Within virtually any other work environment, 50-plus year old executives are looked upon as being at the pinnacle of their careers.
Not so with golf course superintendents where 'aging' is not equivocated to the concept of acquiring 'wisdom' -- but rather too often to the depreciation of an old car with high mileage and little resale value.
While it is true that a small percentage of 50-plus year old golf course superintendents escape this adverse designation on merit, get well-paid and are respected as the 'icons' of their profession -- the sizable balance of senior superintendents suffer through truncated careers facing the following perils:
- The anxiety created when they realize that they are, in all likelihood, working at their last job because there will be no future demand for their services.
- The possibility of dismissal whenever the general manager, or green committee chairman changes within their chains of command.
- Perpetual job insecurity because veteran superintendents will always be deeply embedded within the ultimate job stagnation scenario as profiled in the Oct. 30th blog.
- Compensation and severance packages will be curtailed and put at risk due to the general lack of written contract protection and the lack of access to binding arbitration. (See July 24th blog.)
- Job descriptions will be allowed to become obsolete nullifying their job securing value to the superintendent.
Is This A Hopeless Situation?
Absolutely not if veteran superintendents will commit to creating a 'visible presence' throughout their work environment as profiled within the Oct. 9th blog.
The key element when generating a visible presence is developing a quality maintenance program web site (see Oct. 2nd post), which, if done well and is maintained current, can sustain a veteran superintendent's career indefinitely including applying for and getting a new job.
Remember, there is no more valuable individual within operational golf, especially in bad economic times, than a proven cost-efficient superintendent with top of the line management skills -- regardless of age.
The task of the superintendent is to have earned/prepared his credentials (career web site, MP web site, etc.) necessary to attract and hold his present employer's attention before turning 50 years old -- and -- by not pricing themselves out of a job.
More on this topic in a later blog message!