The decisions you make today will affect the opportunities you create for yourself tomorrow. 

There are an infinite number of choices which a person can make about their career path and an infinite number of paths you can set yourself on.

  • Some paths may take you to a desirable place, whilst others might not
  • Some paths are easier to get onto than others

The thing that many people do not appreciate is that most paths have many different entry points; it is often easier to jump from an undesirable path to a more desirable path than to get onto a desirable path when you are on no pathway at all.

The first and most important step in finding a satisfying career path is to get started in the workplace.

Get a job (any job) as soon as you can. It doesn’t matter too much what your first job is. It might be delivering pizzas or newspapers, mowing lawns, washing cars or working in a fast food restaurant. It doesn’t even need to be paid. It can be a volunteer job.

If you are studying at secondary school or university, still try to do some part time work at the same time. An education is always important, but the majority of people who study something, will end up working in something different to what they studied.

Experience and learning acquired through part time employment are often just as impressive to a future employer as the qualification you are studying. Either one, without the other, may put you in a less advantageous position in the future.

Once you have a job keep looking for opportunities to improve your situation, whether in the existing job, or by moving on to something different.

You will learn skills in every job you do, even if they are not skills you recognise at the time. As you progress through your career you will build on your skillset and develop new skills. Even if you change career you will often still be able to draw on skills you have developed in a different career, just in a different context.

Example: if you start working in a retail nursery you will develop skills in customer service which can be applied to a job as a landscape gardener. If you start working as a greenkeeper in a small bowling club, you will learn greater self reliance than if you commence working in a big parks department. This experience may lead to greater success if you decide to start your own small business.
Opportunities this year may be strong in landscaping and weak in nursery, or strong in orcharding and weak in cut flowers. Every year is different and having the ability to evolve from one sector of horticulture into another is an important part of sustaining your career throughout your working life.