I’m Dave Turner. I’ve worked as a Parks Section Manager for the City of North Vancouver, BC, and before that the Town of Caledon, Ontario for the past 26 years. Here is my story…
Q: What do you love about your job?
A: I love working with the people in parks and recreation. I love that I have the freedom to go outside and inspect our parks and trails frequently. I love it when we make the city look great and when we hold great events in the parks.
Q: How did you come to decide to pursue a career in this occupation?
A: I acquired a degree in Landscape Architecture and started working for a design/build/maintain firm whose main client was one of the largest developers and managers of luxury condominiums in Mississauga and Brampton. From there I moved into the public sector as Supervisor of Parks Operations and Development in Caledon.
Q: What are good traits or skills that someone should have when considering this career?
A: You need to be able to stay calm when everything seems to be falling apart. It’s a position that’s in the public eye so you have to be able to handle criticism and need to be able to motivate staff to perform well. There’s plenty of human resource aspects to the job and you have to be good at managing budgets.
Q: What advice would you give someone considering a career in the Parks Sector?
A: You can’t really beat the work but if pressure gets to you then consider something else. The good times are great but you will be dealing with large numbers of people and in the public eye so it can be too much for some. On the plus side how can you beat being a key person in helping to make a city look great!
Q: Do you have any hiring practices tips to share?
A: I think getting a strong grounding in the private sector as a manager of a landscape company is a good approach. It will help you gain the experience in dealing with the pressure and all of the people, financial and service provision aspects that will come into play in the public sector managers role.