Lifestyle Life Storms and the Lessons We Learn for the New Work World

Life Storms and the Lessons We Learn for the New Work World

By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC


Just the other day, a tornado touched down near my home and did much damage to my property and surrounding areas. Winds of 100 mph brought three large old trees crashing down, my wooden fences look like a bomb had gone off and my patio cover blew away. My two big dogs were severely traumatized.


As I waited for workmen to arrive to remove all the debris and install new wooden fences, I thought about metaphors for the storms we all go through in life. Broken fences have other meanings from which we can learn valuable lessons. So, too, my garden statue of a ballerina: She reminded me that even with her now broken arm, the dance could go on. I smiled at the reminder not to allow what had happened to dampen my spirit about my metaphorical recruiter dance in which I am constantly assisting others to get the right job or hire that right candidate.


But back to fences. In their article “The Secret Life of Fences,” Alex McInturff, Christine Wilkinson and Wenjing Xu state that the most common form of human infrastructure in the world might just be the fence. Recent estimates put the length of all fencing around the globe at 10 times greater than the total length of roads.


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of a fence is “a barrier, railing, or other upright structure, typically of wood or wire, enclosing an area of ground to mark a boundary, control access, or prevent escape.”


Another interpretation that really related to my situation was by Joshua Odogwu. In “Spiritual Meaning of Broken Fence in a Dream,” he purported when a storm caused broken fences, this could symbolize a breakthrough.


Let’s look at some of the lessons we could glean from the recent storm breaking our fences and how we could implement changes to barriers or other fenced-in ideas to have better access in the New Work World and beyond:


1. Examine the Barriers

After the past several years dealing with the pandemic and its aftereffects, many of our employees and employers may be facing barriers that prevent them from actualizing potential or expanding the bottom line. Hiring managers, it’s important to look at those old fenced-in ideas where you’ve demanded every box be checked in a job description and instead be more open to transferrable skills. Employees, look for the opportunity of future growth and be willing to consider salary ranges that may not be at the level you demanded at the outset of your new position. With so many opportunities available post-COVID, and a limited talent pool because of unprecedented talent shortages, could our job market be more flexible and build a new fence with new railing and upright structures to keep good things in and not those that inhibit progress?


2. Create New Structures That Prevent Escape

Having to put up temporary wooden structures to keep my dogs from going into the neighbor’s yard and out to the main road reminded me how perhaps the fences we have had in the New Work World might be broken and therefore caused the “great resignation” in which many employees were leaving their jobs to go to a new environment with different fences, so to speak. Although my fence was not reparable because of it being so old and the storm causing severe damage, what about looking at the fences either in our minds or in a work environment? Are the fences, or limiting beliefs, that we have erected holding us back more than our bosses? How can we as managers create a work environment where people feel respected, supported and eager to come into work on Monday morning?


3. Breakthroughs That Open Our Eyes to Exciting Changes

As a recruiter for many years, I see how some of our metaphorical fences may be broken after the storms we have all been through in our lives, and they may need to be replaced. How could exciting breakthroughs in our mindset allow new fences to be installed to prevent escape or establish new boundaries for better access to the New Work World? Could we be more willing to contribute to our jobs and make a dedicated effort to let our bosses know how much we value the opportunity we have and work even harder to expand the bottom line? As a boss, could we try to look outside the box when we are making hiring decisions and look for the person’s track record, dedication and passion?


As I walked outside this morning to admire my new fences and the nice new gate, the ballerina with the broken arm seemed to look right at me. I felt she might be reminding me that the dance in the New Work World and beyond would go on, and perhaps new mindsets might be created for all that will make us examine the barriers, create new structures that prevent escape and new breakthroughs would come about that would open our eyes to exciting changes!


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. (

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.

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