Wanted: Outside ventures

Departments - View Point

People looking for outdoor jobs can follow the path to the green industry.

July 5, 2017

A June 5 Lifehacker.com story highlighted “11 career paths for new grads who hates offices.” Daily treks to a life in the cube is not for everyone, and that’s nothing new. But one analyst says that millennials preferring to work remotely are leading the evolution. That bodes well for our industry.

Lifehacker compiled a list of some of the best careers paths from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ ratings for “outdoor work” and “general physical activity.” The first on the list was a career in gardening, groundskeeping, and nursery and greenhouse management.

According to the Lifehacker story, “Nursery and greenhouse managing has a ‘bright outlook’ rating from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a 96 out of 100 rating for work done outdoors. Landscaping and groundskeeping is 100 out of 100 and also enjoys a bright outlook. Grounds maintenance is projected to grow by 7 percent, or about average, by 2024.” The article also lists forestry as an option, suggesting conservation scientists and foresters have an “average job outlook and good ratings” from the BLS for outdoors work.

Leigh Anderson, the article’s author, writes, “A lot of people like working but hate offices: They can’t stand uncomfortable clothes, or being inside all day, or the forced sociability around the water cooler. I am one of those people. It’s the predictability that bothers me—there’s something about knowing where you’re going to be, every single day except weekends and holidays, that in my opinion is just a roadmap to the grave.”

You can read the entire story at bit.ly/2sgVFPX.

People’s reasons for not wanting the typical office job varies, but this is a labor trend we can use to our advantage.

One way you can reach the youngest of the millennial generation, who are approaching college age, is through the Seed Your Future initiative (seedyourfuture.org). This collaborative group’s mission is to promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants. On its website is a powerful message: “The average citizen can recognize 1,000 brand names and logos but fewer than 10 local plants.” - Paul Hawken, environmentalist

The program encourages people to consider a horticulture career in ornamentals to “bring landscapes to life. Plant propagators to create new plants, and greenhouse growers and nursery workers to grow them to a usable size.”

Or consider a career in edibles “to plant our seeds and tend our plants, and plant propagators to generate new plants from seeds, cuttings, and bulbs. Plant inspectors and diagnosticians to be on the lookout for plant diseases, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) specialists to control damage by insects and other animals. Food scientists to study food taste, quality, and preservation.”

It also promotes biology and botany; landscape architecture, design, contracting, and maintenance; interiorscape; retail garden center workers; florists; and horticultural researchers and technicians.

Get involved by serving on a committee or a work group.

Don’t stop at marketing your product to a customer or a consumer. Please help market the industry to our potential workforce.