Have you been mulling over a change of career? Thinking it’s time to move into a different direction but not sure how? As someone who has changed career a few times (I see myself as a bit of a Chamaeleon!) I want to reassure you that it is possible.
First things first you need to establish why you want a career change? Do you have a passion that your yearning to turn into a career for example or is it more so that you are really unhappy in your current job but not your actual career itself? Pinpointing what it is your unhappy about in your current role is really key as it will then help to guide you through to your next steps. For myself it was that I really wanted a more creatively hands on career, at the time I was working at Heal’s in their Ecommerce department. Whilst there were aspects of my job I did actually really like (I was part of a small team at the time which meant my job role was really varied from collating product information from the buying departments, to writing copy and assisting the photographer with styled shoots and maintaining the website itself) sitting at a desk all day working 9-5 I realised wasn’t for me. I was yearning to do something more creative!
Now if you know what it is you would like to do already then amazing, you are halfway there. However, if you don’t, try not to worry, these things often have a way of working themselves out, trust that what will be will be. My own career change journey is a prime example of this, I fell into flowers completely by chance! After deciding that I wanted to pursue a more creative career I handed in my resignation at Heal’s a bold move I know but I was younger than in my early twenties and in a lucky position where I could be a bit more carefree. I appreciate if you are older and have a mortgage and bills to pay that this probably isn’t the case, please bear with me as I will cover this a bit later on. Whilst taking some time out to go travelling for a few months through Central America I decided that I wanted to do a creative degree, something that I would firstly enjoy and secondly, I felt a qualification would hold me in good stead for my future career plans. You don’t, of course, need to have a degree to make a career change at all this was something I wanted to achieve for myself particularly as I left school and went straight to work in an office I did everything a little higgledy-piggledy. I originally enrolled to do a foundation degree in visual display following on from my previous retail experience I thought this seemed like a good fit however fate stepped in as the course was discontinued. Looking down the list I saw… Floral Design and Events Management and I thought ‘that sounds interesting!’ I started the course that September and that’s when my love for florals begun and I have never looked back! So, if you are not 100% sure on what it is you would like to do, don’t worry too much! Little did I know when I left school that I would end up working with flowers but life has a funny way of presenting things to us at just the right time, don’t you think?
Back to your career change plans… you now have an idea of what it is you want to do, but what next? My first piece of advice would be to write your plan in small easy to follow steps to help you reach your end goal and so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by it all. The first thing I would suggest is to test the water with a taster day or introduction class, whether it’s photography, interior design or maybe event floristry book onto a class it will give you an initial idea if it is something you really enjoy and if you want to then pursue it further. Sometimes we like the idea of doing something but the reality of it doesn’t quite measure up. If after attending a day class you absolutely love it then brilliant, look into exploring the subject further and gaining more knowledge. If you work full-time research and find out if there are any local adult education college colleges that you can attend? These are tailored to people who already work so usually take place in the evenings or weekends so you can attend around your current job. Or you could look into doing an online course where you can learn leisurely at your own pace when it suits you. Once you have attended some sort of course be it long or short the next step would be to get some hands-on practical experience! If you’re studying photography then make a hit list of your top five favourite photographers and approach them about shadowing them for the day or offering free work experience. You may have to do some of the donkey work which is often part and parcel of unpaid work but the experience you gain will be invaluable for your future career development. If you’re a trainee florist contact your favourite local flower shops or if your keener to get into the wedding and event side of flowers contact your favourite studio based/freelance florists for work experience. Another great thing about work experience is if you do a good job it could even lead to a paid role!
Now you are armed with lots of knowledge and experience you hopefully feel ready to make the move either into a new role within a company or take the plunge and start your own business! My advice on both counts would be to do it slowly, don’t run before you can walk as they say. Also referring back to my earlier comment about having a mortgage or bills to pay you may not financially be in a position to jump ship full steam ahead but what about starting to take on bookings/work and working around your current job? Or are you in a position where you could drop some of your days at work and go part time? When I first set up my floristry business I also worked part time for a children’s interior company and began building my wedding and event work up around the days when I wasn’t working at my other job. Until a couple of years down the line I was busy enough to leave and pursue my business full time. I didn’t have any funding when I first started out instead I saw my first year as a year of growth and any money I accumulated I ploughed back into the business to pay for marketing, building up my stock collection etc. Which worked for me and the type of business I have, however, if you are in need of some cash flow to get your business off the ground then there a government run schemes for creative start up businesses such as Creative Industry Finance or Crowdfunding. Most of all I would say stay focused and determined, making a career change requires a lot of hard work but if you stick with it, it will pay off!
I hope you have found today’s post useful, and if you’re planning a creative career change all the best for your future plans.
Photography: Brooke-Lark | Nick Morrison | Rawpixel | Jon Tyson
I actually fell into flowers by chance, it all started whilst away travelling through Central America back in 2008 when I had an epiphany that I wanted a career that allowed me to be more creatively hands-on (up until that point I had worked in the fashion and homeware industry). I decided to take the plunge & study for a creative degree, originally enrolling for an FDA in design display but fate stepped in as the university discontinued the course. This left me wondering what on earth I would study instead? Reevaluating the list of other course options available I spotted it… Floral Design and Events Management and thought to myself ‘that sounds interesting’. After just a couple of classes, I had fallen hook line and sinker for the flowers! Three years later I graduated with a first class BA Hons degree in Floral Design and Events Management and following on from my graduation established Joanne Truby Floral Design in 2012 and have never looked back since!
With a focus on design and details and a ‘thinking outside the box’ attitude when it comes to working with flowers, our style is natural and organic yet abundant with a romantic feel. We adore mixing different colours and textures to create stunning floral combinations. With an ethos for creating wow floral concepts, I'm inspired by many different elements around me; art, interiors, travel along with nature itself and the seasons. I adore mixing different colours and textures together to create truly stunning floral combinations and I love nothing more than seeing a design concept come to fruition on the day of a wedding or event after months of planning. I also love teaching our floral masterclasses, it makes me so happy passing on my knowledge and seeing people ecstatic with their final creations. When I’m not busy designing flowers I also love to write about them and have had the pleasure of guest blogging for a number of leading wedding blogs along with writing regular features for print magazines including Wedding Flowers and Accessories and Perfect Wedding sharing our expert knowledge and guidance on all things flower related. To me, flowers come armed with a superpower, which is never failing to evoke such happy emotions, & I feel very lucky to work with such naturally beautiful materials. I adore flowers & foliage's and like to work with the best of each season's offerings. The smell, the delicate petals and the wide array of colours, shapes and varieties available never cease to amaze me!