As the job stagnation theme of last week's (Oct 30th) blog post indicated, hunkering down to maintain job security in a bad economy can be fraught with danger. Therefore, the counter-point to this refrain must be that new jobs -- once properly vetted -- can offer greater job security.
Recommended Approach To Changing Jobs To Avoid Job Stagnation
After identifying a target job vacancy, superintendents should quality-test the opportunity by working through a comprehensive due diligence test with the outgoing superintendent and by networking through the near and far job markets.
If the feedback from the above due diligence is encouraging, consider applying for the job following the application guidelines presented earlier in this blog series -- especially the July 17th blog addressing the issue of confidentiality - because it is likely that the targeted job vacancy -- again once properly vetted -- can/will result in a job with new-found security because:
All the testy issues inherently present within many existing jobs will have been freshly and mutually resolved going into the new job. All parties will be starting anew with clean slates and new relationships; i.e., what should be close to ideal working conditions.
Clearly, superintendents with multi-year written contracts in place should not seek to change jobs unless the new job can at least match the job security of the written contract at the present job.
Never more than in a bad economy do superintendents want to ask and answer the following career-guiding question: "Where do I want to be in five years?" and then do whatever is necessary to get there. Don't let bad economies and job stagnation derail career advancement.
Finally, bad economies might present the best opportunity superintendents will have to gain access to written contracts if they have been denied this status to date because:
Bad economies will identify the value of proven cost-efficient superintendents versus those who are not. And, therefore, employers will not only want to keep quality-tested superintendents on board in a bad economy -- but furthermore, they will likely be more inclined to grant written contracts than before to ensure they can keep the key staff members they need. (See Oct 16th post for guidance in this regard.)
The argument superintendents should use when told that a bad economy forces a club to hire less expensive (less experienced) superintendents is that the money a veteran superintendent will save a club operationally each year will far outweigh his added cost in salary.
Then, revise the fiscally based Long Range Plan to reflect this premise if one exists. If not, develop one and circulate it up the chain of command.
Additionally, to ensure this in-house advantage, superintendents should commit to publishing and regularly updating a maintenance program web site to reinforce their value to their employers. A dynamic MP web site (based on a solid job performance) can by itself virtually assure that a superintendent will be able to keep his job indefinitely.