By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
There are a few things to think about when considering a career change. You may have dreamt of becoming a chef when you were a child, but is it really a role you want to pursue in your adult life? Many jobs need to be assessed without rose-coloured glasses on. You must examine your potential career change, and decide if it’s really is for you.
One career change that many look at doing later in their lives is becoming a florist. Becoming a florist can be a huge career shift for a lot of people. But it also provides you with a unique role that can help you express your creativity. Let’s look at some of the main points to consider if you’re thinking of becoming a florist.
There are some personality traits that might work better than others in a flower shop. Some of these include:
If you’re an artist, you’re bound to love all things creative and enjoy arts and crafts, which means floristry may be a good career choice for you.
Approaching floristry like an art is important, as you’ll need to create unique pieces of art according to the taste of your customers. The flowers and foliage are your canvas and tools, and you should be able to come up with a design that’ll have a profound and everlasting impact on the life of your customers.
Do you think you can design custom flower arrangements for events such as a wedding or a funeral? There’s certainly an art to flower arrangements, so being inventive and having a keen eye for flair and an original edge will put you ahead of the competition.
Along with creativity, understanding what colours work well and not so well together will help you be a great florist. Knowing and understanding the colour wheel will make your work so much better.
It may be obvious, but having a love for flowers is necessary. If you already love flowers, you’re more inclined to create better arrangements and will be able to help customers much better thanks to your pre-acquired knowledge of flowers. You’ll be working with flowers every day, so having an interest in them is key.
Having a great set of communication skills will help you immensely. You may come across some customers that know what they want from you in their mind, but have no idea of the flower names or how to explain what they want very easily. Being able to work with others and show patience will help you to determine their needs.
It can get very busy when you work at a florist shop, especially during the holidays and special events like weddings and funerals. You’ll have to do the following tasks (and more) and be fast at them too:
When it comes to the flowers, it’s not just about arranging them to look fabulous. There’s so much more you have to do, such as handling them, preparing them, packaging them, delivering them, and installing them. Most importantly, you’ll need to take care of the flowers properly so they don’t wither and die. This may include watering them, fertilising them, and placing them in the right spot such as under the sun or in the shade, depending on the type of flower they are.
You also need to be able to work to deadlines, whether it’s Valentine’s day, a wedding, a funeral, or a last minute “I’m sorry!” bouquet. Not doing so will mean arrangements don’t make it to the events in time, people will be let down by your services and you won’t have any clients left! You need to be able to get your work completed by set times and dates, otherwise your clients will find other florists who can cater to their needs better.
If you can work under stress, then being a florist may be the ideal job for you.
If you really want to get ahead, the best option is to get qualified. There are a few qualifications that will help you to become a florist and these courses will help you gain the job you are after. You can either study while still in your current role or you may be able to gain work in a flower shop whilst studying.
This way, you’ll be able to gain some hands-on experience in the industry whilst getting qualified. Some flower shops will also consider a traineeship or apprenticeship role for the right candidate, meaning you can earn while getting your certification. It will be best to approach a flower shop in this instance and see what they may provide to potential employees.
You can really get far in your career as a florist. You can start as a shop assistant, get qualified and be a florist, then take it even further by opening your own store. If you’re successful, you may even open a few stores in different areas. How and where you wish to take your career is up to you and there are plenty of opportunities available for new florists.
Do you want to become a self-employed florist?
Starting your own florist shop is exciting, but you’ll need to have the typical skills of an entrepreneur, which include being hardworking, persistent, and resilient.
Being a self-employed florist also means that you have to be flexible and available, since it’s not a 9-to-5 job. You’ll have to work long hours, including on weekends and special days such as Valentine’s Day, as well as during seasonal holidays. What’s more, you’ll need to get up early so you can choose the best selection of flowers for the day. You even have to maintain the flowers so they don’t die.
Additionally, you’ll have to drive around to pick up new flowers, deal with customers, attend events, and coordinate transportation and setup. You’ll also need to have a knowledge of the Internet and online marketing, considering that online sales is a strong factor in flower sales in today’s marketplace.
You should be prepared to work all through the year. So if you believe that you have what it takes, then being a self-employed florist may be the right career path for you.
When thinking about being a florist, you may think it’s as easy as looking after flowers, arranging stunning bouquets, and greeting customers. Although this is a part of being a florist, there’s a few other responsibilities that you will need to undertake.
Becoming a florist is a very rewarding career. To find out more about how to pursue your dream job in floristry, check out the courses available from ICI UK.