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A Superintendent’s Best Friend: Self-Funding Personal Career Budgets

Jim McLoughlin


I have always been disappointed that so many golf course superintendents and assistants are unwilling to pay their own way to participate in career securing and career advancing events when an employer is not willing to do so in good or bad economies.


In difficult economic times, there are two polar-opposite approaches for individual superintendents to choose from career planning-wise:


  1. To hunker down; be left at the mercy of the bad economy and their employers, and thereby run the risk of debilitating job stagnation (see Oct 30 blog); or . . .


  1. To push back against the economy by developing self-funded personal career budgets to pay for the type of career impacting initiatives that employers will not - see partial listing below.

FYI: Offers to share the expense with employers for some of the initiative listed below are often well received.


Following is a partial listing of the initiatives that modest self-budgeting (replenished annually) from $500 to $1,000 for assistants and from $1,500 to $2,500 for superintendents would pay for that employers might not be willing to pay for in a bad economy:


  • Building A Personal Textbook and Video Library: A valuable day-to-day resource; but also one of the better items a candidate can identify within a job application because astute search committees often ask candidates to list the contents of such library collections.


  • Attending Educational Workshops (Includes the GIS and regional trade shows, etc.): Helps to secure jobs by adding to general education and to GCSAA education points. Present and potential future employers always take notice when a superintendent's continuing education is self-funded.


  • Develop/Upgrade Personal Career Web Sites: A career advancing necessity. Virtually guarantees job interviews when next applying for a job, but will deny candidates interviews when missing in today's environment. Money can't be better spent than paying an affordable professional web site developer to prepare a first time personal career web site, or to upgrade an existing personal web site.


  • Develop/Upgrade Maintenance Program Web Sites: (See Oct 2nd blog): There is nothing that will help to provide job security at a present job, or to open the doors to exciting new jobs better than a solid maintenance program web site. Again, paying an affordable professional web site developer to initiate or upgrade this invaluable tool is money well spent.


  • Subscribing To Print Magazines and Online Informational Services:  Enhances social and professional communications skills; feeds interest and ability to write; an effective way to grow into leadership roles.


Spending one's own money as profiled above is one of the better ways for superintendents to help secure present jobs and to prepare an enhanced credentials package when applying for new jobs - especially in a bad economy.


Reminder: All expenses incurred above are tax deductible at an approximate 25% rate.


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