By Andrew Fisher Tomlin, Horticulturist
Director of the London College of Garden Design
BBM Mentor and Host since 2014
I was asked to give some words of lockdown wisdom to you, so I thought I’d share some ideas for career development, because that’s what BBM is all about:
Hello, I’m Andrew Fisher Tomlin. I’m a Horticulturist and I’m also the Director of the London College of Garden Design in London and Melbourne.
I’ve helped mentor BBM Horticulture and Landscape Scholars coming to the UK for the past six years.
I was asked to give some words of lockdown wisdom to you, so I thought I’d share some ideas for career development, because that’s what BBM is all about.
I actually love that you only get bored in the time and space between great ideas. I try not to get bored because I know my best business ideas seem to happen when work is quiet like when we hit a recession, when I’m relaxing on a beach or like today, when we’re in lockdown in our homes and gardens.
#1 Make a Plan for the Next 3 Years
My #1 recommendation is probably that you spend some time now writing a short, sharp plan – no more than two pages – with the key goals and objectives of what you want to achieve in the next three years, ideas on how you might achieve that and what you can do now to take action towards those goals.
Action is really important. Use this plan over the next few weeks while you’re at home to work on these goals and see if there’s something you can do each week to work towards them.
#2 Take Advantage of Free Training
You can do things like catching up on training. There are loads of free webinars around right now.
#3 Start Reading
Or you might catch up on all these gardening books you bought and never got around to reading.
#4 Develop a New Skill
You could develop some photography skills which are really important in promoting your work.
Technology skills, even in horticulture, defines success these days, especially skills in film, photography and layout, and social media. And there’s also software packages like SletchUp, which cost very little to actually start learning, and there’s loads and loads of tutorials online that you can use.
#5 Enter a Competition to Boost your CV
The other thing I’d recommend is entering competitions. You’d be surprised how few people actually enter competitions, and it’s great CV material. At London College of Garden Design we have a competition for a sizeable bursary, and even if you don’t win, your entry will get recognition on our website and that’s another great way to get noticed.
Because that’s what it’s all about: Focus on some wins now that will see your CV stand out from the crowd in the future.