How is your career doing? Or do you feel like you’ve just got a job? Either way, there is always more for you in your career or there’s a way to make it more than just a job. Maybe we can get there together?

PURPOSE

This is your reason for being in the career, the role, the “lane” you are in the golf industry. Basically, this is your why. Your customers, members and your employer need to know your why. (You may think, my employer doesn’t care about my why. If that is true for you, I suggest we get together. Maybe your why doesn’t resonate with them enough to make a difference for them, or they really don’t care. Either way, we can do something about it.)

As an example my why, as a Career Consultant now (and a Player Development Regional Manager from 2012-mid 2017) was and still is: “Be an integral part of reinvigorating the career and employment experience for PGA golf professionals I work with; help them enjoy greater professional fulfillment, job security and income.” That why is what drives me every day, and it’s why I do a fist pump when one of “my professionals” gets a new job they really wanted, or a raise because of engagement value they’ve created in their work, or a new opportunity. Being a part of your success, is the way I deliver value to the PGA professionals and the manner in which I find professional fulfillment.

Remember that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” (Simon Sinek – Start With Why, the most watched TED Talk in history…there’s a reason his comments on “inspiring leadership” are mentioned a lot by me and others. If you haven’t seen it, watch it…if you’ve watched it, watch it again and seek to learn something new.)

PLAN

Do you have a plan? Or do you just take what comes your way? It would seem, if you’ve got a plan, when a step needs to be taken forward, you take it. When an opportunity comes, that will or could get you off track, you opt not to take that step in your career. As a golf professional, I’m betting you don’t play golf that way. In fact, you teach (or have taught) recreational golfers to have a plan for managing their way around the course. Do you have a career plan?

From a golf angle, the true difference is how well your plan, your approach and your attitude “handle or react” to the bounces, breaks, lies, angles and situations that happen to you in your career.

  • Bounces: a great golfer can recognize a bad bounce or similar on the golf course, and not question the why it happened to them (because bad breaks happen to every golfer.) Recovery with applying skills, some patience and a positive attitude and related can overcome the bad bounces and help keep the score “on track.” Your career is the same – bad bounces happen.
  • Breaks: sometimes a great break will happen on the golf course, so the question is not why it happened, but can we take advantage of it. The best breaks are the ones that set the golfer up to make a birdie, but the putt still has to be made. Some great advice I got from Chris Thomas, PGA in 2011 was to BE READY for the break that was coming soon. He didn’t know what opportunity was coming my way, but he believed in me. As I think about this advice further, I will break his “be ready” down. I believe he meant I should be:
    • Ready, willing and seeking to see opportunities that others might miss (Note: there will be opportunities for you that are a perfect fit for you, but if you don’t have a why, and a plan, you’re likely to miss it.)
    • Ready and willing to keep working on my skills, improving my strengths, expanding my experience, etc. with a passion for “life-long learning”
    • Ready and willing to keep developing my professional network, including the people I learn from as mentors and coaches, but also those I influence, inspire and lead
    • Ready and willing to step out of the traditional “career lane” that I knew so well (this will not be true for all of us, but for some, it will be huge.)
  • Situations: From day to day, golf courses change because of weather, growth of grass (or not) and agronomic practices. Sometimes the path for playing a particular hole changes because of factors the golfer can’t control. Of course, it is in this variability that many find golf to be such a great game.
    • A difficult work situation with a new supervisor, a new board president or a new management company is much the same.
    • The previous “path for success” is no longer applicable because the situation has changed. Forcing the old path onto this new situation is not likely a good idea is it? But, maybe there is a new way that actually fits “your career game” better? Maybe a new approach, based on your skills and strengths, can work very well here? Maybe that will lead to greater success?

PERSPECTIVE and PROFESSIONALISM

Those last few questions under the “Situations” point are where perspective and professionalism really come into play. I recall falling into these situations and not handling them as well as I could have, and I have seen plenty of others do the same.

With mentors like Chris Thomas, PGA I did learn to handle them better. He gave me perspective and he challenged me to be patient, to take control (of what I could control) and to let go of what I couldn’t control. He helped me get the “flyover view” of the situation I was in. From this new perspective, I was able to see things I had missed. I could see my options, my opportunities and my path to succeeding through this situation. (Can I help you like Chris Thomas and many others have helped me?)

As a continued point, the fourth P is Professionalism. This is what the employers, the customers/members and many others see when we:

  • Live out our purpose
  • Follow our plan (and adjust on it when necessary)
  • Display and deliver based on a better, healthier perspective and;
  • Respond with (not react) with professionalism

Professionalism, in one sense, is like the result of having the first three P’s in the right place; it’s this nearly intangible P that leads others to be fans, followers and similar for us as golf professionals. Our professionalism, delivered with authenticity is what gives us the ability to lead, inspire and influence the customer or member base we are charge to engage with. Success in this area, then drives value for the employer, which then drives things like compensation. In that view, professionalism matters.

How can I help you define your why, find and clarify your personal “Four P’s” this year? As your Career Consultant, and your business coach, this is my goal. I hope to help you find job satisfaction, greater career stability and increased income. I look forward to the chance to learn more about you, your facility and your career vision.

 

Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional/Player Development | Career Consultant
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Serving PGA professionals, employers in the Pacific NW & Rocky Mountain PGA Sections
Email: Mkoch@pgahq.com Cell: 206/335-5260