Advice From the Field
One of the most important functions the PGA Career Consultants serve is keeping career planning and ongoing education on the front burner for PGA Professionals despite the many demands on their time.
“When I was a head professional at a green grass facility, I knew exactly what was going on in my 300 acres of responsibility, but sometimes I didn’t look beyond it,” says PGA Professional Keith Soriano, the PGA Career Consultant for the Colorado and Utah PGA Sections. “It gets difficult to look beyond that season or even the next week when things are busy – I know my assistants thought I was crazy when I made a schedule a month in advance. But, the fact is that we need to think ahead with our lives and our careers to keep on track.”
Soriano says he advises PGA Professionals to start the process of planning their careers by taking two steps. First, call your PGA Career Consultant for help in creating a career plan that looks up to 10 years down the road. And don’t just talk about those goals – put them down on paper, or in your computer or phone, and refer to them on a regular basis.
Second, talk with your PGA Career Consultant, your current employer and your peers about your skill set. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, then address those skill gaps through PGA Education opportunities, mentorships and other avenues. This will help make you more valuable to your current employer while preparing you for the potential next steps in your professional evolution.
“Life comes at you fast, and you want to be ready when opportunities arise,” Soriano says. “We don’t do it on purpose, but sometimes we mistake experience for growth and readiness.”
As an example, he cites a recent example in his territory where a head professional left a club abruptly, and the director of golf needed to fill the position in seven business days. “That was a great job, and maybe that was someone’s dream job,” Soriano says. “If your dream job came open out of the blue and you weren’t ready for it, think how crestfallen you’d be when you realized that you missed a chance at a job that might not come open again for 10 or 15 years. On the other hand, if you pushed yourself a little bit and bettered yourself, you’d be ready for any opportunity.”
An additional benefit beyond being ready for your next job? Being more valuable to your current employer, which can improve your job security and compensation – and your job satisfaction. Soriano also suggests using PGA tools, such as the Revenue Scorecard, to show your impact to your employer and have data you can cite about your performance when you’re seeking a new position.
“PGA Professionals tend to be humble by nature, and we can often do a better job telling our story to owners and operators,” Soriano adds. “When you’re challenging yourself to improve, your impact and engagement increases, and that makes you more valuable. That growth helps keep you in your job until you’re ready to leave on your terms for the next step on your career path.”
For additional information and more career advice please reach out to your Career Consultant