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The NC Recre8'er - is the Blog for NC Recreation and Parks Professionals. We will feature posts from NCRPA members and staff about all the latest news, insights and tips in our field and around the state. Topics will include but are not limited to: Health and Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Athletics, Advocacy, Aquatics, Therapeutic Recreation, Special Events, Marketing, Parks and Greenways, Cultural Resources and more! If you are interested in being a guest blogger please contact Matt at NCRPA Matt@ncrpa.net or 919-832-5868. The opinions of The NC Recre8'er (NCRPA) blog contributors don't necessarily reflect the editorial position of North Carolina Recreation and Park Association as a whole.

 

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YPN Blog: May 2018

Posted By Chris Allen, Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation, Thursday, May 3, 2018
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2018

The beginning of each year highlights National Mentoring Month, when we applaud the dedicated individuals that give their time and experience to benefit others.  After all, mentoring offers so many professional and personal benefits for people of all ages and backgrounds. According to the National Mentoring Partnership, of individuals that obtain mentors during any point in their professional careers, 90% are interested in becoming a mentor themselves and 130% are likely to be placed in leadership roles within their organization.  By preparing young professionals and advanced professionals alike, mentorship helps develop the future workplace talent pipeline. Mentors can help their mentees with their professional careers and assist with their workplace skills, so it is important that mentees sure their selected mentor has their best interest in mind when pursuing a mentor-mentee relationship.

Before you start having recurring nightmares of Farnsworth Bentley holding Sean “Diddy” Combs’ umbrella, mentors aren't just for reality television stars. A mentor is an individual that helps guide your development professionally and sometimes personally. In an increasingly competitive job market, a good mentor might be just what you need - whether you're a recent graduate or an experienced professional in your field and looking to make the next move. Before making that move, consider why you want a mentor. Mentors can be useful whether you are stagnate at your position or in a transitional period. A mentoring relationship should not be entered for its own sake. When looking for a mentor, don’t forget to consider finding one in your existing network. There are plenty of ways to find a mentor, but through your network on- and offline can sometimes be the best avenue. Once you have selected a mentor, make sure you are upfront about your goals and how those goals will be measured. It is important to develop the right mentor-mentee chemistry to ensure a successful relationship. As a reminder, a good mentor could be the catalyst that takes you to your desired position, so maintaining a good relationship could save stress to both parties.

So, to the professionals that are searching for mentors, be sure to take your time with your selection. It could be the difference between just working for a department or one day potentially becoming the department director.


Meet the Author

Chris “Ross” Allen originally from Wake Forest, NC, obtained his Bachelor’s in Athletic Administration from North Carolina Central University and his Master’s in Sports Management from the same university.  Chris has worked for the town of Wake Forest as Maintenance Specialist and the City of Durham as a Recreation Specialist. He is currently the Recreation Coordinator for the City of Rocky Mount. Chris is currently a board member for the National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society while also serving as a Region Chair with the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association.

Chris can be reached at chris.allen@rockymountnc.gov or 252.972.1170

 

If you are interested in being a guest author for the YPN Blog, please contact Nicole at nicole@ncrpa.net or 919-832-5868.

Tags:  mentor  mentorship  professional development  young professionals  ypn 

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YPN Blog: February 2018

Posted By Peter Raymer, Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, Thursday, February 1, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

It was an honor to be named the 2017 NCRPA Young Professional Fellowship Award Recipient! Not only has this been a financial benefit for our department, but it has also served as a very important professional opportunity for me!

Financially, this came at a great time considering our city faced across-the-board budget reductions. The department’s travel and training line item was no exception. I would have had to forgo attending the state conference or other professional pursuits this year, but fortunately, thanks to this fellowship, I was able to attend this year’s conference. In addition, the rest of our team will still have an opportunity to pursue their continuing education this fiscal year.

In addition to the financial benefit of this fellowship, NCRPA also arranges a professional mentor. I was very fortunate to be appointed mentee of Ernie Pages, Director of the Town of Kernersville. Right off the bat, I was impressed with Ernie’s “drive” both literally and figuratively. When we were paired up, Ernie was currently in New Orleans for the national conference. He offered to come up to Mount Airy on Friday morning, the day after returning from the national conference. I was even more impressed when I found out he had driven from New Orleans the day prior and hadn’t arrived until that same morning we had met in Mount Airy. I came to find out that this action personifies Ernie as a person and a professional. He is a motivated individual and looks at challenges or setbacks as opportunities. Ernie and I have kept in touch and met up throughout the state conference. It was a great experience for me to learn how Ernie climbed the ladder and the defining moments along the way. As an expecting father myself, I really appreciated that Ernie also shared his experiences of balancing his professional life with being a family man. Not only was I able to add a great mentor in Ernie to my professional network, but he also made a point to introduce me to the impressive Town of Kernersville Parks and Recreation team. I look forward to visiting them all soon in Kernersville, learning more about their department and using them as a professional references in the future!

Ernie echoed a message that particularly stood out to me throughout the conference: “Put yourself out of your comfort zone. Ask for or take on a task that will help you prepare for where you want to be.” I heard this message several other times in conference sessions. My biggest takeaway from these sessions was that, although I may not be ready to take the next step at this moment, I may be ready in 3 years or 5 years. It is important to gain these skills, relationships and experiences now, so when I am ready to take the next step, my resume will match my ambitions. I always leave the state conference rejuvenated and re-energized but in particular this year I am coming back with a determination to not only improve each program I oversee but also to take on new challenges that may be out of my comfort zone but will make me a better professional and candidate one day when the time is right.

I’m very grateful to have received the fellowship and this experience. I’m looking forward to taking full advantage of the educational and networking opportunities and implementing what I have learned into a very successful 2018!


Meet the Author

Peter Raymer began his career in Parks & Recreation as a teenager serving as a sports official with Iredell County Parks & Recreation. Peter attended NC State University and received his Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management degree in 2008. Peter worked stints with Raleigh Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources and Honolulu YMCA before finding his “true paradise” in the City of Mount Airy Parks & Recreation Department as Program Supervisor in 2010. Peter spends most of the year programming youth and adult athletics and spends the summers directing youth summer camps. Peter says that the highlight of his job is getting to know everyone in the community and he strives to have a positive impact on everyone that participates in MAPR programs. Peter continues to officiate soccer and basketball and enjoys exercising and spending time with his family.

Peter can be reached at praymer@mountairy.org or 336-786-8313.

If you are interested in being a guest author for the YPN Blog, please contact Nicole at nicole@ncrpa.net or 919-832-5868.

Tags:  carolinas joint conference  conference  mentorship  young professionals  ypn 

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