Getting a horticulturalist out of a cube

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Q:  I have received written warning from my supervisor. The nature of his concern is my lack of focus on my job.  The truth is, I hate my job.  I try to avoid doing work every day at work.  It is not my ideal role.  I would much rather be outside.  My current job is in a cube, at a desk.  My interests are in horticulture and I have a degree in horticulture.  I am a naturalist and don’t belong in an office.  How do I do this?

A: Congratulations on realizing where you want to be with respect to your next role.  Now how do you transition into this new role?  Develop a plan.

  1. Connect with your college. Attend networking events and tap into jobs that they may post in your field. Research alumni events in your area.
  2. Revise your resume. Showcase your degree and any related horticultural experience that you may have.
  3. Begin networking in your field. Attend Massachusetts Horticultural Society events (assuming you are in Massachusetts). They also offer adult education classes.  Volunteer if you have to, so that you are able to mix and mingle with others in the field. Stop by your local garden center or farmer’s market.  Make sure you bring hard copies of your resume along.
  4. if you have a LinkedIn profile, change it so it is more horticulturally-focused. Use key words that are related to your new field of interest.
  5. Hold it together at your current job. Try to be more focused in your current job, even if it is not the ideal role for you. You should may need your current employer to serve as a reference.
  6. Let friends and family know that you hope to make a career change. Often the best leads for new jobs come through personal and professional connections.
  7. Become familiar with horticultural career sites, like hortjobs.com and horticulturaljobs.com.

Finally be open to different types of roles within your field.  Many seasonal opportunities may lead to full-time, year-round roles.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.

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