February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 51

O'Connell encourages park and recreation
professionals to obtain their CPRP
certification, take on challenges and be
open to relocation to build their career.
Parks and recreation doesn't always
get the respect it deserves. It
is usually the first thing that gets
cut when budgets are tight. That
can - and often does - mean that
positions are lost. If you want your
park and recreation job to be your
park and recreation career, you
should consider the following:
Get your CPRP certification
now! Even though I was encouraged
by my longtime employer to
get my CPRP, I put it off for several
years. It wasn't required in my coordinator
position, and I didn't see
the value to me in that position.
As I mentioned earlier, not having
my CPRP probably cost me a
chance at advancement. You may
not think you need it now, but if
the time comes that you want to or
have to change jobs, you'll be glad
that you can put the letters CPRP
after your name on your résumé.
A CPRP shows your agency and
prospective employers that you are
a serious, dedicated park and recreation
professional.
Take on new challenges. Just
about every department has some
level of specialization, and most
park and recreation professionals
start out in a specialty. Just about
every department has opportunities
to cross over into other areas. Most
of us have been asked to help with
a special event, or a camp or something
that's not in our area of expertise.
Don't shy away from those
moments - they are not burdens;
they're opportunities. They help
you expand your base of knowledge.
And, they show your supervisors
and your co-workers that you
are a team player. And sometimes,
they're fun! Have you ever been the
emcee of an Easter egg hunt? Have
you dressed in a chicken costume
for a wing fest? Or have you played
Santa in a Christmas play? I have,
and I had a blast every time!
Be open to relocation. This is a
tough one. Most of us live where
we live for reasons that may have
little to do with work. Maybe you
grew up there or your family is
there. Maybe you just can't imagine
living anywhere else. Well, I
understand. But have you looked
at the NRPA Career Center (nrpa.
org/Careers) lately? There are opportunities
all over the country
and some truly wonderful places to
live and work. In my case, I lived
in the Chicago area until I was 35.
We moved because both my wife
and I were, frankly, sick of freezing
through every winter. I lived in
the Atlanta area for 22 years, and I
loved it! But, when the opportunity
came to take this position, I knew
that it was time. It didn't hurt that
my new opportunity was in sunny
Florida! It was scary - I had never
even been to Vero Beach. I didn't
know anyone and didn't really
know what I was getting into. But
I'm glad to say that it has worked
out very well. I like to think that our
city manager, my boss, would agree
with that statement. The point is,
sometimes we have to work up the
courage to make changes. Any opportunity
for growth is also a risk.
Be open to opportunities - even if
they are risky.
Looking back, I couldn't have
predicted 30 years ago that I'd end
up here, doing this. But I love the
job, I love our profession - and
I suspect that you do, too. So, let
your job become your career and
take the steps needed to make sure
that you get the most out of it!
Jim O'Connell is Director of Vero Beach
(Florida) Recreation Department
(jo'connell@covb.org).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | FEBR U AR Y 2 0 2 4 | Parks & Recreation
51
http://nrpa.org/careers

February 2024 - Parks and Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2024 - Parks and Recreation

February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Intro
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover1
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover2
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 1
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 2
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 3
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 4
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 5
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 6
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 7
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 8
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 9
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 10
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 11
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 12
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 13
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 14
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 15
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 16
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 17
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 18
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 19
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 20
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 21
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 22
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 23
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 24
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 25
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 26
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 27
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 28
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 29
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 30
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 31
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 32
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 33
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 34
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 35
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 36
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 37
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 38
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 39
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 40
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 41
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 42
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 43
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 44
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 45
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 46
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 47
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 48
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 49
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 50
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 51
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 52
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 53
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 54
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 55
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 56
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover3
February 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com