Business, Dispensaries and Collectives, Lifestyle

Ask a Budtender: How To Get a Job During the Pandemic

September 30, 2021 08:00 am ET
Ask a Budtender: How To Get a Job During the Pandemic

Question: I recently lost my job from the pandemic. It’s definitely a bummer that I’m unemployed, but I’ve been wanting to change directions with my career anyway. I’d love to work in the cannabis industry, but I really don’t know how to get started.  It’s honestly overwhelming…classes and cannabis certifications can get expensive! Any thoughts on how I can get started working in cannabis without spending a ton of money?

Cannabis Coach Haley’s Answer: I know things might feel tough right now, but just know that you’re not alone! You’re right, this could be a good time to pivot your career in a different direction than you planned. Once 2020 hit, many people reshuffled their lives and changed jobs, changed careers, moved across the country…or all of the above.

From my point of view, the cannabis industry seems to be “pandemic-proof.” When every other business in my town shut down during March and April 2020, the local dispensary was BOOMING. Several of my friends who were laid off from their restaurant and bartending jobs found a home in the cannabis industry. But the question is: How do you stand out as an applicant without spending a ton of money?

While cannabis classes and certifications can be important later down the road, you just need to master the basics for now. Here are three ways you can get a head-start in the cannabis industry without spending a dime.

Polish Up Your Resume

When I worked the front desk at a dispensary, we had folks applying for a job every single day—we literally had a stack of resumes an inch thick! The resumes that stood out to us were those that were clear, simple, and to the point.

Most cannabis jobs require extreme attention to detail and the ability to follow regulations. So, when we were looking to hire folks at the dispensary, we first checked their resume for grammar and punctuation—this is a small way to show that you care about the details. You can even use a free program like Grammarly, which will check your resume for errors and offer wording suggestions if you’re not sure how to phrase something.

Additionally, I always liked seeing resumes with a small profile picture at the top, like this free resume template from Canva. Including a simple 1-by-1-inch headshot can portray a certain level of confidence and warmth, which is especially important if you’re applying for a job as a budtender that primarily involves connecting with folks and being approachable.

Showcase Your Skills  

Once you’ve built your resume, I recommend signing up for a LinkedIn account. When I was in college, my teachers didn’t stress the importance of LinkedIn, and ultimately I didn’t think it would be useful for a career in cannabis. All that changed in 2020, though.

With so much business done online now, LinkedIn is a MUST—especially if you’re interested in networking with folks in the cannabis space. This shows that you’re serious, you’re committed, and you’re interested in connecting with other people. The internet will be your best friend here.

LinkedIn profiles can seem daunting to fill out, particularly if you’re looking to pivot into a new industry, but odds are you have more skills to show off than you think. Consider jobs or places you’ve volunteered in the past: Have you ever had to show patience with a customer? Do you have experience working in a regulated environment, like bartending? Have you worked with your hands or developed a craft? All of these are transferable skills for the cannabis industry.

I often find that folks who have worked in the hospitality and service industries are stand-out candidates because their skill sets are easily put to use. Patience, kindness, and attention to detail are three qualities that are important, no matter what industry you’re in! If you’re good at building rapport with customers at a restaurant, then chances are you’ll be good at talking with folks coming into the dispensary.

Connect With Others 

Now that you’ve got a resume and a LinkedIn to showcase your skills, it’s time for the fun part: Connect with other people who love cannabis! I recommend starting with LinkedIn to make a few initial connections, and then consider connecting with folks on other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, or whatever is your preferred online space.

I found many of my current friends, co-workers, and cannabis job opportunities by joining a local medical cannabis Facebook group. I learned so much from connecting with the folks in that community and reading their posts. If you’re stuck at home without a job or find yourself with extra time on your hands, this is a great way to use that time to your advantage.

Classes and certifications aren’t always required to get started. You can learn so much just through reading online cannabis forums and creating valuable connections with people around the world—all without leaving your house. Whether you’re applying to work as a cannabis trimmer, budtender, inventory specialist, or grower, at the end of the day the most valuable quality is just a willingness to learn.

Post Your Comments

sharon says:

October 1, 2021 at 10:42 am

how can I start my own dispensary? Is it expensive to start one?

Reply
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