Lessons From The Garden

I didn’t always love gardening and I didn’t always know I would be a career development professional. I certainly didn’t expect that gardening and career development would have as much in common as they do or that I would learn the lessons I have from them. My garden provides for me in many ways. Not only does it supply me with an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits but it gives me a safe place to think, to plan, and to dream. My garden teaches me about patience, about successes and failures, and about career development. It is my pleasure to share a few of the lessons from my garden with you now.

Effort equals results. Your career, much like your garden, requires attention and effort. You can’t expect your garden to grow without getting dirty and you can’t expect your career to develop without effort and action. You will get out of your career what you put into it. It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it!

Be patient. I gave up on having fresh garden cucumbers this year. My plants just weren’t growing and I had given up hope that they would. I decided to give them one more week. On the day I was going to pull them from the ground I discovered that something miraculous had happened; not only had the plants started to grow but they had produced six tiny cucumbers. A balance of patience and persistence is good for your garden, and your career.

See the potential in everything. One little seed can yield pounds of tomatoes to be enjoyed fresh, frozen, and canned throughout the year. Much like every seed is full of potential so is every chance interaction or seemingly insignificant action. Being open to new experiences, ideas, and opportunities can create endless career possibilities.

Learn from your mistakes. I planted my carrots in the same spot in my garden for three years. For three years I didn’t have more than a handful of fresh carrots. This year I tried a new spot and a new strategy – it worked! I have been enjoying carrots for weeks now! If you aren’t getting the results you would like then it is time to try a new strategy and do something different. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

Enjoy the journey. You can prepare your soil; purchase the highest quality seeds; plant in optimal conditions; shelter your seedlings from the elements; and water, weed, and till until well past sunset but there are no guarantees that your plants will grow or bear fruit. When they don’t it is disappointing but when they do there is nothing quite like the flavor of a vine ripened tomato, a new potato, or a crunchy baby carrot. There is just as much joy in seeing the first leaf poke through the soil, watching the first blossom open, and studying the first fruit form. Every step of the process is an opportunity for discovery, reflection, and learning. Appreciate the beauty, savor the flavors, and take advantage of the sunshine and the rain.

"I cultivate my garden, and my garden cultivates me." ~ Robert Brault

For a FREE 30 minute job search consultation please feel free to contact Paula directly at or 780.589.2245.