We spend, what, 40-50 years of our lives working? Who can imagine doing one job for their entire lives and not growing, evolving, or building upon successes? Not me! Sometimes this means that you need to completely change careers to be happy. Not an easy proposition, for sure, and a question that I’m asked a lot.
As with anything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to make it happen. Ready for a story about one of my very favorite clients and how we made a massive career change happen together? (Though of course all the resume writing fundamentals still apply.)
We’ll call him James. This is his story.
James reached out to me for help in transitioning from a career as a mortician to golf course superintendent – his dream job. He had recently moved to The Valley from Colorado where he lived in a small community named Columbine. You see, he was one of the local morticians who was called upon to help families work through saying goodbye to their children. In fact, James was one of the best reconstruction artists in the entire state.
Needless to say, James lost his passion for working with grieving families. He had always felt his career was a true calling, but facing – and conquering – the necessity of transforming brutally disfigured children into a condition in which their families could say goodbye to them drained away James’ passion.
He needed a change and a new direction. Luckily, James had done his homework.
1. First, he knew what he wanted to do (become a golf course superintendent).
2. Second, he had already worked through enrolling in classes at a local community college. These would eventually lead to qualifying for multiple Arizona Department of Environmental Quality certifications dealing with pesticides, water runoff, and environmental protection.
3. Third, he was willing to start at the bottom and do the work. He understood that achieving his goal might require multiple steps.
These three things landed him his first job in golf. It wasn’t on a PGA course and it wasn’t glamorous, but it was in his new field. He gained valuable experience in seeding, grass types, and water systems – and it wasn’t more than 6 months before he was running a crew in a leadership role. After one year, he qualified to join the PGA and we added this experience to his resume – landing him an Assistant Superintendent job at a smaller PGA course.
Today, James is in charge of an extremely popular course in Scottsdale, AZ that is on the official PGA tour. Maybe you’ve even seen him rolling around in his golf cart making sure that the guest experience is superb and that all 7,000+ acres are award-winning quality.
Say hi if you see him. Because that guy in the golf cart taking care of the grounds is a real hero who not only helped devastated parents through their worst nightmares, but turned his own role from tragedy into sprouting green growth 12 months a year.