In the world of arboriculture, investing in the future goes beyond just planting trees; it’s about shedding light on the industry’s role in our planet’s health and building a professional environment that encourages our industry to thrive. By leaning on some common principles of financial investing – such as compounding interest, patience, diversification and motivation – the arboriculture industry can attract a new generation of professionals who seek meaningful careers and contribute to the preservation of our environment.
Compounding interest: Cultivating talent
Just as compounding interest increases wealth over time, investing in employee development and well-being can yield significant long-term benefits. To attract future tree care professionals, it’s crucial to remove barriers to entry and create opportunities for growth. Prioritizing easy access to learning the fundamentals of our trade will offer the entering workforce a solid foundation and confidence in moving forward. This growing pool of talent will nurture a continuous supply of professionals who strengthen its sustainability.
Patience: Playing the long game
In the financial world, investors understand the value of patience. Similarly, in the natural world, we know we must patiently await the future harvest of the seeds we sow today. While day-to-day operations are important, we also must keep the long game in mind. Engaging with schools, organizing tree-planting events and speaking to community groups about the benefits of trees and sustainable practices are all examples of ways to market our companies while keeping our gaze on the future. Over time, this patient approach can foster a deeper appreciation for the profession, ultimately attracting more young individuals who want to be a part of something meaningful.
Diversification: Broadening horizons
We all know that diversifying investments is a key component of financial success. Likewise, the arboriculture industry can broaden its appeal by showcasing the diverse career opportunities it offers. People in tree care aren’t just tree climbers; they are urban foresters, consultants, researchers, educators and office professionals. If we broadcast this message of diversity each time we represent the industry, we will speak the language of a broader audience.
Pooling investments: Fostering new alliances
We also can look to collaborate with other industries that share our common values for respecting nature. There is power in numbers, and “pooling our investments” – by promoting our collective message – can have a larger impact and attract like-minded individuals. Together, these industries can emphasize the importance of preserving nature and inspire a collective effort toward a greener future. Let’s celebrate our green-industry connections!
Understand your goal: Why invest?
Simon Sinek’s famous book, “Start with Why,” suggests that people are more attracted to organizations that have a clear sense of purpose. Our industry’s “why” is evident in its contribution to environmental preservation, climate-change mitigation, the safety of our communities and the beauty of urban landscapes. By investing in work that manifests a clear and meaningful vision, the next generation of professionals will more easily recognize and be attracted to its unique opportunities.
Celebrating your earnings: Spread the word!
Demonstrating that arboriculture is a rewarding career choice is crucial for attracting talent. We will be doing the next generation a great service by sharing our positive experiences in the industry with the world around us. Let us celebrate and promote green-industry achievements, e.g., being recognized in the Washington Post as one of the “happiest, least stressful, most meaningful jobs” in America. We can only expect growth and success if we witness continued celebration of progress, pride and purpose.
If there are two things I’ve learned in my years in this industry, they are that there are no quick fixes and there is always room for growth. Good things take time, a clear vision and collective effort. But this industry has a bright and sustainable future if we use some simple principles from the playbook of successful investors. Ultimately, this investment in the workforce will pay dividends in the industry’s growth and sustainability, benefiting our communities and the planet for generations to come. Bring it on!
Jennifer McPhee is a member of TCIA’s Board of Directors and co-owner and dreamweaver at Harrison McPhee Inc., an accredited, nine-year TCIA member company based in Millis, Massachusetts.