Tag Archives: worklife balance

How gardening can help you find a job

laptop and garden tools next to flowering plants

What you learn in the garden can help you in your job search

At first glance, gardening and finding a job seem to have nothing in common. Gardening is supposed to be a hobby that’s good for your health and keeps us moving in the great outdoors, while finding a job can be stressful and tends to keep us sitting inside.

However, anyone who is a serious gardener or has seriously tried to garden knows gardening can be thorny and demanding. But the payoff can be wonderful and fulfilling. These are the lessons I learned from gardening can help you find a job.

1. Start from the ground up

Make sure your plants, however large or small, have the right type of soil, the right amount of light and the space to grow. Likewise, ensure that you’re ready to begin your job search. Are you in the right frame of mind or are you angry, upset or resentful?  Give yourself the right environment to succeed, even if that means taking a break from your job search.

2. Learn from your mistakes

I tried planting lavender next to hostas but the former need a lot of sun and a little water, while the latter are the complete opposite. Similarly, remember what works and what doesn’t during your job search. What questions did you answer well? What can you improve upon?

3. You can’t control everything

One year it’s aphids, the next, whiteflies. You can plan for garden insects but not for extreme weather. Equally, when you’re looking for work, accept there are events beyond your control. Case in point, the coronavirus. Be flexible.

4. Create a positive environment

Talking to plants never worked for me but I know for sure they thrive in a positive environment; good soil, sunlight and the company of other plants. If you’re surrounded by negative people, you’ll become negative. You become your thoughts.

5. Be patient

It takes years to cultivate a mature garden, at the very least one season to see the results of your labour. Don’t expect success overnight. To find a job, consistency pays off.

6. Make a plan

You’ve researched sun and water requirements, soil type and plant species for your garden.  Do the research for your job hunt, from résumé writing to job search strategies and market research to mock interview

7. Get your hands dirty

You can’t plant a garden without getting a little dirt under your nails. Be prepared to review, research and rewrite job-search strategies. There should be a lot of reflection and introspection. It’s messy but the results are worth it.

8. There are no guarantees

Putting in the time doesn’t guarantee results. Hedge your bets by putting your efforts in the right place at the right time. Even then, extreme weather or a one-in-a hundred-years pandemic can mess with your plans. Pause. Regroup. Start again.

9. If you think something is crawling on you, it is

If you get an itchy or tingly feeling while gardening, you can be sure you’ve got a bug on you or the start of an allergic reaction. If you sense something is not right during a job interview, you’re probably right. Listen to your instincts. Move on.

10. There’s strength in numbers

Plants do really well when there are other plants nearby. You’ll be better off with a network of friends, colleagues or family supporting you.

Bonus

11. Be resilient

I’ve almost killed plants by forgetting to water them but just when I think there’s no coming back from the shrivelled vegetation before me, a little water and fertilizer bring them back to life. Rejection is hard but keeping lessons four and ten in mind, you too will bounce back.