It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.Tony Robbins
Staying positive all the time when you’re not seeing results from your actions is difficult. Posting your CV and applying for jobs can be really draining, especially when you receive no responses from people.
Faith plays an important role when we are up against a challenge like switching careers or finding the ideal job. Because without faith in our actions, we can easily give up too soon and miss out on success.
Keeping going through a drought
I left the corporate world to work for myself. Being self-employed, there are ups and downs. I cannot predict how many clients I will have at any one given time. The inevitable dry patches are always a testing time.
One of the ways I keep going is to remember to plant the seeds (as my mentor Karen Liebenguth has taught me). Planting seeds means to repeatedly take one small action related to your goal.
I keep planting seeds by reaching out to ex-clients or colleagues, reconnecting with expats and influencers from the NGO world, conducting webinars and group workshops, and posting and networking on social media.
Even when I speak to a potential client who does not take up my services, I know that some of the other seeds that I planted will bear fruit, because I plant so many. I used to feel bad when a potential client turned me down, but over the years I have learned that not every lead would become a client, just like not all job interviews will lead to you being hired. It doesn’t mean you did something wrong.
Every seed you plant has potential, and can reward you in unexpected ways.
Recently someone who decided not to go ahead with my coaching services sent me the following message:
“Hi Sylvia! I don’t know if you remember me, but I met with you once when I was looking for a career coach when I was moving from Madrid to Frankfurt. I ended up working with a German coach because I didn’t understand the German market and nuances. I just wanted to say that I’ve seen several of your posts here on LinkedIn and they are great! Very uplifting and enlightening. I really like that you share your input and expertise in a positive way 🙂
Best wishes with your growing business!”
This is what I call planting the seeds. Although this person did not take my services this time, she still follows what I post and is uplifted. She remembers me, and who knows, she may tell others about me.
Everything you are doing related to pursuing your goal is working. It’s just that you can’t see what’s going on behind the scenes.
Seeds grow underground for a long time before shoots appear. If you went to your greenhouse every day to check on your seeds, all you would see is a patch of earth where apparently nothing is happening. But things are stirring underground.
Will every seed turn into a thriving plant? No… but every small action you take adds up, and eventually, your garden bears fruit.
Are you planting seeds for your future career?
A friend of mine hated her job, but instead of leaving, she began planting seeds to prepare for a more senior role. She started improving processes in her department. I told her to write down all the improvements she was making, and record the outcomes. These results will be the fruits to show in her future job interviews. So yes she is also planting seeds, getting ready for when the time comes to apply for jobs.
Here are 29 ways to plant seeds for career success
Seeds in your current job
- Give a presentation about a recent project
- Start a charity initiative
- Offer to write a blog for your company’s website
- Get a professional qualification
- Join an industry association
- Apply for an industry award
- Find a way to improve a process
- Give a leaving speech for a colleague who is moving on
- Learn a new skill
Seeds for new opportunities
- Go to a networking event
- Start your own networking group
- Meet up with an old colleague or former manager for a coffee
- Give a talk to a local group like the Rotary Club, Women’s Institute, Chamber of Commerce or Toastmasters
- Overhaul your CV and update your LinkedIn profile
- Get a professional to write your LinkedIn summary
- Ask a colleague past or present, for a LinkedIn recommendation
- Speak to a recruitment agent
- Make a list of industry influencers and follow their social media posts
Seeds for a career transition
- Interview someone who already does the kind of job you’re interested in
- Reach out to someone in an organisation you’d like to work for
- Hire a career coach
- Journal your thoughts about what it is exactly that you want
- Start a weekly log of successes and failures from that week and what you learned from them
- Tell a friend, family member or someone in your network about your plan
- Make a list of industries, sectors and companies you are interested in and write down why you want to work there
- Visualise what you want, who you want to be and how you want to feel
- Read an inspiring blog, like this one: 10 people came for career coaching: Where are they now?
- Do one of my career change exercises
- Read an inspiring and motivational book on career change, like one of these.
To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.Unknown
Remember, every relevant action you take is a seed planted. Keep planting those seeds every day, and you will be rewarded.