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How To Qualify For Pedigree Jobs Earlier In Your Career

Jim McLoughlin


It has been traditionally thought that pedigree (prestigious) jobs were available only to the more veteran superintendents. Interestingly, this is not the case today because credential quality now supersedes age as a primary qualifier.


The Challenge

Of course, the better things in life do not come without ultimate challenges, which in this case are:


  1. There are fewer pedigree golf courses compared to the many worthy candidates capable of filling these jobs -- which means that only the best-prepared applicants get considered - a factor that is not  "age" relavent. 


  1. Some might think the problem when a pedigree job opens is too many competing job applicants.


Wrong! Just the opposite is the case... because pedigree search committees as a general rule (with some exceptions) carefully control the number of applications accepted to within a range of from six to twelve quality candidates because accepting more job applications minimizes the chances of identifying the best candidate in the field.


The Big Disconnect 

With all the above referenced care taken by search committees to quality control the search process at pedigree golf courses one would think that the process would be fail-safe and that only the best superintendents would get hired.


Wrong again because it is freely acknowledged throughout golfdom that the better candidates are frequently not hired by the search committees at pedigree golf courses.


Why Is This The Case?

Because: (i) The better candidates too often do not feel the need to commit to full preparation and, accordingly, disqualify themselves; (ii) The pedigree courses load up their search committees with 'wanna-be' campus stars who are ill-equipped to get the job done; i.e.- they can't distinguish between the quality of applicants ; and (iii) The best candidates simply refuse to apply because they know that inexperienced search committees frequently cannot identify the better candidates and they do not want it known that their job applications failed.


A Recommended Action Plan

This having been said, it should be stated that meticulous candidate preparation as profiled below can overcome all of the above mentioned shortcomings thereby virtually guaranteeing candidate interviews. Accordingly, candidates for pedigree jobs should:


  1. Commit to the concept of developing and maintaining a high quality personal career web site as early in their careers as possible because this concept will serve as the personal archive that every future search committee contacted will scrutinize thoroughly. Reminder: personal career web sites are a superintendent's most effective marketing tool when seeking new jobs.


  1. Build an early career reputation for maintaining cost-efficient quality golf courses and developing impeccable greens. Working at municipal golf courses early on in a career is one way to build these credentials into one's resume. (Also, see the Apr 30th blog.)


  2. (i) Read books early and often to build an extensive vocabulary that will advance their writing quality throughout their careers; (ii) When ready, start writing articles initially for chapter and local publications in and outside golf; (iii) Then, eventually branch out to place articles in national publications; and (iv) Finally, present all their published writings within an appropriate link within their personal career web sites.


    I estimate that no more than one in fifty golf course superintendents commits to developing a quality writing component to advance their careers and to serve as a model for their children.


    Consistent professional writing is a guaranteed effective career enhancer that few superintendents take advantage of throughout their lifetimes.


  3. Always out-prepare the competition when applying for jobs other people want by following the series of blog message guidelines presented earlier in this blog series.


    My experience indicates that less than 50% of candidates are properly prepared to effectively compete for quality jobs. This translates into an open invitation to succeed for those candidates who do prepare arduously.


Just like you can't be a successful long distant runner when you start training only a week or two before a targeted race -- so too you can't prepare adequately for pedigree jobs on short notice.


However, with a meticulous longer range commitment to total preparation as profiled above pedigree jobs can be available to a wider younger audience of qualified candidates than ever before thought possible. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy.


Spread the word!


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