Periodically you have read reference here in this blog to sowing seeds, cultivating ideas, fallow and fertile ground for thought so how fitting that we talk about a full-fledged garden of your professional being. (A nod to contact Bob Podgorski for this phrase.)
Gardens, vegetable or flower, must be tended regularly or their character will change entirely. Some plants will run rampant and strangle out others, some are too delicate to survive in a wild environment and will die, weeds will take advantage and push out more valuable plants by depriving them of nutrients. So to must you tend to your professional life in an intentional manner.
I like to take walks around my neighborhood and check out how the plantings in various yards change with the seasons and the years. There are so many different styles and predilections starting with absolutely no plant adornment, through no time to spend on the previous owner’s efforts, all the way to showy designer planned installations. And of course in these days there are the houses that fell victim to the crash and are awaiting loving care. Some of these had beautiful yards and I watch with interest to see if new owners will coax the garden back to glory or will rip it all out and start fresh.
My point is that it is easier to find a means to maintain than to bring something back or to give up on it and start fresh. I know that you don’t have enough hours in a day for all your tasks – work, family, etc. How could you possibly squeeze in a to-do or two to plot out the state of your professional garden? You don’t know the first thing about what is growing there these days. Well, finding yourself suddenly in job search is not the time to start taking inventory except that this seems to be the standard prompt.
What is in your professional garden? First there is you – do your skills stack up against others in your position and industry? How aware are you of the trends within your industry? Then there are your contacts – who are they, where are they, and when was the last time that you were in touch? It is a whole lot easier to get a recommendation from someone right after a successful mutual project than months or years later. What have you done for them lately?
I know that it just sounds exhausting, and it is work to maintain any garden. But judicious effort on a regular basis is warranted and prudent. And a whole lot less work than bringing a tangle back to order or replanting an empty lot.
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