Are you a gardener and looking to grow and develop in your career? Are you ready to take that next step, perhaps to have more tasks and responsibilities, or to earn a higher salary? Or perhaps you are considering becoming a professional gardener. Either way, it is of great importance to know how you can grow in your job and your career. So that you can achieve the career goals you want. And so that you can feel successful, and be happy in your gardening role!
So how do you become a successful gardener?
What is Success?
When looking to become a successful gardener it is firstly important that you clarify for yourself what success means. Success can mean completely different things for everybody. It really depends on how you view your career, what you want to get out of it. But also in life in general.
Lots of people will link the feeling of success to money. They would argue that the higher the salary, the more successful they feel in their job. If making (more) money indeed makes you feel successful – excellent! Because it doesn’t matter what exactly it is that makes you feel successful, it is about finding out what it is, for you. Because once you know, you can then set your goals and make a plan on how to achieve them and feel successful.
So if money indeed is the main thing you want to focus on. Then earning more money, or the potential to get a higher salary will motivate you in your job.
So when you know this you can try to apply this into your gardening job. Can you think of ways on how to increase your salary? This can come in the form of a pay rise, or maybe have a bonus structure added in your contract. Or perhaps move from a freelance agreement to a set contract with secure, higher rates.
So practically, how do you get this done? A good place to start is to have an open and honest conversation with the people you do gardening work for, about a pay rise. But before you do so, make sure you have prepared clear reasons why a pay rise would be deserved. Perhaps you have been working there for several years, without a raise in salary yet. Or perhaps you have accumulated new skills that you have been adding to your work. Finally, you can check if your salary is in line with the average rate in your country. Also, make sure you are being paid as least minimum wage!
For some other people, however, money is not their main motivator. Being successful for them might mean having and keeping the same job for a very long time. This is something that is becoming more and more rare and people are currently more likely to change positions quite soon. Sometimes even within a year.
But if you really enjoy working for the same household or family as a gardener for a long period of time, or if this is something you want to achieve. Then start looking at ways to show the people you work for that you are a worthwhile long term investment. And that you are able to keep adding value to your work!
This can look different in different setups. Firstly, employers like consistency. Therefore make sure you do your job well, consistently. Make sure to show up on time, and don’t take to many sick days if you don’t really have to. When your employer knows they can rely on you, they are more likely to keep you as their gardener for the long term.
Invest in Training
Secondly, invest in training and updating your skills. Even if you have been doing the same job for 10 years, there are still things you could learn! The industry, and the households you work for, will be changing, and you should grow with it.
It is vital to do regular training courses to keep you up to date with industry standards and learn new skills. You would be surprised how rusty you might have gotten – or how you can improve things that you have been doing the same way for many years. Training is a way for you to be able to diversify your skillset. It shows you are willing to invest in your growth. And to overall become a more successful gardener!
Finally, you might not care so much about money, or staying in the same job for the long term. Maybe your idea of success is having a great work/life balance. Perhaps you have a family or children you want to spend lots of time with. If this is you, then make sure you find a job where this is a realistic possibility.
Some gardening jobs are much more time consuming than others. There are gardening and groundsmen jobs where you will be living on the land of the property. So if it is work/life balance that you are after, that might not be the right thing for you. As it will not allow you to see your family or spend time at home, during your working week.
However, keep in mind that every job and setup can be different. Especially when it comes to gardening roles. So when you are looking for a new gardening role, make sure you understand the setup and expectations. So that you can make sure it fits in with your family life.
Try to avoid committing to a job that does not fit into your lifestyle. It is not fair on yourself, your family, or your employer and will never work in the long run. So make sure to have a good understanding of what is required from you in any new role. Do the hours work? Do you get the free time you want? To spend time with your family? And make sure all of that matches.
How to Become Successful
Knowing the above, knowing what works for you is one important part. But what else can you do to become a successful gardener?
Have a variety of skills and offer flexibility
Firstly, being a gardener is an extremely versatile job. A successful gardener is able to multitask and adapt to any situation quickly and thoroughly. So to become a really successful gardener, work on having a variety of gardening and groundsmen skills, and the ability to be flexible. You need to be ok with last-minute tasks coming at you and setups changing regularly.
Be organised and calm
If you have been working as a private household gardener already, you will most likely know that the job can at times be very high demanding, and stressful. Dealing with pressure and what seems like an enormous amount of tasks, is something you can learn.
The key to any gardener is to be extremely organised. Make sure you plan all the tasks that need doing. On a daily, weekly, and also monthly basis. This way you will never forget anything and never get stuck on any tasks that needed doing last minute. To be on top of tasks is key as a gardener, as work can quickly build up. But if you are organised and plan ahead, it will make your job and life a lot easier!
How can Polo & Tweed Help?
Are you looking for a new great gardening job that fits in with what you want and need? Polo & Tweed can help! We have great part-time, full-time and freelance gardening and groundsmen roles all over the world. Contact one of our recruitment consultants to find out more and let us help you find your dream gardening role and get you set up for success!