Tips for Locating Your Cannabis Dream Job
As the cannabis business continues to transition from an underground affair to a mainstream industry, it brings its fair share of challenges. Among the most complex changes being undergone in the cannabis industry today have to do with employment. Primarily because, the notion of a legal “cannabis professional” is entirely novel. Therefore, as the newly legal cannabis industry struggles to find its identity, job searchers and business owners alike also struggle to understand the parameters of successful working relationships. Even more, those hopeful job searchers looking to land their cannabis dream job are faced with a plethora of unforeseen obstacles.
The cannabis industry is creating new jobs at a previously unfathomable rate. For example, studies show than an astounding 160,000 people were employed in the U.S. cannabis industry in 2018. More amazingly, Zip Recruiter CEO Ian Siegel reports that their popular job board has seen a 445% increase in cannabis-related job postings “year after year.” To put this job creation in perspective, Zip Recruiter shows that healthcare-related jobs rose over 70 % in 2017, while tech-related jobs saw an increase of 254% in the same year. Yet, neither of these fields come anywhere near cannabis.
Challenges Faced by Cannabis Job Searchers
While it is evident that cannabis has become a major catalyst for new job creation, applicants today are facing serious hurdles in finding stable employment. A case in point, the job turnover rate in hotbeds of the industry like Denver, CO is quite alarming. In fact, recruiters and HR departments rarely see cannabis professionals with over two years of employment at the same company. This systemic issue with short work durations is comparable to only the service industry (restaurants and bars) in its pervasiveness.
The cannabis industry is also plagued by misguided business owners who are quick to make false promises to attract top talent – only to not follow through in the end. In some cases, employees don’t receive a promised promotion. Even worse, some team members don’t get paid at all. Forewarnings aside, for those hopeful applicants hoping to cash in on the new cannabis boom, here are some words of wisdom in finding your cannabis dream job:
Study the Cannabis Industry
You don’t have to be a cannabis business analyst to know that this industry is both volatile and confusing. As such, if you are interested in making a career out of marijuana, be sure to study the industry with scrupulous dedication. To this end, understanding local laws and business practices are some of the most direct ways to impress a hiring party in the cannabis space.
As novel cannabis markets are created with legalization, new compliance regulations are born overnight. With this flux of opportunity and expansion comes a confusing path of regulatory “hurdles” that must be navigated. As most experienced cannabis professionals have seen, these new markets also become rapidly flooded with self-proclaimed “master growers” and “cannabis consultants.” These people often grossly overexaggerate their abilities. Please, don’t follow these examples if you are serious about finding a stable career in cannabis. In fact, there is no more surefire way to turn off a cannabis hiring manager than acting like you know something you don’t.
If you are interested in finding your dream career in cannabis, a great starting point is researching the market niche which you are looking to occupy. Be sure to study up on your professional background as compared to new cannabis jobs. In like fashion, research job postings to understand how the skillsets needed in new cannabis jobs are related to your background. By keeping an eye on sources like Indeed, Zip Recruiter, and LinkedIn, you can learn about cannabis careers and align your background with those that are the closest fit.
Knowing your transferable competencies and explaining their application in cannabis is a great way to wow interviewers at your dream company. By using this approach, you are providing an honest appraisal of your background as well as showing that you have been researching the cannabis space as a serious job searcher.
Be Realistic About Your Cannabis Dream Job
When looking at the cannabis industry from the outside, applicants are often drawn to impractical career paths that are not related to their professional background. For instance, cannabis cultivation jobs receive unparalleled attention with both job boards and social media. Largely because, cultivation careers are highly romanticized by both hobbyist growers and cannabis connoisseurs. Yet, just because you have grown exceptional flowers in your closet or can name the genetic lineage of “NY Diesel” doesn’t mean you have the skills necessary to work in a commercial cultivation job.
For those individuals looking to find a dream job in cannabis, the best starting point is an understanding of realistic opportunities. Often, these opportunities are related to skillsets developed in one’s past profession – not the fact that they enjoy growing or consuming cannabis. Therefore, if you want to find your dream job in the industry, you might have to start with something less romantic like Information Technology, Facilities Management, Human Resources, or Compliance.
If you have the drive to find your cannabis dream job, you might have to settle with a less attractive position as you build your resume. It goes without saying that “dream jobs” don’t come easily and you will likely have to make some sacrifices to realize this goal. Ideally, in time, your career can blossom into something that is challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling.
The cannabis industry is brand new and those working in this exciting field are still learning about it on a daily basis. Yet, as the cannabis industry continues to grow and mature, we will continue to witness a serious imbalance between the amount of new jobs created and those individuals with applicable experience. As this trend continues to gain momentum, hiring parties are also increasingly motivated to hire people from outside the industry. Therefore, it is vital that serious cannabis job searchers “go the extra mile” in making themselves stand out in a crowd of applicants.
We have also seen an influx of high-powered executives transitioning into the cannabis space, which is further evidence of the maturation of the industry. This trend is good news for job searchers. Because, these executives bring hard-won experience to the industry, which will hopefully help solve the systemic issues with stability and organization that currently plague the cannabis space. Therefore, to revisit the notion of studying the industry, a big part of finding your dream job in cannabis is researching those companies who are showing signs of both growth and stability. In like fashion, a primary indicator of job stability is a leadership team that is grounded in the very real foundations of education, hard work, organization, and patience.
This article originally appeared in the February / March 2020 Issue of Maximum Yield i News.