By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
When I was young, I would watch my grandparents examine and till the soil of their backyard garden every year to make sure what they planted would yield good results. They never complained about the changes in the ground caused by inclement weather or a very dry season. Instead, they did what needed to be done to make sure their efforts yielded a healthy harvest, no matter how long it took.
As we move into the harvesting season, what can you do to make sure you yield your best career harvest when so much has changed? The ground in which you have planted your career seeds for so many years may not appear as fertile as it has in the past. It may contain some unusual ingredients that have to be examined, possibly even removed.
However, as Stephen Covey poignantly illustrated, “[You are] not a product of [your] circumstances. [You are] a product of [your] decisions.”
Circumstances like the last eighteen months don’t have to deter you from reaping the career harvest you seek. Now more than ever, if you want your results to be prosperous, it is important to get your soil ready for planting not just any seeds but the right seeds. When you decide what you want to accomplish and make a determined effort to make it happen, the results can be astonishing.
Let’s look at ways you can cultivate the soil of your career that will allow you to harvest a garden of opportunity moving forward:
1. Prepare the Soil
No farmer would ever try to plant crops in soil that is not healthy and tilled in a proper manner. The soil must be filled with nutrient-rich ingredients for anything to take root and grow well. The same applies to your career, and the first layer of soil you must tend is your mindset. If you hold a negative mindset—such as remaining angry at what might have happened in your employment situation—and you voice that negativity to your family, peers, or prospective employers, nothing healthy will be able to grow. You need to till your soil to remove the damaging ingredients and leave the soil fertile. By shaping your mindset into a positive, unshakable inner dialogue that won’t allow circumstances of the past to deter you from your goals, you will be ready to receive new seeds that will yield a bountiful harvest of opportunity and expansive growth in your career.
2. Plant according to the Harvest That Is Currently Available
All farmers must decide what bountiful crops they want to harvest. Before you start planting seeds in the gardens of the New Work World, ask yourself what type of harvest you want to reap. If the garden of opportunity you have been in for the last twenty years is no longer fertile, do you need assistance with presenting your skillset for a new garden, demonstrating transferable skills to a prospective employer? Do you need to plant new ideas by taking online classes that will make you more valuable to the enhanced digital world we now face?
3. Sow a Variety of Crops
The farmer can never really be certain of the seeds he sows, of which will take root and succeed. The same holds true for the seeds you sow for your career. Consider planting career seeds in a variety of ways to give yourself the possibility of a harvest in many venues. For example, you might work with a career consultant or coach, apply to jobs through online job boards, join networking groups, and contact previous bosses or colleagues to investigate options or positions that might be available. It might also be wise to sow your career seeds across a variety of industries.
4. Be Grateful for the Current Season
Every season has its advantages for the farmer’s bountiful harvest, but certain seasons are better for planting particular seeds. For example, fall is the best time of year to plant cold-season vegetables, as well as many trees, shrubs, and perennials. The same can be said of careers. The first of the year has traditionally been known for new beginnings, fresh hiring budgets, and planning strategies for expansive growth of companies. However, if you were given a layoff notice in early summer, maybe the season you are currently in calls for a long-needed vacation so you can get away from the situation, take a break, and reevaluate your strategy or plan going forward.
But no matter what season you are in while you search for a job or reevaluate your current employment situation, be grateful for all the lessons learned, the people you have met along the way, and how your experiences—good or bad—might have prepared you for a more exciting journey moving forward. Having a sense of gratitude for the experience and building your mindset around that gratitude will allow you to manifest a greater harvest in your career, as well as in the garden of life.
Let your best harvest for the New Work World be determined by your attitude, not by your current circumstances. Prepare the soil of your mindset for the seeds you will plant in your career garden to make sure they yield bountiful opportunities for an expansive and growth-oriented career in the New Work World.
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.