Tag Archives: summer

Ready Or Not?

Harvest Ready Fruit
Harvest Ready Fruit

Each kind of fruit has its own harvest-ready days in this season and many, noticeably,come to full readiness beginning mid-summer. Consider the “delicious time” of a career. Early harvest is a fortuitous time to stop and carefully examine the earliest produce of the first 30-60 days of a new job. For many employers, this is a “trial” period. Predictably, any kind of trouble in these days could mean loss of an entire harvest later.

Employers expect certain kinds and quality of results and development in workers within a specific time frame. Employees expect certain kinds and qualities of satisfaction and advancement in a specific time frame. There do exist situations in which the sampling of a worker’s produce is done way too early. Certain results/professional development need longer times. However, especially for workers in the lower tiers of the workplace terrace, the expert eye of a supervisor is often on-point.

As has been mentioned before there are expectations (new hire may or may not be told) already in place to be met. The 30-60-90 day plan from the employer’s viewpoint is intended to predict a potentially outstanding harvest or a productivity disaster (costs the company lost time and financial gain).

  • Employers want to know as early as possible whether or not to continue investing time and expertise (care, attention and fertilizer) in developing an employee.
  • Employees want to know as early as possible whether or not the workplace soil (opportunity for growth and learning) will support ongoing development.

Hopefully, the employee knows how she/he will be judged and has before accepting the offer presented the employer with a “preview”–the 30-60-90 day plan–the seed packet illustration of what kind of bloom to expect. In the garden and in careers certain questions have to be answered.

Here are the questions: Does the late summer sample show a potentially good harvest or a poor one? Is this tree/flower/worker going to produce a prize winner or an average bloom?

Is the fruit ready or not?


How Does Your Garden Grow?

Example of mature summer blooming garden
Example of mature summer blooming garden

How’s it going?

What does the entire garden look like from the second floor balcony? This is THE question of the mature, full bloom stage of summer in the garden. Do all the colors work together? Are the results of your labor now perfuming the July air? Is the dream of beauty imagined back in icy winter planning a fruitful, blooming reality now?

It ought to be.

This moment is what all the worrying, weeding, and feeding is about: high summertime; the zenith of a job; the highest point of a career; the best produce of a lifetime. These are the flourishing days when the salary is the best. Remember not to get “summer drunk”; preserve some of the bounty. These are the days when influence is the strongest. Remember to keep building and maintaining the personal and professional networks.They are like attar of roses.

These are the days when certain prized projects will almost “fall into your lap” like early ripe fruit out of the trees. Keep scrapbooks about them. Keep records (like pressed flowers). Keep pictures (accurate descriptions of your role in projects). Gather stories to tell in the winter (you will need material for S.O.A.R. stories to advance to the next job). Remember to harvest the best and strongest fruits/results for these SEEDS. This is NEXT YEAR’S garden, the future and the heritage.

These are also the days when weeds show themselves for what they really are. Uproot them carefully. Remember they have been stealing your garden’s care and are just as strongly rooted as the good plants living very near them. Remember the old adage, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. It pays now to have mentors’ and career coaches’–master gardeners’–expert advice.

…And this sweet moment is but a breath, so we hold it as long as we can before exhaling slowly. First Harvest is near.

Watching, Weeding and Feeding: Career Care III

A Summer Task
A Summer Task


If there is any one summer task that typifies the season, it is weeding. Weeds grow…well, like weeds in the summertime garden. Weeds spring up in career planning movements too. A weed is any plant that is out of place or out of context in the garden. A flower somewhere else is a weed where it is not welcome.

A wild rose springing up in a pedigreed rose bed is a weed. Ivy dangling in a hanging pot is cute. Helix sprawling wild, overpowering other plants in a yard is not so cute. The way a corporation relates to a worker is determined by whether or not that worker is looked upon as a weed or a flower. Question: Was the hiring placement appropriate? A worker might thrive and bloom in one kind of work environment, but be utterly barren and ugly somewhere else. Do oaks grow in the desert? Do aloe thrive on the seashore?

This is the reason for having carefully thought out career management strategies. For well-informed career decisions to be made it is necessary to know, understand and honor personal cultivar—-one’s own nature, personality and needs. the lessons of the garden and a bit of ancient wisdom taught me to always take a comprehensive view of any  project before starting it, or risk being embarrassed by the results of bad planning. This includes deciding not to accept incorrect job placements in companies whose missions and cultures would make me like a rose in the desert or dandelion in a front lawn. Shriveled. Miserable. Unwelcome. Weed. Surviving several bad job decisions in my life taught me to make sure to make that target jobs are in line with well thought out career goals so to not end up as heather in the desert.

Summer Drunk


My goodness, do we human beings ever love passionately leaping into the lavish arms of summer! We go hog wild plunging into the warm waters, lighting fragrant fires to cook our communal feasts, baking our bodies in the sun and reveling in the lingering daylight. Summer gets to be way too much for me by the middle of it, but I have to confess to one “summer sin”.

I sometimes get cross-eyed “summer drunk”. What?

“Summer drunk” is that sluggish, torpid state of having too much of everything at one time and acting like it will never end. Do you remember last year’s Thanksgiving feast how it felt to be so painfully full after?  This is what I mean when I say it is possible to get “summer drunk” any time there is so much blessing and so much overflowing bounty of growth and prosperity. It just becomes extremely hard to keep balance of vision. Summer is here, but winter is also on the direct opposite side. Better to freeze some of that turkey!

There is another danger inherent to gardeners in the summer–laziness and carelessness born of all that comfort and coatless-ness. A creeping forgetfulness particularly associated with this season can make us neglectful to watch for the weeds and diseases that are also springing up right beside the good crops. No garden is without pests or weeds. There is waiting underground a malicious, opportunistic crop not deliberately planted that will not refuse to suck up any nourishment from our cultivated beds.  I have observed that the better the soil, the better kept the garden, the higher class of weeds spring up and the more diligent must be the tending.

In the garden and in a career it is important not to get “summer drunk” and forgetful to manage the overflow of summer’s fast, lush growth. While intoxicated (flush?) with present success In the most productive times of life, future old age and disability never come and unemployment happens to inferior others.  As a younger professional I saved too little and followed fashion too much. I have since learned that life moves cyclically and as sure as there is an overflowing summer, there is also a starving winter so, it makes sense to learn how to “can” summer produce. That means, learn to save habitually, invest well and spend wisely.

O, That Summer Would Last A Year!

JFK rose
rose cultivar “JFK”

Life is like a non-stop celebration as we begin the season dedicated to rapid, over-the-top growth. When we were younger we may have wished summer would never end. This is the most productive season of life in a career and in a job. Once past the gawky, springtime “new grad/intern” stage, we burst out of formal schooling’s constraints. Familiarity with the rhythms of “the routines and rituals” at work makes confidence grow like morning-glory vines. After the “new-hire” stage we apply the learning we have been so greedily sopping up and hard buds soften into flowers.

Summer allows nothing to hide. There is too much color; too much fragrance; too much movement; too much noise. Everybody notices the new clothes, louder laughter and longer strides in the hallways. As the social meanings of being introverted or extroverted come into full display in meetings and in teams it pays to have a deep, personal understanding of which kind of cultivar one is. While roses reign in their sunny spaces, ferns prefer the comfort of the maple’s shadow. Both thrive in different places in the same garden.

I love indoor container gardening as well as outdoor gardening so I learned–sometimes the hard way–to honor the fact that some tropical plants hate being in drafts and desert-origin plants are natural-born sun worshipers. There is no shame about being either one. So it is with a workforce.

Savvy human capital professionals  understand how to choose the right people for the right positions in a company. Workers who understand what kind of environment they need for personal optimum growth will choose a company “garden” wisely.