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Profession: field manager

In collaboration with Mélanie Pageau

When we think of being a manager, we often imagine a high-rise building, offices overlooking downtown, and  carpets trodden by polished shoes and high heels. But what if your talent could be deployed in the great outdoors, in workspaces without walls or ceilings, with a view of the horizon, your hair blowing in the wind and your feet firmly planted on the ground?

Parc national du Mont-Mégantic Parc national du Mont-Mégantic
Parc national du Mont-Mégantic Catherine Bernier | © Sépaq

Each of our 46 establishments across Québec relies on the expertise of a solid management team, who meet day-to-day challenges with agility, collaboration, and pleasure. These managers are passionate about protecting, sustainably enhancing, and making accessible our magnificent territories and attractions for present and future generations. Thanks to them, visitors enjoy a unique and memorable experience. A noble mission, wouldn’t you agree? Connecting people to nature!

As you may have guessed, this job isn't just "9 to 5"; it requires travel "in the woods" in sometimes remote regions, and it often involves unforeseen events, especially those linked to Mother Nature's moods. If this sounds like you, and you like action, read on!

“To be honest, there isn't a day when I sit at my desk for eight hours straight," says Denis, sector manager at Réserve faunique des Laurentides. “I'm always out in the field, meeting people, whether employees or customers."

Réserve faunique des Laurentides
Réserve faunique des Laurentides Thomas Patry | © Sépaq
Réserve faunique des Laurentides
Réserve faunique des Laurentides Fred Campbell | © Sépaq

These travels, with specially adapted vehicles provided, take place in the heart of magnificent landscapes, where contact with wildlife is magical. Our managers appreciate this autonomy and time to reflect on the road, alone in their van. Colleagues are nevertheless accessible when needed, thanks to CB radio communication.

The human encounters are also memorable. With customers on vacation or enjoying their hobbies, as well as with colleagues who share our interests, the discussions are generally good-humoured! In particular, we share tips on the best "secret" hunting and fishing spots.

Variety, challenges, and solutions

If there's one constant in the work of field managers, it's variety! Generally early risers, they plan and distribute their team's work in their area of expertise, while rallying the troops for action. They also contribute to the management of the establishment via the management committee. Their day-to-day work is punctuated by the unexpected.

A woman of challenges and solutions, Johanne manages Sépaq's largest territory, Réserve faunique La Vérendrye. Straddling two administrative regions and covering four RCMs, this immense territory presents a number of challenges in terms of cohabitation and sustainable land use. This unique situation calls for listening and sensitivity. Firmly rooted in her community, Johanne knows how to call on experts and seek advice and collaboration. "You have to forge ahead and surround yourself with the right people," says Johanne, who is always on the lookout for new projects.

Réserve faunique La Vérendrye
Réserve faunique La Vérendrye Dominic Boudreault | © Sépaq
Réserve faunique La Vérendrye
Réserve faunique La Vérendrye © Sépaq

While some managers, like Denis and Johanne, have risen through the ranks within the organization, others have acquired their management experience elsewhere, in a vast array of fields: in factories, other outdoor enterprises, provincial and federal departments and ministries, municipal organizations, and various public and private bodies.

Stéphane, in charge of maintenance and infrastructure at Îles-de-Boucherville and Mont-Saint-Bruno national parks, comes from the world of organized events. A geographer by training, he has worked on the organization of high-level sporting competitions. The skills he has acquired serve him well in his current role. Field managers are experts in logistics organization!

Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville
Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville Mikaël Rondeau | © Sépaq
Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville
Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville Mikaël Rondeau | © Sépaq

Other desirable qualities include a love of people and nature, resourcefulness, and a can-do attitude. We are looking for people who stand out for their inspiring leadership, proactivity, and team spirit. Candidates must also demonstrate rigour, a flair for planning, and organizational skills, as well as the ability to handle the unexpected, make decisions, and manage priorities.

The different positions

Whether in a wildlife reserve, a national park, or a tourist establishment, management positions vary from one establishment to another. There is usually a director, supported by two or three managers (operations, customer service, maintenance and infrastructure, food services, conservation, and education), who rely on sector coordinators or managers to supervise the teams on a day-to-day basis. Larger establishments also have an assistant manager.

This wide variety of positions allows for internal mobility, whether for promotion or a change of establishment. All directors and most managers hold regular full-time positions. Those of coordinators are generally seasonal, and it is possible to accumulate two "seasons" by working in one establishment in summer and another in winter.

The nature of the work also varies throughout the year: it's more intense in the field during the "high season," while the tasks are more administrative, planning, or representational during the low season (often winter), which can then allow for telecommuting.

Sépaq Anticosti Mikaël Rondeau | © Sépaq

Anticosti, a unique environment

All our establishments have their own special charm. Anticosti, however, is unique and in a class of its own. This 5,700 km2 territory, in the heart of the St. Lawrence, accommodates the world's largest deer hunting outfitter, no less! Working here means living here... at island pace. All our employees and managers are lodged right on the island. Most work cyclical schedules, alternating weeks in the establishment with weeks at home.

Needless to say, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a treasure trove of beauty for you to discover. As a manager, you'll also be well served in terms of challenges, which are amplified by the site's geographical position and the immensity of the terrain to be covered, as great as the distance between Québec City and Montréal!

Sépaq benefits

Sépaq's strength lies in its human capital and the mutual support between the various establishments in Québec's largest outdoor network. Communities of practice bringing together people with the same expertise (conservation, for example) talk to each other regularly and are supported by experts from head office. Multidisciplinary groups also work on inspirational projects by pooling their expertise. What’s more, our managers are able to evolve and develop through ongoing training.

Other Sépaq benefits include the Employee Program, which provides free access to our destinations along with a number of discounts (up to half price) on our products and services; the defined-benefit pension plan (RREGOP); and daily allowances for transportation and sustainable mobility.

Need more arguments? Then keep going by reading on the articles below!

View management positions currently available

Mélanie Pageau

About Mélanie Pageau

A mother of two boys and an outdoor and adventure enthusiast, Mélanie is particularly fond of mountain biking, fat biking, cross-country skiing, long hikes, and other strenuous activities. In short, staying active in the great outdoors! A former journalist turned communications consultant, Mélanie joined Sépaq to combine her passions with her professional life.

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