June 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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FACILITY & OPERATIONS 24 SportsTurf | June 2017 on the job. Your professional network is a great resource to help you through anything that may pop-up while trying to manage your field, because they are probably seeing or have seen the same issues. In my case, the job change also meant I would no longer be working with warm-season turfgrasses and onto cool-season turfgrass management with a new set of weeds. Make sure you know what you are getting into if you are switching turfgrass species or growing conditions. OTHER BENEFITS AVAILABLE Do not forget to have negotiations with your future employer about more than just pay. You should try to negotiate for them to be willing to pay for memberships to national and state professional organizations and travel to meetings every year. This is critical to ensure you will not lose that professional network you can lean on when things get tough, and it will allow you to stay updated on the latest information. I have heard others negotiate for vehicles, more vacation, flexible work hours, new equipment, a moving allowance, and even additional staffing. This is your chance to get some things you might struggle with getting later after you have your job, so make the most of it. Any change of jobs and move is not complete without considering your family. Make sure to research the cost of living, taxes, and where you might want to live in addition to information on your future job. States vary widely on income tax and property taxes, and those can really take a hit on your take-home pay. Also check to see if you would have to get different work-related licenses, or if they would transfer. We were lucky because Rachel is a nurse so her job is in demand anywhere in the US, but we realize not every career has that flexibility. Having your spouse find a job they are happy with can be just as important. To make things more in- teresting, 2 weeks after Adam accepted the job at Iowa State, we found out we were having a baby! For Rachel, it meant finding a new doctor and hospital to deliver in as soon as we moved. This created some stressful days while searching for a doctor. MOVING FOR NEW JOB: ONE FAMILY'S EXPERIENCE ■ BY ADAM AND RACHEL THOMS L ast year was filled with changes for us when in January Adam accepted a new position at Iowa State University as an Assistant Professor of Commercial Turfgrass. Before taking that position, we had to think about many items and decide if it was a good move for us. It is our goal that this article helps those of you that are thinking about a job change, and that some of these topics help make your transition a smoother one. When thinking about switching jobs, one of the first topics that came to mind was making sure this was a move in the right direction for our family as well as for Adam. We hope that it would be a highly important topic for you, too. Adam: I had enjoyed working at the University of Tennessee and with the great turfgrass team there, but I also wanted to be able to build my own research program and take it in my own direction. I was also excited the Iowa State position offered so much Extension opportunities with it, so I could increase my interactions with the field mangers. I had been in a heavy research position, so this would be a big change of pace. I think day-to-day work operations are relevant to any field manager looking to make a change. You have to consider whom you will be working with daily, and if you will enjoy working with them. Additionally, you should consider if you will still get to work with the field, or will it be more of a managerial role? Also important for any field manager is how well will you be able to communicate with the coaching staff or staffs. You have to feel comfortable being able to have a conversation, especially explaining what you are doing to the field and why the coaches need to move drills. Try to avoid situations where personalities don't match up well, especially with coaches or superiors, as you will only be making yourself miserable. In addition to your facility, you should also get a feel for turfgrass management in that state. I contacted several turfgrass managers in Iowa to help me get a feel for what issues they are facing, if there were new management restrictions, and how strong was the network of sports turf managers in Iowa. Every athletic field manager that I contacted, I felt gave good information to prepare me for what I would see in the first year Rachel, George, & Adam Thoms

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