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Just Ask Jan: Wanderlust

Posted By Amanda Parsons, Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Dear Jan, 

For the last 7 years I’ve worked at the same community center in my home town.  I love my co-workers and my community.  However, opportunities to move up are infrequent.  The last position I applied for my agency ended up hiring from outside.  I’m thinking about leaving my center to find a promotion in a new place.  What advice do you have for finding (and securing) a job outside of my agency?




Dear Wanderlust,

Your question brings back fond memories.

I worked a long time at my first position in the town where I lived and that job served as a foundation for every position I have had since. There are many mentors and friends to thank for the experiences, training and encouragement!

You know when you are ready to move on, and good for you that you recognize where you stand. First order is to plan and map out where you want to be in the next 5, 10, 15 years in your career. While you are looking at other position recruitments, is there training that you are interested in pursuing?  Ask yourself if you are willing to commute or possibly move to a different community, state or country.

My advice is to look for a position with responsibilities that are similar and a bit elevated compared to the one you have now. Make sure the position description meets your expectations. Freshen up your resume, check out and read up interview skill websites, and practice interviewing with your friends and family. Then, go ahead and apply to various jobs that are of interest to you.

Please don’t wait until you feel burnt out, taken advantage of and/or uninspired.  You will find the right fit, it may take some time, so don’t get discouraged, keep trying and you never know, another position may pop-up in your current agency!

Chin up, and Good Luck!





Jan Wirtz is the Recreation Superintendent at Lake Oswego Parks & Recreation.  With her years of history comes sage career advice for park and recreation professionals at any level in their career.

Submit a question to Just Ask Jan to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.

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