Weeds finally began peeking through my garden floor a few weeks ago. They usually come up just before the perennials and in Michigan it is a sign that things are finally unthawing and warm sunny days are not far away. Although weeds usually drive me crazy by the end of the summer, I am always excited to see any sign of life at the early entrance of spring.

Typical for Michigan, we have jumped from 40’s to 70’s in just a couple of weeks and the gardens, trees and weeds have exploded with life after a few warm days. I know if I don’t keep tight reigns on my gardens and the weeds in them, they will be cause of a lot of extra time and work because I let gardens slide and weeds creep in.

We have such a short growing season that everything seems to happen fast and I have learned that I become much less frustrated if I commit to spending a certain amount of time every week in my gardens, keeping an eye on the plants and the weeds. I am happier with the results when I spend frequent time in the garden nurturing the young plants and controlling older mature plants. It lets me enjoy the growth process and watch as blooms open and often close in just a few days. It helps me realize what is not working in my garden and what I am spending too much time on. It also gives me more control over the hardy weeds and lets me remove them by the root before they get too large so that I snap them and then they just end up coming back and causing more work.

Gardening always provides me with life lessons as I nurture the garden. As I work I notice the change that has occurred every few days and it reminds me of the importance of nurturing your job search just as you would your gardens. It is critical to stay active as you progress in your search, not repeatedly doing the same things but really taking notice of what is working and what is not. Weeding out the efforts that are not showing any signs of budding opportunity or those that side track you with positions that are not in line with your long term goals.

When I start a new garden I draw the type of garden I want, whether it will be a sun or shade garden, spring, summer, or fall blooms, and the style and design. I actually use a map and color in the plants where I will plant them and provide space that they’ll need in a few years and not just when they are first planted. I develop this plan so that I will know how I need to proceed as the garden develops and it keeps me on track, although these days I work with maintenance plans and try not to give in to the urge to start a new garden.

In my earlier years when I was still learning what worked in my soil, in Michigan, and what I enjoyed I would journal the progress of my gardens. I don’t need to do that much now but it was very helpful and taught me many different tricks and tips in dealing with particular plants, weeds, insects and the pesky rabbits and deer that also enjoy my gardens. I would pour through every book and magazine I could find to learn about techniques of gardening, went and saw other gardens and would talk with gardeners at length to share what I had learned and hear new ideas from them.

Just as in a garden it is important to keep track of your job search progress, seek new ways to expand and improve your search and network with others to see what works for them and share what is working for you. The more time you spend learning about the search and ways to succeed in it the faster you will be able to see the beauty and bounty of your search.

Good luck job seekers!


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