Friday, November 16, 2012

Ben Jacobs on Skill Sets and mentoring

In part 2 of Brian Lawatch's interview with Ben Jacobs, Fuels Management Specialist for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, about the importance of gaining both operational and administrative skills as well as mentoring.

Video Highlights:
  •  As times continue changing, what skill sets do you believe will become most necessary for future resource stewards?
    • Become specialized in what you do but ensure that you have well-rounded set of field  skills that they can share with others coming up in the ranks.
    • Fire managers must understand resource management and issues.
    • Develop your writing skills.
  •  How important do you feel a mentor's role is in career development? And did you have a mentor or someone who inspired you?
    • The relationship between the mentor and the mentee must be positive and rewarding for both individuals. If it doesn't work with one mentor/mentee, seek another out.
    •  Learn by watching.
    • Be open to learning.
  • What is a great risk that you've taken in the past that paid off in the end?
    •  Step outside your comfort zone. 
      • Take a detail.
  • What is a setback you've experienced that seemed like a failure but turned into an advantage at some point later on?
    • At some point, you just have to let go of the negativity.
  • What regrets do you have and how have you learned from them?
    • Letting the work/life balance get skewed by prioritizing work over private life.
  • How have you balanced work with the rest of your life?
    • Make the time.
    • Take your weekends when you can.
    • Take your leave. 
  • How has the experience of working with the National Park Service added to your life?
    • Mission aligns with personal values.
  • What makes this more than a job for you?
    • Be passionate about what you do.
    • Like what you do.

Thanks to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center for this contribution.

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