Leisure Services for General Wellbeing

By ACS Distance Education on February 5, 2019 in Careers, Health & Jobs Success | comments
Leisure services for general wellbeing include a broad range of industries and positions, such as restaurants, parks, playgrounds, tourist centres, entertainment centres, sporting facilities, and so on. Really, it can be anywhere where people actively spend time with a view to relaxation and enjoyment.   

Scope of Work

Anyone who works in private or public gardening needs equipment and materials to do their work, from fertilisers and seeds to machinery and tools. They may also require services to help maintain equipment. Enterprises that provide these products and services vary in size and scope of work. Many are small family businesses that are catering to a small and perhaps local or specialist market. Others can be very large with dozens, and perhaps hundreds of employees. Some may employ thousands.

The products or services offered must cater to market needs which are constantly changing; hence the products offered need to be constantly changing. Whether small or large, any sustainable enterprise in this sector will be actively involved in research and development, manufacturing and delivery of the product (or service) and marketing. In a small family business, the same person or people may need to fulfill all these work roles; but in most medium or larger enterprises, different staff will specialise in research and development, manufacturing, delivery and marketing.

Examples of products may include: tree, shrub, flower and lawn seed, fertilisers, plant pots, potting media (soil mixes, soil substitutes), irrigation equipment, garden tools, garden machinery, machine servicing and repair, horticultural fabrics, greenhouses and other garden buildings, landscaping materials.

This sector covers not only manufacture and wholesale supply and servicing, but also includes retail garden centres, plant nurseries, hiring specialist equipment, providing consulting services, professional associations, garden clubs and even government departments conducting research or providing trade representation. This industry sector is sometimes referred to as “allied trades”.

What You Need to Learn

  • Event management - knowledge of how to arrange tours & events, liaising with event contractors
  • Project management - plan and oversee projects from beginning to end, large or small  
  • Communication skills - how to interact with customers, network with tour operators, make bookings
  • Marketing skills - promotions & advertising, fundraising
  • Selling skills - sell tours, events, products, keeping inventories
  • Health & safety - assessment of risks & hazards, use of personal protective equipment, fire alarms & drills, location of first aid kits, basic first aid procedures, OH & S standards
  • Legal & ethical issues - legislation, sanitation, etc.
  • Maintenance - grounds, gardens, buildings, furnishings

Starting a Career

There are many ways to start a career in the leisure industry. For convenience, we can separate this sector into sports & fitness, entertainment & dining, and outdoor pursuits.

If you are mainly interested in sports & fitness leisure then you might look at getting jobs in swimming pools, sports grounds, parks which house sports facilities, ski resorts, and so on.

Entertainment & dining establishments often offer casual positions during the busiest times of year and this could be a good way to get some basic experience.  

Outdoor pursuits could include parks, gardens, reserves, guided walks, and so forth. Again, there are often seasonal jobs which could help you to get a feel for this industry sector.

Whichever area of leisure appeals to you most, you can increase your chances of getting started in this field by:

  • Taking some foundation study courses - learn the basics
  • Join some local clubs - e.g. sports clubs, garden clubs
  • Volunteer to help out at community events - e.g. help arrange the seating, prepare or serve food, etc.     

Progressing a Career

To progress a career in leisure you need to expand your skill set. This means as you take on more senior roles you can side step if necessary (e.g. from a sports facility to a holiday resort) where you can continue to gain experience. Being multi skilled also equips you to meet challenges and evolve as a person.

Some ways to build your skills and industry knowledge include:

  • Undertake professional development -  take training opportunities within and outside of work
  • Take courses - online, part time and distance education provide excellent opportunities to boost your knowledge
  • Go to workshops and seminars where you can
  • Join a professional industry body - you can keep up to date with what's happening in your industry
  • Go to trade shows, fairs and conferences - you'll find out about products and services, the latest technology, what's new overseas, etc.
  • Network - talk to others in your industry, join online interest groups, etc.