Does working with flowers all day and making people’s days brighter with a beautiful bouquet sound like a dream job to you? Working as a florist does have its benefits, but before plunging into this career it helps to assess whether floristry is right for you or whether you’re letting your love of flowers make the decision for you.
Before investing the time and money looking for a job (or training to do a job) that may not be what you really want or is not quite a good fit for you, take a step back. Think about how well the ins and outs of floristry might mesh with your ambitions, your personality and with how you want to spend your days.
How Do I Know if Floristry is Right for Me?
Ready to explore? Floristry might be the career for you if you enjoy:
Floral design is a creative job that requires a good eye for design and the ability to coordinate what you envision with your hands. For entry-level jobs in florist shops there will be minimal hands-on creative work and more in the way of prep work, cleaning and taking orders.
That will change, though. Learning is lifelong in the floristry world. Even very experienced florists can’t rest on their laurels if they want to stay current. They’re constantly keeping on top of new trends and learning new designs and new methods.
Working as a florist means working with people. You have to like people, be courteous and be patient with people who may be demanding, indecisive or disorganized. It’s critical that you have a certain amount of empathy when working with clients at highly emotional times, such as funerals and weddings. As a retail job, florists sell people on their products so you have to listen to people, learn what their needs are and provide what is right for them.
Working Under Pressure
Florist shops can get busy, particularly around holidays and special events, so if you’d like a laid-back sedentary job, floristry is not for you. You’ll be standing on your feet all day, answering phones, taking orders, working the cash register, walking around and attending to customers and preparing flowers. You have to do all those tasks (and more) and be quick about it too.
Since there’s a lot of lifting and moving boxes around, floristry also requires being physically fit. Lugging buckets of water, unloading crates of flowers and packing up delivery vans is just part of the job, as is running from the worktable to the phone and back. There’s often not a lot of rest time and precious little of your day will involve sitting.
In this day and age, digital literacy is a must for florists. To be competitive in an industry that’s steadily losing customers to big supermarkets and online ordering services, florists need to have a strong web presence. That need is only expected to grow as ordering flowers online becomes the standard. Working with digital technology will be an essential part of your day.
If you want to work as a florist there’s a good chance you’re interested in starting your own florist shop, which requires all the typical skills of an entrepreneur: hard work, persistence, resilience.
It also means long hours, working on weekends and special days like Valentine’s Day as well as getting up early to pick the best selection of flowers for the day. You then have to be on top of things, maintaining the flowers so that they don’t die on you.
The job also requires a lot of flexibility: driving around to pick up new flowers, dealing with customers, driving out to events, coordinating transportation and set up. No two days are alike when you’re a florist and every day, you’ll face new challenges and have new opportunities.
Flexibility also means change. This is a job that requires you to deal well with uncertainty, especially if you end up running your own shop. The price and availability of flowers fluctuates. Big clients can suddenly back out, for any number of reasons. Events can be cancelled. Last-minute orders can pour in. Transportation breaks down. You will need to be able to roll with the punches and find creative solutions.
Whether it’s your first job or a change of career, it never hurts to take a step back and assess your personality to see whether you’re the right fit for this occupation or whether you should be doing something else. Try an online career test, or have a talk with a guidance counsellor or career consultant.
Bear in mind that tests are impersonal assessments. They won’t capture the essence of who you are or where your passions could lead you. They are only meant as a tool to help guide you, so take their results with a grain of salt. Likewise, even the best career counsellor can only offer suggestions based on the information they have at hand. In the end, it’s up to you.
As with any occupation, those who love their work and are a good fit for the job are the ones who tend to excel. Can you visualize yourself working as a florist? If not, why not? Be truthful and realistic with yourself.
Do the job attributes listed above not sound like what you want? If not, that’s OK. There are plenty of other career paths out there, and it’s better to find out sooner rather than later. But if so, and you have a love of flowers and working with people, floristry could prove to be a rich and rewarding career that you’ll be glad you pursued.
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