Watching, Weeding and Feeding: Career Care I

My childhood lawn mower
My childhood lawn mower

Toward the eve of solstice in the cycle of the seasons, a comment about that “before June 21st” time period in a job and in a career is appropriate. The work of summer in the garden and in a career is all about watching, weeding and feeding.

Watching

Coming up to the high point of the most productive time in a job, it is necessary to watch for weevils, weeds and blight. Weevils will cause a glorious, prize-winning rosebud to suddenly turn black and drop. Unseen, the beasties ate out the heart of the bud. It can happen in a job. Early in the beautiful bud of being a new-hire, it is important not to miss signs that all is not well at work. Tear a page out of my book as an example. When I was an early professional ad writer at a radio station:

  • Coworkers never welcomed me into their circle and made a study never to engage me socially
  • I was never assigned a desk of my own, forced to sometimes work from the office floor
  • Coworkers never discussed clients’ needs or their ad campaign concepts with the writer–me. No exchange of ideas.
  • Media sales staff resented the writer’s presence at client meetings and complaints prompted management to allow them to leave the writer behind in the office
  • I was never invited to join them at lunch
  • Questions from on-air staff included, “What DO you do around here?”

Lesson: I should have watched for weevils. I was never going to become a real part of that staff. Ever. There should not have been any surprise the station manager and the Sales Manager one day ended their meeting with me with, “I don’t know why you didn’t work out…you were so promising in school…maybe it’s because you’re from the south…”

Result: Bud drop. Career as an advertising professional abruptly halted. Bitter memories for over 25 years. Beginning of a negative resume.

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One thought on “Watching, Weeding and Feeding: Career Care I

  1. Ouch. That had to hurt! Sometimes a job is like junior high all over again! But other times it’s a terrific opportunity to grow and effect change.

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