By Mary Ann Faremouth,
When Springtime rolls around it always reminds me of planting seeds in a garden with the expectation of an abundance of crops. I’m thinking of those crops or harvest in the garden of life. This consideration goes back to the beginning of time when our ancestors saw that cyclical process of sowing seeds to produce food and growth. When I think about this concept, I reflect back on the many life lessons I learned from my grandparents who lived next door to me growing up and how they always had an amazing garden. They would be outside, together, tilling the soil. Every gardener knows that how you tend the ground is essential in order to prepare and cultivate your produce. Soil particles must be mixed, turned and combined before sowing for a healthy harvest. Mixing the soil makes it fertile and helps the nutrients, minerals and water to intertwine and circulate properly. Thus, healthy and nutrient-rich crops are obtained.
Thinking about this concept with Springtime upon us, made me reflect on the first step of the Faremouth Method, “Do A Self-Inventory.” I think many of us, if not all, might be in the “Springtime of our Careers” as we search for new growth and a healthy harvest of our career efforts. We are all learning how to remix our skill set in order to produce a much healthier outcome of success.
In a metaphorical sense, collectively we’ve all had some storms of life play some type of havoc on our career gardens as we shed away layers to expose new fertile ground. Like what we’ve been through in the last year with the pandemic, a hailstorm of sorts comes along and beats our crops into the ground where they are gone and lost. So now what must the farmer do? Like us, he must plant new seeds after revitalizing the ground, giving it the most essential nutrition needed. His best harvest is when he plants in the Spring. With this time of the year now upon us, let’s investigate how we can reap the fruits and rewards in the New Work World!
1. Identify Where You Are and Where You Want to Go
Do an honest and thorough inventory of where you are in your career life. List your accomplishments, big and small, and applaud yourself for what you have achieved. It’s important to see things on paper in front of us to give us a much clearer understanding of where we have been and what we have to work with. Writing these career accomplishments down and looking at them may foster some positive motivation to realize that even in the toughest of times you were able to make positive strides. On another sheet of paper, write down some ideas of where you would like to go or what achievement goals you might have for the year 2021. Make sure you dream big as well as realistically. Just like the farmer, turning some of these actions over in your mind, thinking and expanding on them, might prepare your own career soil for some new growth and a new harvest that might reap a bigger and better reward for you in the coming year. We have all been through a lot in the past year and we have learned from those experiences. We may have found what works for us and what does not. None of us knows for sure what the future may hold, but we have had time to evaluate our talents and skill set and what we find to be rewarding to produce not only a more lucrative but also a happier life.
2. Learn Something New
Adding to your skill set is always a positive endeavor to reap a bigger harvest. With the New Work World upon us, evaluate what you might learn that could help your career climb to new levels. Perhaps learning a new language, new spreadsheet applications, new software, etc. Expansion not only increases confidence and competence, but it also feeds innovation. Maybe that means reading a book or enrolling in a class. Stimulating your mind is a great way to advance your career endeavors. Think of planting seeds this Spring that will yield you a better manifestation in your life and work world. Growth of our mindset is always a healthy practice and makes for a more interesting and meaningful exchange with others.
3. Working with Others to Expand Your Personal and Professional Network
I’m not so sure my Grandmother could have had the amazing garden she did if she wouldn’t have had my Grandfather alongside her, working together, planting seeds in the fertilized ground. Working with others to achieve any goal is usually positive as we learn different aspects of what we set out to do. With so many people working from home these days, having a network of contacts might really benefit our careers to have friends in the right places to allow us to make valuable connections, exchange ideas, and provide solutions, etc. Just making calls to a company like we did in the pre-COVID-19 days might not yield fruitful results because people are not actually in the office. This makes it more difficult to contact the people we need to reach. Our gardening soil is different now and we need to plant seeds in a way that will yield the harvest we are really looking for.
4. Celebrate Your Harvest
Acknowledge your achievements or harvest by listing your triumphs to spark pride in your progress and ignite initiative. I remember looking over the fence from my house into my grandmother’s garden, thinking about the wonderful spaghetti sauce we would all be enjoying from the fresh tomatoes off the vine she would harvest from her bountiful efforts. There was no sauce as tasty as hers! Her hard work and dedication day-in and day-out resulted in all the family coming together at her house to enjoy a wonderful, tasty meal. Once she harvested her tomatoes, she would can them in order to preserve their value and distribute them among family members and friends. That leads me to another point so near and dear to my heart. Once we have harvested our hard work and good efforts, how do we “can the results” and share our success with someone else? Maybe from your newly gained hard work or perspective you can spark someone else on to expand and grow in their own career endeavors? Perhaps you can be an inspiration to others and stimulate their journey to achieve their own desired results. Maybe your plan of action is just what others need to learn from.
This Spring consider what seeds you will plant in your garden of life for your own personal and professional growth. Now is the time to till your own personal soil to get it ready to plant new and exciting seeds that will yield a bountiful new harvest for you. Perhaps there is a new tool that you can incorporate into how you obtain your results that will benefit others. Check into the many avenues available to attain your own fruits of your labor. Faremouth & Company will be offering an exciting workshop on March 12th and 13th called “Navigation 101 for the New Work World” that might allow you to expand your career goals for 2021! Just like that wonderful sauce from my grandmother’s garden that she shared with others, you might be able to make your own “secret sauce” to share with contacts not only in your career endeavors but in your life going forward! Remember that in order to have a bountiful and healthy harvest, the right seeds need to be planted in the right mixture of soil to bear fruit.
Mary Ann Faremouth
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, D.C., 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, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.