Business,Lifestyle Lessons from The Tree for the New Work World

Lessons from The Tree for the New Work World

By Mary Ann Faremouth,


The First Step of the Faremouth Method is Do A Self-Inventory.  When I look inside myself these days dealing with so many changes in the new work world, the words of Jo Ann Raptis, a behavioral scientist researcher, come to mind.  She says:


Be Like a Tree

Stay Grounded

Connect With Your Roots

Turn Over A New Leaf

Bend Before Your Break

Keep Growing


I visited the small island of Malta last year, a country I am proud to say is part of my heritage.  I found so many references to trees and the “Tree of Life” painted on souvenirs, jewelry, leather goods, etc.  When I asked a local person on the island why that was, he told me the Tree of Life is a vital symbol to the people of Malta because it reminds them of how trees regenerate and give hope and strength.  Its roots symbolize our origins and our internal strength which has to be solid and resilient.  The trunk is life itself which spans between the past and a future that is rich in luxuriant leaves and fruits.


I reflected back on how my father, who lived on the island of Malta until he was 12, would tell me stories about how this small island was so bombed and threatened during World War II but stayed strong and resilient through it all.  In 1964, Malta became a sovereign and independent nation.


Covid-19, in some ways, has dropped a metaphorical bomb on the lives of all of us globally during the last several months and disrupted so much of the lives we knew, and especially, our work world.  The Tree of Life just might have deep symbolism and meaning for all of us in these uncertain times.  The Tree of Life commonly represents the interconnectedness of everything in the universe. It symbolizes togetherness and serves as a reminder that you are never alone or isolated, but rather, that you are connected to the world. The roots of the Tree of Life dig deep and spread into the earth, thereby, accepting nourishment from Mother Earth as its branches reach up into the sky accepting energy from the sun and moon.


Just how the people of Malta felt during World War II with their lives torn apart, they found a way to remain strong and we can too. Trees can weather the toughest of storms which is why they are such a prominent symbol for strength.  The Tree of Life represents growth as a tree starts out as a small silicate sapling and grows over a long period of time into a giant strong tree.


Let’s take a look at some of the lessons the tree just might be teaching us in the new work world:


1. Be Like A Tree


The Tree of Life symbolizes one’s individuality as trees are all unique with their branches sprouting at the base.  Covid-19 may be teaching us to look deep within at who we are, without all the busy go-go-go activities we had before.  This downtime allows us to honor our unique talents and abilities and nourish them, allowing us to be a better version of ourselves.  By expanding those talents, we can make a contribution to our own personal fulfillment and growth for the greater good of our planet.


2. Stay Grounded


No matter how many metaphorical storms, winds or even hurricanes, try to disrupt our vision or our center core, we need to stay grounded.  This is the time to focus on allowing the roots of who we are, or who we can be, to dig deep into the earth of our soul and not be shaken by job losses, salary cuts, working from home, not having the camaraderie with co-workers we had before, etc.  The workers who remain grounded through the storms of life will be recognized by bosses, peers and family as the rocks of strength with their strong determination to stay grounded and persevere, which will serve them well in the future.


3. Connect with Your Roots


This might be the opportune time to make the connection to your roots. Those roots might be your own personal validation of who you are and what is important to you.  Take the time to learn about your ancestry and heritage.  For me, learning more about my ancestral roots has propelled me to try hard to connect with the stories that my loving father always talked about to honor those qualities, abilities and strengths.  If you have an artistic flair that you have never actualized, pull out that paintbrush, get out those crafting materials, make that special necklace, etc.  The roots can be external or internal.  The key is to connect with them and honor them for your own wellbeing, growth and happiness.


4. Turn Over a New Leaf


If you have lost your job, now is the time to see where else your skillset will lead you.  If you have been a buyer in the retail industry, how can you transfer those skills and refine the keywords on your resume to make you a marketable candidate in a new industry.  Look at your transferrable skills and how you can package them in an honest and true way to fit the algorithms of today’s digital world to get your resume selected for that interview in a new industry.  Turning over a new leaf for you might be to put your career more online than in person these days.  If you are a person who has trained in person, how can you change that training platform to be more online with the digital world of the new work world?


5. Bend Before You Break


If what you have been doing for the last 20 years is not in demand in the new work world, bend your idea of what you have done in the past to what you can do in the present and future.  No one likes change. It’s not what we are used to.   If we keep doing what we have been doing and it’s not yielding results, we need to bend before we end up hurting ourselves, or “breaking,” causing us physical and emotional harm.


6. Keep Growing


We all need to continue to grow.  Sometimes forced growth isn’t always so bad. If this Pandemic is allowing you to take online classes with other professionals from other countries, think of the expanded awareness and education you will be receiving.  Being forced out of our comfort zone is sometimes what we need for growth to take place in a new and different direction. The key is to never stop growing and adapting.  We can get so comfortable in a role we’ve had for years that we don’t continue to grow.  Look at this new growth opportunity as a new lease on life to expand who you are and meet new and exciting people who can make your life more fulfilling and enriching.


The tree is seen as a sacred symbol with meaning in so many cultures and spiritual philosophies, showing its universal recognition and significance.  Every tree begins as a single seed and, when properly nourished, it develops a core strength.  Just like Malta, who suffered extreme hardship during World War II, they were able to declare their independence and thrive.  With nourishment and perseverance, we can overcome anything.  We are more like that tree than we ever thought.


You have an opportunity now to let the Tree of Life symbolize many new exciting things which will allow you to branch out on your own personal Tree of Life and grow in ways that you could ever have imagined!


Mary Ann Faremouth is author of “Revolutionary Recruiting,” recognized as one of 20 top global books on recruiting by Recruitics.


According to Faremouth’s company website, “Mary Ann is the founder and CEO of Faremouth and Company. As a leader in the national recruiting community and a placement specialist since 1982, Mary Ann knows what it takes to get the job done. She is 2016 President of Houston Independent Personnel Consultant Group, is a member of the NASPD, NAPCA, the National Association of Personnel Consultants, and is also a highly regarded speaker and writer. Her articles can be found in various industry related publications. She founded Jobs: Houston Magazine in 1997, one of the most popular employment magazines in Texas for over 7 years.”  She is the author of the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning book Revolutionary Recruiting


Mary Ann Faremouth is the founder and CEO of Faremouth & Company and a highly regarded recruiter, career consultant, speaker and writer. She has been a placement specialist and a leader in the national recruiting community and has placed thousands of employees since 1982. She was the 2016 president of the Houston Independent Personnel Consultant Group and is a board member of the NASPD (National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors) and Authors Marketing Guild. She specializes in recruitment of professional, clerical, and temporary placements, with a variety of industry specific positions in various fields. Her expertise is in matching quality applicants with the right job, serving companies ranging from thriving independents to global conglomerates, tailoring each engagement to the client’s needs.

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, DC, and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations in various other industries, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. She has a keen understanding of the marketplace and its specialized needs and requirements.

Mary Ann brings a wealth of expertise to clients looking for the right individual to maximize and empower their team. As a consultant she is available to assist both the applicant and the client to quickly adapt to the New Work World. She also offers virtual and in-person workshops to guide individuals through personalized self-discovery to find new career paths. She continues to build her affiliations with recognized leadership organizations to best serve her clients and applicants by creating a network of highly professional contacts throughout the world. She utilizes her platform as a writer and speaker through her articles and affiliations to reach those in need of help, offering hands-on guidance to navigate this uncharted territory. (More information on


Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 of the Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction by Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books by Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019) by Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018) by Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, teaching them how to tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction as well as the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann also showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

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