As I was walking my dogs this week, I took note of the 6 pine trees in my neighbors’ yard.

I remember when those trees were planted – about 20 years ago. I thought about how the yard has changed over time. There used to be 8 of them, but only 6 remain. Those trees started as 4-foot trees. The surviving trees are over 50 feet tall at this point, and they’ve gone from decorative to being a major focal point in the yard.

Image credit: Pexels

As I thought about the changes to the trees and their current state, I imagined that the what new residents in the house must think. They probably appreciate the shade the trees offer and increased privacy from the street, but I doubt they know the origin story or think about the 20 years’ of significant changes the trees went through to get to their current height.

I thought about the 2 trees that are gone. They didn’t survive to reach the height that the other 6 have. Maybe the missing trees had roots that needed more nourishment, or they didn’t get enough light because they didn’t grow as fast as the others. The remaining trees have flourished, and I wondered how that happened – were they in the spot for just the right amount of water and light, were they just hardier specimens or did they get some help in the form of pruning and care from the neighbors?

As usual, I related the growth of the trees to career growth. Think about your career. It started out small, full of potential, and planted in your first job. Did you really plan what happened next? Did you expect to be where you are today? Was your growth intentional, or did you just follow the light that allowed you to branch out and flourish? What resources have you had? Were you nurtured by someone who made a major impact on your success track today?

A career is no different from a tree in that it needs help to grow. Sunlight, water and maintenance for a tree become some key elements when thinking of your career. Quality growth Improves the skills within your role. It also:

  • Strives for additional responsibilities or new challenges.
  • Sets new higher goals.
  • Focuses on how you’re going to reach your goals.
  • Is defined by a strategy.
  • Transforms you and your team.

Unlike the trees that didn’t survive, your career growth needs to be intentional. Don’t let it sit there and hope for the best. To keep the momentum of growth going:

  1. Find out what training you need and pursue it.
  2. Find business or industry-related events.
  3. Network and surround yourself with mentors.
  4. Create a culture of mentorship and help junior members grow as well.

This week, take time to take stock of how far you have come in your career. Where are you in according to your personal growth plan? What do you need to get to the next level? How far can you grow? What stretch possibilities exist for you- if you weren’t constrained by anything (money, time, geography, resource)– what could you accomplish?

Growth is a necessary part of career development. It is worth taking time to reflect on how you got from a 4-foot sapling to where you are today. At Merito Group, we can help with your next phase of growth. Contact us for a consultation.