The better you tend your career, the more it will grow.

When you first get out of school, you’re not handed a bountiful career. You’re given something more like a patch of earth, with the seeds of knowledge and the right tools to cultivate it. Like a fruitful garden, it takes years of persistence, hard work (and a little “fair weather”) for you to build a career that yields the compensation, challenge, growth and satisfaction you desire.

Today, Kinsa offers four tips for nurturing your career as you would a garden, so that it continues to thrive:

Expect some bad weather. A gardener has to deal with the adverse weather conditions Mother Nature throws his way, like freezes, flooding and drought. You may not have control over your career’s “weather conditions,” (e.g., trends in the food & beverage industry or your company’s financial stability), so you should learn to deal with surprises that come your way. As the market or your organization evolves, stay flexible. Shift your career strategies and tactics to embrace each new set of opportunities. Successful professionals, like successful gardeners, go with the flow when their original plans need to be revised.

Improve your soil. Smart gardeners know that healthy plants start with rich soil. Acquiring the right knowledge is one of the best ways to support healthy, long-term growth in your career. Look for new opportunities to learn. Take a class. Inquire about internal cross-training opportunities to learn more about other departments. Find a mentor. Become more active in your professional associations. Do whatever you can to broaden and deepen your knowledge, to build your career “from the roots up.”

Commit to regular weeding. Left unaddressed, weeds can quickly overrun a garden and choke out healthy plants. What are the “weeds” in your career? Avoid self-limiting thought patterns that hold you back. Identify counterproductive habits in your professional life to make more room for healthy behaviors that support your career progress.

Periodically re-evaluate your career. Every so often, a good gardener takes a step back and considers what plants he needs to add or remove, so that his garden continues to yield what he needs. Likewise, every few years you should re-evaluate your career’s “big picture,” to determine where you’re headed in your position. Take a look down the road to make sure you’re on a track to support long-term growth.

If you’re unsure whether you’re on the right career path, or your career “garden” isn’t thriving as much as you want, contact a Kinsa Group recruiter. As executive food & beverage recruiters, we can help you objectively evaluate where you are, where you’d like to be and what you need to do to create the career growth you desire.

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