Tips on Expanding Your Network in the Horticulture Industry
The horticulture industry is a very challenging, yet rewarding, career path. Even more, this line of work offers a diverse array of opportunities for motivated professionals. Depending on your interests, you could work in horticultural technology, or deal directly with crops themselves. No matter what your career aspirations, networking in the horticulture industry is critical for success.
Just as seen in any line of work, effective networking is critical in the job search. Similarly, many horticulture industry professionals network to find new customers or develop strategic partnerships.
While your motivation for networking in the horticulture industry may be obvious, it’s often not as simple to get the process started. Therefore, Mac & Fulton Talent Partners developed a list of valuable criteria to be used for networking in the horticulture space.
Ideally, these tidbits can help you on your way to finding a dream job or a lifelong customer.
Find Your Niche
The modern horticulture industry is extremely broad. To this end, because the Controlled Environment Agriculture space marries plant science with technology, it draws from a vast array of skill sets. These skillsets, in turn, are utilized by crop producers and ancillary businesses.
In order to effectively network in the horticulture industry, you must decide which niche is right for you. By slimming down your target network, you can focus on those individuals who can help you with your desired path. To illustrate, hort-tech salespeople will likely want to network with crop producers, as this group comprises their customer base. Similarly, a job searcher looking for a cultivation position will want to network with decision-makers in the cultivation vertical.
Your professional profile begins with your resume. That being said, even if you are not actively looking for a new job, it’s a good idea to get your resume streamlined before you begin networking.
By rewriting your resume, you can brush up on your marketable skills. This practice will help with your confidence and communication abilities, while also allowing you to clearly display your worth to others. In the end, your resume will represent your personal brand and will be vital in creating your professional profile.
With a clear understanding of what you have to offer others, you can get out there and show your value to prospective employers, partners, or customers.
Even before the age of COVID-19, the digital environment has become increasingly important for networking. To this end, if you would like to be found in the business world, you should probably get on board with the digital landscape.
Getting exposure in the digital realm goes hand-in-hand with the development of a professional profile. Because, you can take the information off your updated resume and use it to populate your profile on websites and social media platforms.
At M&F Talent, we strongly recommend that you create a professional profile on your company website. In like fashion, LinkedIn is an amazingly powerful tool for networking in the horticulture industry. Finally, if you are in a sales or marketing role that necessitates networking, we also recommend setting up profiles on Facebook and Twitter.
Once you have developed your professional profile and grown comfortable in the digital environment, it’s time to start networking. However, there are some basic criteria that should be followed when contacting hiring parties, industry peers, and potential customers in the horticulture space. Most importantly, you should always remain professional.
There are a few key things you can do to show yourself in the best light possible when building your network. For starters, don’t bombard new contacts with sales pitches right away. Rather, be patient and build a relationship before you ask for something. Secondly, be sure to follow through on meetings, calls, and obligations. There is no better way to sour a new relationship than coming off as undependable.
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to network in the horticulture industry. To this end, some people are looking for a new career, while others may be searching for customers. Whatever your reasons for expanding your network in the market, it’s important to take careful steps before “diving in.”
By beginning the networking process with the proper tools in place, you greatly increase your chance of developing fruitful relationships. Looking forward, these relationships can serve as critical building blocks in a successful career.