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Just Ask Jan: Shifting Gears

Posted By Amanda Parsons, Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Dear Jan, 

I’ve been working in recreation programming for 3 years, and while I enjoy the environment of parks and recreation, I’d rather support my P&R department from an administrative level.  The work itself feels so different than what I’m currently doing – is it even possible to change careers?  What’s my first step?

Sincerely, 

Shifting Gears

 

Dear Shifting Gears,

If administrative work is your bag, Parks & Recreation is the perfect place to learn, develop and hone administrative skill sets! From tasks such as cashiering at the front desk to data entry to class and reservation permit management to registration software administration to promotional marketing and graphic arts focus to office management and contracting, there are so many avenues to explore in administrative support. 

I recommend starting with skills that you already have in your Parks & Recreation portfolio and examine your past education and work experience and start rebuilding your resume.  You can ask your current supervisor if there is a need within your agency for some project administrative assistance and then demonstrate your interest and talent in your abilities as an administrator.

Don’t be afraid to try different options and learn new software applications in areas of finance, human resources, and record management, legal, planning and building, permitting and other outlets to build your administrative resume.

Sometimes a job just pops up so don’t forget to check out the ORPA job board for openings at other Parks & Recreation agencies too. An opening may be right around the corner for you and I wish you luck with your search!

Sincerely,

Jan

 


 

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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