Rec Relief: The Overnight Success That Took 10 Years.

Rec Relief is on the verge of a big change. Due to the overwhelming support and demand from local government recreation and leisure recruiters it’s time to expand our services.

And while I’m over the moon about growing the business, what makes me even happier is that people on both sides of the business, staff and recruiters, are seeing and buying into my vision for attracting the most talented people in the recreation and leisure space to work in a flexible way, where their actions matter to the communities they work for and live in.

But of course every overnight success story has a decade of hard work and uncertainty behind it.

It’s been 10 years and 7 months to the day since Rec Relief was born.

How do I know this?

Because I still have the “Certificate of Registration of Business Name” from Consumer Affairs Victoria in a sealed plastic pocket. I know, it should be mounted on the wall in a corporate looking frame (isn’t that how new businesses do it?), but I couldn’t afford one back then.

I couldn’t afford anything back then… Why?

I left my well-paying job in Local Government (with car, phone and even holiday leave loading provided) to pursue a business in…. Something,

I wasn’t actually sure how to explain what the business was going to do back then, but I did know that the industry that I had worked hard in for so long, one that provided for communities and children at a local level was losing the most talented people, and I knew why.

See, I’d been in local government for a while now, I knew the recreation and leisure space across a number of councils, and I knew the bureaucracy and lack of flexibility that came with it.

This combined with different cultures matching different personality types and a lack of emphasis on the real impact and importance of the roles we were playing meant there was something missing.

The lightbulb came on a long time ago though…

It all started in the year 2006 when I was asked if I would like to backfill my friends’ job at a neighbouring council after the birth of her 2nd child.  This was a step up in responsibility, an opportunity to meet new people and an opportunity to see how things were done at another Council. So of course I jumped at it!

After the initial fear of having to learn the names of 350 new people, finding my way around a new office and of course finding my way around a new municipality (Google Maps was not a thing back then), I thought to myself…wouldn’t it be good if there was someone in the industry that could just bounce from job to job, backfilling recreation and leisure roles, that already knew what she or he was doing? You know, like a skilled, experienced, professional that could just turn up and say “I’m here” and “I’m about to make your life easy”! Little did I know that I was going to be that person.

So after my secondment had finished and I went back to my substantive role, that idea kept poking at my brain every now and then. But I knew I didn’t have experience in all areas of recreation and leisure. I needed more time to build credibility and to be a truly versatile and sought after roaming recreation professional.

Bang! I resigned (like ripping off a band aid with your eyes shut), moved to the city and became a Recreation Planning Consultant. I was excited. I started to meet all sorts of new people across lots of Councils and I was writing all sorts of exciting strategies and plans. But 6 months in I realized I loved working in Local Government. Yes, you heard it. I loved working IN Local Government. Not outside of it, not along side of it, but IN it. And I missed it. I missed the eclectic mix of people, I missed working as part of a team, I missed being able to lead people and drive change and to make a difference to the people who received the services. I couldn’t go back, but I could go forward.

So again, I resigned from my consultancy job without having any idea of what I was going to do or how I was going to do it. Until one day I was running around the tan and a couple of brain cells collided. Where was that skilled, experienced and professional recreation expert who could save the day? She was here all along and she just came up with a name for her new business…Rec Relief.

Within a couple of months of getting the logistics of running a business in order, I was being booked to backfill roles and deliver projects on a temporary basis. I was working from one side of the state to the other, often working for a different council each day of the week.

I was in heaven. This was my idea of a dream job.

Doing a job I was great at and one where I cared about the results, while having variety and meeting new people on a regular basis. Perfect.

Fast forward another 10 years and Rec Relief is still delivering projects and backfilling roles within Victoria, but now there are 15 Rec Relief staff doing this.

It makes sense for each of these talented people, just like it did for me. Distributing your skills where they are needed most, experiencing different environments and importantly, receiving ongoing support and advocacy.

Their skills and experience range considerably, which means we have the right solution to every problem. Rec Relief has become known as a specialist provider of temporary staff in the niche industry of recreation and leisure within Local Government.

It’s now 2018 and time for change.

Rec Relief is no longer just a provider of temporary recreation and leisure staff.  Due to the depth of experience of our people across multiple councils our people are some of the happiest and most sought after professionals in the industry.

I say this with a big smile on my face and the feedback from both our people, and local government recruiters to prove it.

Rec Relief is now Rec People.

Why? Because we are not a company that provides “relief” any longer, we are a service that provides the best PEOPLE for the role, whether the role is permanent, temporary, project-based, a mentoring position or even a graduate position.

Yes, that’s right – we are turning our hand to designing and managing graduate programs to attract the best young talent. Helping them begin their career in local government and experience the fulfilment of delivering for the communities they live in and work for.

Rec People will become synonymous with a career in Local Government within the Recreation and Leisure sector.

Employers and employees will benefit equally from this expertly crafted business built by a founder who works in it, rather than external to it.

What was just a business name on a certificate 10 years and 7 months ago is now something I am truly proud of.

It has a heart, it has a soul, it has it’s own personality, and now… It has a new name.

One that reflects the growth and maturity of the business and the fantastic people in it.

We cant wait to see what the next 10 years has in store for Rec People and we’re so grateful for all of the congratulations and support we’ve received to date.

Oh, and hopefully now, I can afford that bottle of wine ;).

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