Is Your Career Pot-Bound? The ‘Gardeners’ Guide to Your Career: 7 Tips
Want to break out of your pigeon-holed career?
Stuck in a career rut and don’t know how to get out?
Not feeling aligned with the direction of your employer?
If you were to imagine yourself as a plant, what type of plant would you be? A rose bush, a cactus, an oak tree? Each and every plant is beautiful and unique, and all varieties need very different environments to allow them to grow, blossom and bloom.
1. Creating the right environmental conditions
Each seed that is planted needs the best conditions to survive. What type of environmental conditions do you need for you to not just to survive but to thrive?
Do you need flexibility in the hours you work or do you like a set, structured timetable that allows you to schedule your time? What do want to wear to work, suit and tie or jeans and trainers? Do you enjoy being micromanaged or do you love having the freedom to create your results, your way?
Our behaviours are habitual. Unconsciously, by osmosis, who we spend the most time with is who we become. Can you really thrive and grow in the environment you are working in now or is it stifling your creativity, freedom and therefore your happiness?
2. Make sure the container you are using is big enough
Is the business/department you are in big enough? Is there enough room for you to grow or is it feeling too small so potentially you are in danger of being strangled by your roots?
Did you complete a degree course, find a job to do which has turned into a career and now 10/15/20 years later you are feeling unhappy, unfulfilled and frustrated? Stifled and stuck in the smallness (in respect of mindset, values and opportunities) of the company? Not every student knows at 18 years old what they want to be doing at 38/48/58 – so how can you? However, along comes responsibilities like mortgages and having a family… then the perceived pain to move to a new career bites hard.
3. Provide the right amount of sunlight
Do you like full sunlight, partial shade or total shade for you to do well at work?
What do you need to do to ensure you enjoy your part of the garden? Do you excel as a team player or prefer to be a solo worker? Have you been promoted into a leadership role and have never been given the direction, training and mentorship to be able to shine?
Do you have the opportunity to bask in the sunshine of praise or are you deep in the depths of the shadows, feeling cold and unloved?
4. Water the plants only as often as needed
How are your stress levels? Are you feeling over-saturated? What about your work/life balance?
Are you waterlogged by the demands of the organisation? Or are you thirsty for new opportunities and new horizons?
What nutrients do you need to feel full and satisfied, i.e. what are the values of the organisation? Are the values posted on the walls but not lived? Have you been on the values course/seminar, ticked the box yet the business culture has not changed?
What are your values? What helps you grow in your job? How can you tell when you are enjoying work and feeling successful and fulfilled? How are you getting your needs nutritiously met?
6. Check your plants often
How often do you check your progress? Do you wait for everything to be ‘perfect’ before allowing yourself any internal praise?
Is performance management in your organisation a tick box exercise? Are your leaders checking and focussing on what’s going well or on what’s going wrong?
7. Keep pests away
If you do choose to stay in the same environment, then protect yourself from the ‘toxic negative vampires’ that aim to suck you dry of your positivity. Proactively stay away from or protect yourself from negative people and potential dream stealers. Everyone has an opinion but listen to your inner wisdom first before subjecting yourself to everyone else’s.