consistently failed to include clear upfront “career mission” statements within their resumes when applying for a job.
I believe the fundamental reason for this has been because candidates, in what have been primarily good economic times, simply had to demonstrate they could grow grass to the satisfaction of their player constituencies while staying within consistently escalating budgets to earn interview consideration – and nothing more!
But today’s persistent bad economy renders the above laissez-faire approach to job hunting null and void because . . .
. . . maintaining golf course quality within annually declining budgets now dominates golf course maintenance operations, superintendents’ job security issues and the superintendent hiring process.
The concern today is that the majority of job applicants (to their detriment) with proven fiscal track records are consistently failing to play this “winning hand” effectively, or at all, when applying for jobs.
Consequently, the reality of the situation is that when candidates who fail to reference their established fiscal job success compete for jobs against those who do – it is likely that they will not only not get hired, but not get interviewed as well.
To ensure themselves of a maximum opportunity to acquire a new job in today’s economy, candidates with proven fiscal track records should incorporate these credentials within definitive career “mission statements” to be strategically positioned within their cover letters; resumes; and web sites (with graphics) when applying for jobs.
For example, job applicants should consider emulating the following (always relatively brief) sample mission statement (or variations thereof) within their submitted documentation:
Career Mission Statement: My career purpose is to find meaningful employment where I can apply my proven skill sets to establish/maintain golf course quality within an ever tightening fiscal environment in a manner that will continue to ensure player/member participation levels, as well as sufficient cash flow to comfortably sustain club/course operations.
Clearly, superintendents who have not established a tight fiscal track record to date should immediately commit to doing so.
Furthermore, if comfortable with the concept, candidates might also advise prospective employers that they are willing to tie their annual salaries to operating budget fluctuations when appropriate, or necessary.
A well-crafted factually accurate career mission statement is the gold plated key to unlocking new job opportunities.
Virtually every job applicant for a vacant superintendent’s position, once told that he/she is being offered a job after interviewing, drops his/her guard thinking the task of pursuing the targeted job has been successfully concluded.
Unfortunately, this is a fundamental mistake that candidates will suffer the following debilitating consequences of from the moment they accept a new job offer without previously having fully negotiated employment terms:
- Salaries will be dictated versus being arrived at via the negotiating process.
- Multi-year “roll-over” employment agreements (the “fairest” contract format for all parties) will be generally denied.
- Grievance procedures (binding arbitration, etc.) will not be addressed.
- Mutually agreed to job descriptions (i.e., a superintendent’s job “security blanket”) will not be incorporated into final employment agreements.
- The number of vacation weeks (and related non-compensation benefits) earned at previous jobs will not carry over because most new hires will be treated as first-year employees.
- Relocation reimbursements will become increasingly problematic.
- Standard fringe benefits will be further marginalized as the economy fails to recover.
- In the end, selected candidates will be offered one-year “take it, or leave it” (written?) agreements that will be void of some/all of the key job-enhancing elements listed above.
No other employee-based profession leaves itself so totally unprotected when accepting new jobs. Superintendents might want to ask themselves why this happens?
Guidelines To Successful Negotiations
First: Candidates should realize when offered a job that Search Committees have at the same time identified backup applicants to negotiate with should those initially offered a job over-play their hands. Negotiate accordingly.
Next: Candidates should specifically address each of the eight contract enhancing issues listed above (plus others of their own choosing) when negotiating – always including those issues not likely to be granted the first time around because it is important to lay a foundation for future follow-up discussions on these always key issues.
Finally: Candidates should always ask an experienced employment contract attorney to review their contract drafts to protect against (some) employers looking to take advantage of applicants when finalizing employment agreements – more so in a bad economy.
Suggestion: Because it is difficult for superintendents to find and engage an appropriate “contracts” lawyer on their own and then when they do – they still run the risk of being seriously over-charged . . .
. . . chapters should underwrite the modest fees required to engage an experienced contracts attorney for the sole purpose of reviewing members’ employment contract drafts as they arise.
This critically necessary “legal lifeline” should be made available to every golf course employed chapter member because . . .
. . . bad employment contracts can/will destroy jobs, careers and families.
The absolute need for legally scrutinized, fair and balanced employment contracts can not be understated.