The Seasons of Your Career Development

by Joe Lavelle on June 20, 2012

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Americans marked the official start of Summer today.  Pools are now opened to thrilled children and sunbathers, grills have been scrubbed and are ready for the season, and families and friends are ready to enjoy the warmer weather together.

This annual rite of passage got me thinking about seasons and how each distinct time of the year offers something important, from the new growth of spring to the time to hibernate (or at least eat a lot of great holiday desserts) that we find during winter.  I wondered how each of these seasons is reflected to our approaches to developing our careers.  Do we inhabit the traits of summer?  Maybe autumn?  Here are a few quick thoughts.

Spring — You are full of new ideas.  Every day you wake up with another thought about how to network, someone who may serve as a potential mentor, or a plan for greater profits to submit to your boss.  How many of these ideas turn from buds to blooms?

Summer — Like the heat on a sidewalk in Manhattan or on the sands of Gulf Shores in August, you are strong and persistent.  When you are in a room, people know it.  Is this viewed by others as confidence or are people looking to escape because you are pushing too hard?

Autumn — The guys in pads and helmets who take to the field this time of year have a detailed strategy, and so do you.  You know exactly how you are going to impress your potential employer and, if that doesn’t work, you have two more plans ready.  In this season of harvest, you recognize the perfect time to pluck an opportunity and you never make your move too soon.

Winter — You are in a period of reflection.  You know that you aren’t thrilled with where you find your career at the moment, but you’re not sure of the steps to get you where you desire to be.  So, you are taking some deep breaths as you curl up in your favorite recliner, read books from leaders in your field, and prepare yourself to take advantage of what the next season will bring.

Perhaps there is nothing to my season analogies, but it’s an interesting exercise.  What are your thoughts?  How do the seasons represent different stages or actions in our own careers.  Please share your ideas!


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