Parks and recreation is a terrific industry that can offer a number of fulfilling and rewarding job opportunities. While very specific skill sets are required in certain positions, there are common skills that many (if not all) parks and rec staff learn to develop over time, whether it’s behind the scenes, frontline work, or mostly spent outdoors. These acquired skills are lifelong proficiencies that individuals carry forward and can be advantageous for their future endeavors.
Here are five skills that parks and rec professionals have that benefit any organization:
Leadership, while necessary in a number of disciplines, is particularly important in many parks and rec positions. This is much more than just managing staff or completing tasks in a timely manner. Rather, it is the ability to build trust and relationships between individuals. Leading a team is about sharing a vision and being able to inspire motivation to achieve that vision. Since parks and rec organizations often manage a number of projects at any given time, it’s important that individual team members step up to help lead their teams to success.
Since parks and rec organizations often handle many projects at once, organization is a critical skill to master for positions within the field. Keeping projects on time and on budget, completing milestones in a timely manner, coordinating and working effectively with government officials, and handling volunteers are just a few of the things required of parks and rec projects. Without stellar organizational skills, it can be easy to get lost in the mix of the day-to-day responsibilities. Having organizational skills is an asset to a number of jobs outside of a career in the parks and rec industry too, since they often help increase efficiency.
Working Well with Others
Working efficiently with others is paramount for almost any position, but this is especially significant in a parks and rec team. With separate project teams working towards an organization’s goals to further environmental conservation efforts, social equity, and the well-being of their communities, being able to complete projects and introduce programs to the community on schedule relies heavily on teamwork.
Communication is crucial within and outside of a parks and rec organization. Between new projects, community programs, and government proposals, being able to communicate effectively is highly important. In a worst-case scenario, getting your wires crossed and miscommunicating important information can mean losing government, community support, or memberships at your organization.
Having a vision for the future of your parks and rec organization is important for the advancement of the well-being of your community. Seeing the big picture and planning your projects around this vision is crucial, so that you can ensure everything achieved within your project teams will benefit this overarching goal. Needless to say, an aptitude for foresight is transferrable to any job outside of parks and rec as well, since you will be aligning your team forward with the vision shared by your organization.
A career in parks and recreation means developing invaluable, lifelong skills that can be applied to your future endeavors. While the parks and rec industry is fast-paced, it also yields a highly rewarding experience. If you’re hoping to start a career in parks and rec, be sure to research what requirements are needed, such as post-secondary education or certification . Check out our tips for your parks and rec job search and our pointers on interviewing well for parks and rec jobs.
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