HR Exec Takes Six-Figure Pay Cut to Become Gardener

  • Jantsch, 30, is a “Former Head of People turned gardener,” according to her LinkedIn profile.
  • She told followers she previously made $165,000 per year in HR, but now makes $15 per hour at a plant nursery.
  • She gave three reasons why she made the switch, and continues to document the journey on Instagram.

A human resources pro who said she’s leaving the tech industry for a career in landscaping — and a huge pay cut — is documenting her new life online. 

On Thursday, Mary Jantsch, 30, told her LinkedIn followers to “say hello to Boise’s newest gardener” in a post announcing her departure from the corporate world after nine years at different start-ups.

The ex-HR head and pay-transparency advocate said she was making $165,000 per year during her career as a head of people, but left the corporate world to become self-employed — and make $15 per hour.

“My former career centered around pay transparency so sharing those numbers is a lot less scary to me than explaining why I’m making this change,” Jantsch wrote.

She listed three key reasons for the switch and invited followers along via Instagram on her journey to become a gardener in Boise, Idaho.



Jantsch attributed her success in the tech industry to ADHD-fueled hyper fixation on work tasks and “dropping everything else to keep up.” In subsequent Instagram posts, she discussed burnout and having difficulties resting prior to changing careers.

“When I stopped trying to force and figure out my next steps, I realized the thing that restores me – land – is the thing I want to help restore,” Jantsch wrote.


Although she’s still in “the soak-up-things-like-a-sponge learning phase,” Jantsch said she plans to own and operate her own landscaping company eventually. 

“I’ve been volunteering at the botanical garden and working at a native plant nursery,” the post read. And, Jantsch justifies her $15 per hour pay at the nursery as an investment to learn from the best in the field.

Market need

According to Jantsch, her journey into gardening started in 2021 when she moved to Boise and noticed a lack of landscapers who understood drought-tolerant gardens. 

“I struggled to find a gardener or landscaper that specialized in maintenance for xeriscaped yards and drought-tolerant gardens,” Jantsch wrote. “Fortunately, this meant I had to learn it myself and a fascination was sparked.”

Now, her followers have offered an outpouring of support for the decision.

“I’ve been feeling so restless and unsure with my tech career, and your journey is really motivating to see,” one commenter wrote.

Jantsch isn’t alone in feeling more at peace after leaving a demanding job. Thirty-year-old Maggie Perkins worked as a teacher before leaving education to work at her local Costco. It was a move that Perkins said made her life much better, Insider reported.

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