So, you want to find a job in the Cannabis industry. Get in line. As the industry continues to expand and gain acceptance there will be opportunities galore and still competition to secure your place. How can you stack the deck in your favor? It’s actually quite simple , but that certainly doesn’t mean it it’s easy. Following the steps below can help improve your chances.
Expand your knowledge: There is much more to Cannabis than getting high. Learn everything you can about it’s medical potential, the regulations surrounding the industry, the major players, how to get involved, what jobs are most in demand, how to apply your existing skill sets, certification programs, etc. Educate yourself as much as possible and never stop learning
Volunteer with advocacy groups: I’m often asked “How can I get a job without having any experience?” One of the best ways to gain industry experience is to volunteer. Find someone to mentor you. Look for companies offering internship opportunities. If you cannot find an internship program then ask around and offer to volunteer for free.
Perform an honest and thorough self-assessment: Why do you want to get into the industry? Is it because you’ve smoked weed your entire life and think it’d be really cool? Or do you have a passion for it and see yourself making an honest career of it? What skills do you bring to the table? Be honest. What have you done in your career thus far and how can it apply to the Cannabis industry? For example, if you’ve spent the past 5 years as a car salesman there are several skills you’ve likely practiced and refined every day that relate quite well to another type of sales. This may be more of a challenge if you’re just starting out and hoping for your first job, but the logic here remains the same. How can what you currently know be seen as relevant to what you want to do? This leads to the next logical question – where do you see yourself fitting in to the industry? If you’ve been drawn to the medicinal aspects of Cannabis then working in a dispensary may not be as smart a choice as would finding a company specializing in the latest science linking Cannabis to the treatment of pain or disease. Once you decide on the specific element of the industry you see yourself in, the next question becomes which specific companies make the most sense? Does the security and benefits of a more established, industry leader appeal to you, or are you more drawn to a smaller startup company with increased risk and potentially higher rewards? Be honest with yourself. You want to give yourself the best chance of getting in with the right company. This an important step in the process
Update your resume: At this point you should have a pretty good idea of where you’d best fit in the industry. Now it’s time to make sure your resume is up to date and that it highlights you in the best possible light. You have about 10 seconds for it to grab someone’s attention so make it stand out. There are countless templates and examples on the internet to get you started, but remember a few key points. A) Highlight your transferrable skill sets in their best possible light. In your current and past jobs, how were you able to make those companies money, save them money or save them time? B) Make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors. C) Always tell the truth.
Network: This is where the rubber meets the road. You need to make yourself as visible as possible. Attend cannabis events and talk to everyone. Meet as many people as you can and make the conversations all about them. Become a Connector and forge the relationships that will ultimately help you in your search. Reach out to a recruiter who will advocate on your behalf. Do what you can to be the most connected person in the room. For example, I got into this industry by accident. I had a friend looking for a few new hires. He’d been looking for several months with no luck and agreed to let me help in the search. At that point I had exactly one industry contact – my friend – but within three days we found all three of his superstar hires. Jumping ahead to today I have one of the most extensive networks in the industry, and it continues to expand exponentially every single day.
This list is far from complete, but following these steps will put you miles ahead of those who don’t. You’re about to enter an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s expected to continue at this pace for the foreseeable future. Taking the necessary steps to educate yourself now will be well worth it in the long run.