Golf Course Management

NOV 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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38 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 11.14 Are you ready to take the next step in your career? What are you doing this year, this week and even today to be prepared? Your answers are a strong predictor of your career success and ability to attain your career goals. I have several suggestions for how to become equipped now so you can seize upcoming career opportuni - ties. These suggestions cover various roles and specifc strategies to help you reach your desti - nation in the golf and turf industries. Identify your gaps. First, refect upon the differences between your current job and the next level you are working toward. Simply, what is the gap? What additional responsibil - ities, qualities and skills are required to suc- cessfully perform at that level? Conduct some baseline research, read job postings, become aware of your current company structure and team accountabilities. If you want to be pre - pared for the next step, you must intentionally gain skills in the gap areas to be prepared and get to the next level. Student to assistant superintendent. Roles such as intern and seasonal staff are important in preparing for your professional career. The differentiating factor in making the jump to assistant superintendent is that now you will be part of the management team. You will be a representative of the facility when interact - ing with customers and community members. This is a completely different mindset than being a seasonal employee and requires profes - sionalism and taking your career seriously. You will play a supportive role for the su - perintendent in areas of department fnancial operations, equipment purchasing/leasing, safety practices, staff hiring, training and su - pervision, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Anything you can do to learn more in these areas and be able to articulate and demonstrate these skills will help to show you are ready to be a trusted member of the management team. Assistant superintendent to superintendent. We feld questions about this career step more than any other. It can take several years of preparation and experience to achieve this goal. Therefore, take full advantage of each and every opportunity to bridge the gap. Mov - ing from assistant to superintendent inher- ently means you are not just focused on your department anymore; rather, you will be part of the overall leadership team accountable for the facility's success. Choose to view and artic- ulate your work as part of the bigger picture. Anything you can do to positively impact the overall facility bottom-line and focus on the customer experience can help demonstrate you are ready to be trusted in the new role. Two additional areas where assistants often express lack of experience include fnancial op - erations and interfacing on a professional level with customers in a setting such as committee meetings. Ask your manager to help you learn more in these areas so you will have examples to reference when you conduct your job search. More important, the experience will help you successfully perform your new job. Sales. We have worked with many superin - tendents who are seeking to shift into a sales role within the turf industry. To prepare for this type of career move, focus on your abil - ity to build and maintain relationships with industry partners, vendors and colleagues. You already have the background and frsthand knowledge of a wide range of products, equip - ment and best practices in the industry that you can leverage in a sales role. Facility leaders ip. We have also helped su - perintendents move into leadership roles such as general managers of private golf clubs and resorts. I recently served on a committee to hire a general manager. The superintendent candi - dates who demonstrated experience in man- agement areas outside of maintenance were the ones who received an interview and serious consideration. Make every effort to learn more about banquet and dining management, mem - bership services and programming, marketing, and understanding the priorities of owners/ boards of directors. Regardless of your current role and ca - reer phase, choose to take action this year, this month, even today so you will get to the next level! Carol D. Rau, PHR, is a career consultant with GCSAA and is the owner of Career Advantage, a career consulting frm in Lawrence, Kan., specializing in golf and turf industry careers. GCSAA members receive complimentary résumé critiques by Rau and her team, résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn creation for a reduced member rate, along with interview preparation and portfolio consultation. Get to the next level Moving from assistant to superintendent inherently means you are not just focused on your department anymore; rather, you will be part of the overall leadership team accountable for the facility's success. (Career) Carol D. Rau, PHR careeradvantage@sunfower.com

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