Watching, Weeding and Feeding: Career Care II

shallow root flower bed surrounding larger tree
shallow root flower bed surrounding larger tree

Watching For The Needs of Growth and Expansion

In the height of summer, things grow fast in the garden. Growth needs to be carefully monitored.  Some plants will need repotting or relocation because they have outgrown the starter seedling pot or the small bed. One thing  I learned from growing plants in captivity is that a gardener can damage a plant by allowing it to become “pot bound”. This is a condition where the growing roots fill the pot and then twist in  on themselves. If trans-potted too late, leaves wilt, yellow and fall. This is what a plant with overcrowded roots does: attempt to stunt its own growth to suit the space.

Babies outgrow their clothes so fast in their first year of development that they change sizes at least 3 times that year. The same goes for growing children’s feet. Those tiny toes can become crooked, curled under or grow on top of each other trying to make the best use of  limited space in an outgrown shoe.

Just as human beings grow physically, we also grow spiritually and intellectually. Professionals can become “pot bound” too. Suddenly, there is an awareness of being “crowded” in a current position. A new hire in fast professional development mode will become uncomfortably, unnaturally bent over trying to avoid hitting the “ceiling”.  We have a big tree trying to grow inside a little house. There always comes a time in a job that the “newness” wears off and there is a desire for more challenge: space to grow deep and spread wide. We get bored with the limited tasks that only need a beginner’s skills.  I remember being so bored on one job that I fought to stay awake at work. There is a passionate drive to know more, to explore and to expand.

A bigger corporate pot might solve the problem until signs of outgrowing it appear again (such as boredom and restlessness). At last, some professionals may seek space through moving up into  management. Some ferns make their homes very well clustered in the spaces at the roots of trees. Big trees, however, need space. Some professionals who understand the limits of their corporate pot to tolerate farther expansion may need to transplant out to find more space–another company.