How to grow your career (in my opinion)

GoLandscape EdNews & Events

The 3 things I want you to keep in mind while reading this are Employers, Education and Work Ethic

Like most school leavers, at 16 years old I didn’t really know what I wanted to do… I got an apprenticeship as a clock maker which was more refurbishment of old town clocks rather than making anything which didn’t suit me, and my creative spirt as much so I had to make a touch choice and leave what would have still been a good career. I always enjoyed working outdoors and I was thinking back to when I had a weekend job at the garden centre and how much I enjoyed helping the gardeners outside, which made me realise I needed to get back into a similar industry.

For me the choice was simple, I wanted to get into landscaping and if I wanted to make a career out of it, I would have to learn as much as I could about the subject. I approached one of the leading companies in Scotland and asked to be taken on as an apprentice.This way I could learn the theoretical knowledge as well as honing the skills and techniques required.

I was fortunate that the company I approached were willing to employ me in apprenticeship role. I started my career on £4 per hour, which as an 18-year-old with my driving license I couldn’t afford to run a car of my own, so I had to cycle to work to get by. A sacrifice I was more than willing to make as my plan was clear to gain as much experience as possible.

Knowing I couldn’t survive for ever on the starting salary I decided to get stuck in and aim for promotions by applying myself both at college and at work. This decision payed of as after 6 months I got a raise to £4.50 and the promise of an additional raise in another 6 months if I kept up the good work.

Part of my apprenticeship was day release SVQ to SRUC Oatridge Campus, where I obtained SVQ 2 and 3, Lantra Chainsaw course and PA1/PA6.
I enjoyed my time at college, so I continued to apply myself and eventually got my next pay rise now on £5 per hour, I still wanted more so during the summer holidays while college was off I asked my manager for the opportunity to take a team out on a maintenance run. It was a big risk for me and my manager as if there were any issues on the maintenance run they can be very labour intensive therefore costly to put right. Thankfully I had a good team with me and we managed to have a successful maintenance season and that was the kick starter for my career.

During my apprenticeship I became part of a team to represent Oatridge college in the UK skills competition which as well as being a great experience it was also a great way to get noticed by my employers which as a result earned me my position as supervisor at the age of 20 (which wasn’t an easy transition as there were a few disgruntled colleagues). I had to work hard to prove myself in that position.
In total I enjoyed 9 years with the company who had agreed to take me on as an apprentice and when I left them in 2014 I was contract manager for West Scotland. I am very thankful for their support and for allowing me to… “sorry another pun coming up”… sow the seeds for my career.

I am now very fortunate, that after all of my hard work and support throughout my career I’m proud to be starting this business; Land Technology Ltd as a subsidiary of the very reputable surfacing company J. Sives Surfacing Ltd with our sights set on being the future of Landscaping.

In conclusion, my opinion is that if you want to get ahead in the industry it all boils down to 3 things, Employer, Education and work ethic So….


  • You must work for a reputable company or start your own reputable company.


  • You must obtain suitable knowledge from an established training provider/educator.

And Work Ethic

  • You must apply yourselves in all aspects of your career and use your initiative to impress your clients and/or employers.

Therefore keeping your mind on what is expected of you and how you can deliver that to the best of your abilities will get you noticed and help you on your career path so you can work with us or join us as to be part of the future of Landscaping!

Article sourced from Land Technology: The Future of Landscaping

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