Yes, you read it right.  Career skills, interviewing and gardening–what?  I am sure you are wondering what in the world is this gal talking about.  Well, I thought I would share my personal story.

If you are a “working gal” like me, the new year brings a time when you consider not just the usual getting in shape goals, but also reflecting on your career. In January, I try to reflect on strengths, weakness as well as formulate a annual plan for my career.  You know what “they”say, if you don’t set goals, you won’t reach them.

So one of my weakest skills–you could say both in life and work is PATIENCE.  Interestingly, this is one of the most needed skills in the work world today.  A little background that may intensify my lack of patience….so my area of expertise is innovation–mostly in marketing–but have done lots of program and even product development.  In an innovative role, things move at the speed of light and you are constantly racing against the clock….but just like a good joke, introducing innovation is all about timing.  The market, the consumer or your target audience has to be ready in order for you to be successful. Patience is a much needed skill for success and happiness.  And that is where my garden has come in…

Gardening teaches patience.  You plant a seed or a small plant and  you don’t see instant success.   No, you have to nurture it, you have to wait for it.  And then you see the reward for that hard work and waiting.  And for some plants like biennials–you have to wait every other year for it!   And cycle of waiting and reward doesn’t happen once…no, it happens over and over therefore re-enforcing patience.  If you aren’t a natural at something it takes repetition and success in order for it to stick and that is exactly what my garden has done over the years.  When I get frustrated at work because something isn’t moving as quick as I expect, I try to always remind myself of my garden.

Ok–so you believe me a little, but I am sure you are still skeptical about how to weave this in an interview.  This is what I have done.

For me in any interview the number one question I dread is….

Q: What is your greatest weakness?

A: I would say my greatest weakness is patience.  Many of my successes in my career have come from my ability to identify trends and quickly capitalize on them before they become main stream and routine, therefore patience isn’t necessarily a must have.  With that being said, I have seen many innovative ideas die on the vine because the market isn’t ready, and therefore patience is a key skill I identified to improve.  And true to my brand, I took an innovative approach in improving this skill.  I started a garden and a garden blog in order to learn patience  and then apply that skill to my work.  So far so good, I have written my garden blog with a partner for more than a year and that has really helped keep my garden progressing and my patience blooming.


So convinced yet?  If nothing else, if you are struggling for an answer perhaps my answer will inspire yours.

In addition to building my weakness, it also serves as a major stress reliever.

So that’s my how to…do you have other thoughts? Are there are skills a garden can build to help in your career, if so share.

Happy Gardening.