The Seasons Of A Career


“To Everything There is A Season”.

My mother’s kitchen garden taught me the lessons about life I learned best and that mean the most to me.Best of all I loved the tomatoes and the roses. In those days, the relationship between mind, body and spirit was harmonious and emotionally entwined with the earth. Entry into the educational system introduced disharmony but the garden, especially the roses, kept me internally bound together. Fascinated with roses, I grew various cultivars whenever my family made home. Roses symbolized permanence in a decidedly mobile lifestyle.

I am a “job gypsy”. Business folk call this “job hopping”. I have gained and lost employment over 8 times over a lifetime. One of the first things I noticed that would happen whenever I lost a job was a loss of time sense. Days seemed to run into each other without definition of the day or hours in the day.Being a history lover and a teller of tales, as well as a lover of gardening, I began to pin my sense of timing to the natural seasons of the year in the manner of the ancient Celts instead of relating my personal timing to the academic year or to the business work day cycle.

The earth’s seasons move in predictable cycles from winter to autumn as the ancient Celts reckoned the year. Life progresses similarly in predictable, cyclical seasons from pre-birth to death. Here it is: just as there is specific work that must be done in each season of the earth, there is specific work to be done in each season of a human lifetime. Gail Sheehy in her book, “Passages” introduced us to that decades ago. Then, within the circle of a lifetime are many other “cycles”; the career cycle being the most pronounced. A career has seasons from pre-hire to exit and each job in that career progresses through its own seasons from the first day of employ to the end of employ. Between each season is a transition.