Road sign with countryside and road

The recent #NoWrongPath campaign, designed to emphasise the wide variety of different options open to school leavers and career changers, produces lots of inspirational stories. But it is just as important to stress that, whilst there is no wrong path, there is a right destination.

Most people nowadays have had several jobs that were stepping-stones to where we are now, but which might not have been quite right in the longer term. I have been a waitress (my poor co-ordination meant that this was a brief experience), worked in a book shop, a delicatessen and a lab, and in each case, I very quickly knew it wasn’t for me.

The pandemic led many to reconsider their options and change career. Priorities change, and the environment, fair work and quality of life now rate more highly than they perhaps did before. Many are choosing to move into land-based careers, often studying part-time, remotely or undertaking short courses to develop their skills.  Where they can and where funding allows, some become apprentices, with vet nursing, aquaculture and forestry attracting a wide range of ages. Regardless of route taken, they are welcome. More than ever, we need people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience to join the sector. 

However, this works both ways. As we reassess what is important to us, it is natural that some in land-based careers, including farming, will also decide to change careers, which they clearly have the right to do. Too often though, some are made to feel like they would be ‘quitting’ or giving up too easily. Many see farming as their vocation and as something they were born to do, so perhaps they presume that others feel the same way and it is just a ‘rough patch’. We need to remember that, for some, it is more than that, and they do have the same rights to ‘re-career’ as the new entrants that we are keen to welcome into the sector.

There is no wrong path, but there is a right destination for everyone. Sometimes the route isn’t clear, sometimes it is rather convoluted, but there are people who can help. If you aren’t sure where you want to go, please get in touch with us and we can help you find the right guide.