You've landed your first landscaping job with a professional landscape company. Awesome! So what now? What should you expect and how can you prepare for your first day at work as a landscaper? Is it any different from doing yard work around your own house? We're going to look at these questions and give you some tips about how you can prepare for your first day working as a landscaper.
Working in the Landscape Industry
Working at a professional landscaping company is significantly different from doing yard work around your own property. You may have grown up gardening with grandma every summer and doing your own yard work, but that doesn't mean professional landscaping will be a breeze. Once you're employed by a landscaping company, it's not just about being able to do the work. It's about being able to do the work profitably.
As a landscape professional, you must be able to deliver quality work with maximum efficiency so the customer is happy and the company is profitable. Working on your own yard, you can take your time, go inside for a break, and choose the time of day you want to do the work. Working at a professional company, you have to go non-stop in a race against the clock, while making sure everything is done properly without cutting corners. You are getting paid, so you're expected to produce results.
You will need to continuously push yourself to go faster and work harder. Your body can and will adapt to the strenuous labor, but the first few weeks will be very tough for most new landscapers. You just have to have the will-power to push through the physical discomfort and pain you will feel at first. This is why many people quit during their first week, if not the first day.
What You'll be Doing
Since you're "the new guy" you'll probably start out doing work such as trash collection and pulling weeds if you're working on a lawn crew. On an installation crew, you can expect to be running a shovel, pushing a wheelbarrow, and stacking pavers. You will have to prove you're capable of this work first. As time goes on, your crew supervisor should begin training you in other, more detail-oriented tasks.
You may act as a "floater" for a while if the company has several crews. You should come prepare to do any number of jobs each day. If the company does lawn care and installation work, you may be cutting grass one day and laying patios the next. This can last for a while until you get a permanent crew assignment.
What to Bring
As a landscaper, the most important thing to bring to work each day is a good supply of water. Bringing a gallon jug of water or more is NOT overkill, especially in the summer. You will be going through A LOT of water everyday. In summertime, you are soaked in sweat from the time you set foot on the yard to the time you pull out of the gate to go home. Wash out an empty milk jug and fill it with water to bring with you each day. Consider investing in a hydration pack to easily keep water with you while you're working. It's worth every penny when you have a two or three mile walk back to the truck after weedeating a roadway in triple digit heat.
Drink plenty of water beforehand as well. You can ask your employer if they supply the crews with any refreshments or provisions for the day. For example, during the summertime at Real Turf Solutions, our crews are provided a cooler and a daily bag of ice for each truck, but crew members must bring their own drinks.
Do NOT drink caffeinated drinks! They will dehydrate you more!
During the summer months, you should plan to bring everything you need to beat the heat each day. The heat is not something to underestimate, especially if you're in a climate where summer temperatures consistently climb to 90+. Many landscape workers go to the hospital every year due to heat exhaustion, dehydration, etc.
Don't be shy about packing a backpack with everything you need and keep it with you in the truck.
Perhaps the most important thing to bring each day is a positive, can-do attitude. If you tell yourself that the job is going to suck, it will. If you tell yourself you can't do it, you'll end up quitting. Show up to work with a positive attitude, and smile on your face, and you'll have a much better day out on the truck. Nobody is going to expect you to run circles your first day working as a landscaper. Just give it your best, and be open to learning new things.
Are you looking for a job in the landscaping industry? If you live in Middle Georgia, we'd love for you to apply with us here at Real Turf Solutions! We are always looking to hire committed, hard workers. Check out our career's page at the link below to learn more and submit your application today!
By: William Adams
In 09/2018 William started at Real Turf working in the field having never done manual labor before. He wasn't expected to last the first day. Terry recognized ways William could benefit the company more, and after 5 months of working full-time on lawn service and enhancement crews, William was given a position doing digital marketing, IT, & quality control work.