2. Unhappy With Your Job But Have Doubts

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight
inside the bud was more painful than the
risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin

If you are not content with the level of success you have achieved in your current field or just plain hate your job, then the decision to switch careers is that much easier for you. Think about it. You have nothing to lose. Far beyond the question of “should I move on”, you are really questioning whether gardening is an appropriate career option for you.

Some of the questions you might be asking yourself include the following -- How quickly can I get myself established? How soon can I get back to earning the same kind of salary I used to make? Or is your greater concern whether you can be successful in this new career path? These issues are specifically addressed in other posts when you click on each question.

Ultimately you will find putting yourself out there and continuing to improve your skills and knowledge greatly improves your odds of being in the right place at the right time. I’m not saying it is any guarantee of a successful career but it certainly improves your odds.

Sometimes, it’s best to take baby steps, gathering courage with each decision, knowing it is a part of the process that you may falter along the way. When I first got started, I just had a strong feeling it would be incredibly wonderful to garden for a living but had no clue as to how to proceed. For the first time in my life, I had no master plan, only a fuzzy, vague idea of what to do next.

When I handed in my letter of resignation as Director of Marketing & Communications in the last job that would ever require me to don a suit, the association's president generously extended an open invitation should things not work out and he shook his head with mild disapproval and stark disbelief in anticipation of a swift return. My husband agreed to give it a year and we had the financial resources to sustain us short term.

Within the first few months after joining a small garden center as a customer service clerk and cashier in the busy spring season, I quickly went from working part-time to full-time. Although still challenged by the specifics of how to best treat such maladies as spider mites and oblivious to the names of most of the trees and shrubs in our inventory, when the position of assistant store manager came up, I was graciously offered the position.

The job posting was not listed in any newspaper or offered to anyone else. But if I had been sitting at my cushy desk, this opportunity would never have come up. I took that leap over 6 years ago and I cannot say I never looked back. That would be a total lie.

Tremendous learning curves threaten your resilience when you first put yourself in a new situation. Your ego takes a bit of a bashing and it is a humbling, frustrating process when you’re faced with new challenges. Expect to have ongoing doubts. You will feel like an idiot at times. When things get rocky or you have a bad day at work, you start to daydream about the money you could be making or how you could be in a perfectly air conditioned office instead of hauling rocks in scorching humid heat. You conveniently filter out all the things that made you frustrated.

The good news is that you don’t need to have every detail and contingency worked out to find your way. Just as in any profession, if you are willing to work hard, you can quickly establish yourself as long as you continue to add value to any organization you join. Since you have picked up this book, it is apparent you have a clear interest and you will quickly find out whether or not it is a vocation or calling that you feel absolutely passionate about. I sincerely believe it is just a matter of committing wholeheartedly to this passion and doing whatever it takes to make it happen.

Excerpt from the forthcoming book Getting Dirty. If you would like me to let you know when the book becomes available, just send your e-mail to adriennejenkins@verizon.net.

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