10 Ways to Break into the Professional Cannabis Industry
As the cannabis industry develops and expands, opportunities for new and intriguing roles are popping up all over the place. Cannabis employment agencies dedicated to finding professionals employment in this dank new industry are becoming more and more common. Craigslist and Monster often advertise roles for cannabis salespeople, growers, and budtenders. Business owners and entrepreneurs across the United States (and the rest of the world) have recognized that the cannabis industry has true potential to boom quickly. Many professionals from other industries are considering how their skill set, education, and knowledge might help them leverage a role working with cannabis.
The blooming cannabis industry is no different to any other with regards to employment opportunities: cannabis businesses need professionals to keep a business running. The need for elite professionals in marketing, sales, advertising, and accounting within the cannabis industry is real.
If you are considering a lateral career change and believe the cannabis industry might be suited to you, here are 10 essential tips that will help you get your foot in the door with cannabis businesses.
Be professional, the cannabis industry is no different to any other
Think about it: if you want to be taken seriously, regardless of the cannabis-aspect here, you are simply job hunting. Get it right: work on being courteous, don’t use slang ‘stoner’ terms and treat this industry just as you would any other. A professional is a professional at their role, regardless of what their work is.
Always look to learn by actively listening to other professionals
Never act like you know more than someone else in the cannabis industry. It is plain poor form and it will not help you build rapport with your contacts. There are 40-year veterans that have been working with cannabis for longer than some of us have been here on the planet — respect the knowledge of others and listen: that is how you will learn. Take notes and ask questions.
Skills from other industries are transferable. Use your knowledge!
If you are a professional looking to break into the cannabis industry, you must hone your CV/Cover Letter and be confident in your skills and education. Research if others in your profession have also made the jump to other industries, and how. Business executives, lawyers, sales-folk… everyone learned their skill set elsewhere before bringing it to the cannabis industry.
Be clear on what you can bring to the table if you have a chance to talk to a prospective employer!
Market yourself. You must if you want to stand apart from the crowd.
This is less about the cannabis industry and more about searching for employment opportunities. Job hunting can be a long, arduous, and frustrating process. Looking to break into the cannabis industry will be potentially longer, more arduous, and perhaps more frustrating. There are thousands of professionals out there looking to transition to a fresh industry like cannabis, and that means setting yourself apart. Be bold, be different. But please, don’t be brash.
Find a niche in the market
If you have been looking at ways to break into the cannabis industry and you know your profession well, consider how what you do might be applied in a newer industry like cannabis. Can you create a product that the market has a need for? Perhaps you work as a photographer currently, and do not like the photos you see in local cannabis publications. Always look for a way in!
Use your skills and hone them
Writers write everyday. Athletes train day in, day out. If you want to be the best at what you do, you need to be committed, dedicated and prepared to work hard. The skills that you have acquired need to be refined and honed regularly, regardless of what you do. If you are looking to break into the cannabis industry, upskill often. Take courses. Learn about cannabis, or the part of the industry you’re interested in. Show potential employers that you take what you do very seriously.
Network your buns off
At the moment the cannabis industry is intimate. While the industry is small and growing, it is a great chance to get your foot in the door with a company just getting started. Relationships are important in any industry and networking is key to getting to know folks. Meet people, ask questions, go to events that are relevant, give your business card out everywhere. Introduce yourself and always, always follow up when you say you will.
Be diligent, dogged, and determined
Breaking into the cannabis industry is going to be tough for most people, though work experience (in a previously chosen field other than the cannabis industry) and an education will usually set you apart from other candidates. The cannabis industry is hard work, and if you want to work in the industry long term, you should expect to have to make a serious investment of time. You must prove to potential employers that you want to work with cannabis more than they next guy. Be driven, ambitious and do what it takes to get that job.
Never give up and keep making those connections if you fail at first. It is a competitive industry!
Do not expect to get rich quick
Cannabis is often viewed as an ‘illicit’ industry like porn or alcohol, but do not expect to make cash fast here. Breaking into the cannabis industry, either as a professional or an entrepreneur, is hard work and you should be prepared to sweat hard for the financial gains.
Cannabis is not a ‘get rich quick’ solution, so please don’t be mistaken by expecting to come in poor and leave rich. It takes a lot of work to make it in the cannabis industry!
Use all resources available to you
The growing professional cannabis industry has many resources for those looking to move into the industry. There are also resources available for younger, less experienced folk looking to break into the cannabis industry with little-to-no experience.
Websites such as good420jobs.com and other cannabis industry hiring specialists can help you find your way if you live in a cannabis legal area. Check out social media, Craigslist, join mailing lists and look for companies you WANT to work for. Approach them, network and use your personality to win people over.
Always respect others in the industry. Some growers/folks have been in ‘business’ for over 40 years. People know their stuff and take it seriously. Always watch your words and respect your peers. Show gratitude when someone helps you out and be grateful for the opportunity to talk to other cannabis enthusiasts and professionals.