My wife and I are Park Facility Operators in the Thompson Okanagan Region, contracted through BC Parks. We’ve done this for the past 4 years. Here is our story…
Q: What do you love about your job?
A: I love being outside. I don’t sit at a desk. I love all the people I get to meet. A great variety of people. I love the freedom to dictate your own day. There are lots of tasks that need to be done but you can determine in what order you want to do them. There are freedoms to create your own schedule. I love that I get to spend time with my family while I’m working. (Like many couples doing this, we split the workload between us.)
Q: How did you come to decide to pursue a career in this occupation?
A: My wife and I have both always wanted to do it. We saw the job in the newspaper and applied for it. It was meant to be.
Q: What are good traits or skills that someone should have when considering this career?
A: I think you have to be pretty good with communication and people skills. The majority of the time it’s talking to people. Making sure everyone’s enjoying themselves and if not help smooth that over and fix problems for people. You have to be good at different things. A bit of a handyman. Make sure you are flexible and you take the initiative to do things. You look at what needs to be done and do things.
Q: What advice would you give someone considering a career in the Parks Sector?
A: You have to be very flexible. You have to be able to deal with lots of different situations that arise and you have to not let people wind you up or take things too personally. A lot of times you have to tell people what they can’t be doing as well as what they can. You have to have a bit of a thick skin sometimes.
Q: Do you have any hiring practices tips to share?
A: My wife and I don’t hire for positions. If someone wanted to get hired with a contracting agency be friendly and personable in an interview. Dress tidy and casual and not too formal. Think about the relative skills you have and different experiences to back them up – For example, conflict resolution and interactions with people to demonstrate people skills.