Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Working at an amusement park was so fulfilling for me. It is hiring time!

Getting your first job is a critical step in your development as a person. It is also critical that you enjoy your job. Work will not always be fun, but chances are that you will have more fun working at a place where folks go to let go instead of just any old place. Fun or not, you need to work. If you are an adult you have to work to pay the rent/mortgage, utilities and other bills. If you are a teenager, you need to learn how to make it in a workplace and learn social skills so that when you become an adult you will have those skills to hold onto a job and keep a roof over your head. I worked at Dorney Park for my first job and it was great. There were days that dragged on, but all of that was fixed by seeing one person get onto a ride scared, scream in fun and then jump off of the ride all excited and having a blast with their friends. Seeing that joy, seeing folks having a good time made the day go by so much smoother. Also seeing your friends drop by to say hi, or your new friends that you have met as a result of the job was always a great time as well.

Having fun with the guests was what got me through through days that felt like they dragged on. I say, if you have not worked at least two weeks in a service job, you do not know anything. You see so many different folks and see how they react to things. You see how you can be a better person and see folks making the mistakes you have made or may make in the future and see the repercussions of those mistakes. I would not trade the experiences I encountered and learned from my first job as a ride operator for anything. I learned how to keep an eye out for the safety of the guests while handling the demands of many folks. I learned how to keep a smile on my face regardless of anything. I learned how to handle someone who was acting belligerent and calm them down and more. All of these lessons I learned in that job have translated in some way to every job I have worked in since. It is critical that you go out and gain work experience as a teenager.

Additionally, working at an amusement park can lead towards promotional opportunities. My immediate ride supervisor stayed with the company through college and now he is the Dorney Park Ride Operations Manager. Other folks that stayed with the company have worked their way up as well. There is room for growth in that job. Just ask guys like Waldameer's Owner Paul Nelson, Dick Knoebel or former Dutch Wonderland owner Murl Clark about how you can work your way up from doing basic work to having a career at the park. This leads back to amusement parks being a crucial center to the communities they are located in. They do not just provide a place for communities to bond and let loose, but they provide an economic backbone to areas with all of the money they bring in an livelihoods for their workers.

Pretty much any amusement park is hiring right now, so track down your local amusement park, go to the office dressed respectably and fill out an application in addition to doing whatever is necessary online. Make a good impression and start a job that will be critical to your success in your development in life or in helping bring in some money to pay the bills.

If you live near Knoebels, check out this job fair. I also know for certain that Kennywood, Lakemont and Dorney Park are hiring right now. Pretty much every other park is probably hiring as well. Parks want to bring in reliable people to fill their jobs and not have to worry about filling these roles when it gets closer to the season. Go work in a place that people go to have fun!

Be sure to check out our new book "Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip," available with a free Conneaut Lake Blue Streak or Lakemont Leap the Dips ride ticket through the drop down menu at the top of the page. A portion of the proceeds go to help these parks. Our book is also available on Amazon and at book shops like Bradley's Books and many independent book shops.

1 comment:

  1. Amusement Parks are the ultimate resume builder for your first job or even a Summer gig between college years. Even if you do not think your future is in amusement parks, you will come away with skills in teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Each day is a different day at the park with unique challenges and achievements. You will also become family with your coworkers, and likely develop lifelong friendships.

    If your career aspirations are within our industry, start now! As Dave mentioned it beautifully, most park owners started out by working the front lines in some of the most random of jobs (our Mr. Nelson was a dishwasher and restroom janitor). Another example is former Cedar Point General Manager, John Hildebrandt, who began as a ride operator on the old Frontier Lift.

    Anyone in the Northwest region of Pennsylvania with an interest in seasonal work, make sure you check out Waldameer's Job Fair Saturday March 29th from 10:00am-3:00pm in Rainbow Gardens. Or apply any weekday in our Office during the month of April.

    See you at the park!