Ask a child what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll probably get a typical response of doctor, veterinarian, race car driver, etc.
What you probably won’t hear is "I want to be a Landscaper".
As our industry continues to struggle with filling positions we keep looking for temporary or unreliable solutions such as the H2B program.
What we should have been doing, before we sought to outsource, is adjusting the image of landscapers and educating our youth about careers outside the office for the long-term opportunity of growing our talent pool.
For so long, high school graduates have been pressured to go to college, get a corporate position at a desk and work until we retire for financial security & success. But why?
There’s a number of outstanding benefits to working in the Landscape industry that no one is talking about.
Here are a few to consider:
✓ Fresh Air: Working outside in fresh air beats the cubical cesspool any day.
✓ Fitness: Some of our team members lost over 30 lbs. when they began landscaping. Who needs a gym membership with those kinds of results?
✓ Creativity: From Pruning to landscape and hardscape designing, there’s so much creative freedom in our field.
✓ Fulfilling: One of the best things about landscaping is the instant gratification of a freshly mowed lawn, Spring Cleanup or newly-designed landscape bed.
✓ Viability: Expanding into other divisions such as Holiday Lighting and Snow Removal enables landscapers to stay employed, with benefits year round at some companies.
✓ Variety: There’s so many skills that fall under the landscaping umbrella, from ponds and water features to landscape lighting. It’s tough to get bored in an industry that’s so diverse.
✓ Technology: As new products are developed new positions will be created. From robotic mowers to irrigation technologies, it lends itself to tech savvy individuals.
✓ Hands-On: Some individuals thrive in positions where they work with their hands. This doesn’t mean they aren’t smart or creative, it simply means their creativity and brilliance shines when they occupy their hands.
✓ Connection to Nature: Being connected to nature has been scientifically proven to have a therapeutic effect for most individuals.
Encourage our youth to stop imagining a corner office with a view if they can be the ones creating that view. Let’s empower them to see all the options and benefits of Landscaping.
Let’s make our industry sustainable by showing the world that it’s a valid and respectable career option.