Bloom where you’re planted
For me, the phrase “bloom where you’re planted” conjures up feelings of being stuck, lacking ambition and feeling at effect to your place in life, but in today’s guest post, author Carin Rockind spins the phrase on its head to share her story of being forced to relocate for work, and how she not only made the best of it, but found herself blossoming. As someone who relocates for work often, I found a lot of inspiration in Carin’s can-do attitude and her helpful tips for how to “bloom where you’re planted,” even if it isn’t where you expected to find yourself at all. —Autumn
A recruiter calls and begins describing the “perfect” job: You’d run the department, have free creative reign, get to build your team, and you can work from home! It seems too good to be true… and that’s when she drops the bomb, “Oh, and it’s in Cleveland.” Ah.
So when life throws you the “perfect” job in the “not-so-perfect” city, what do you do? Please, do yourself a favor and do what I did: Bloom where you’re planted. This means to not only move there, but move with gusto! Make the city your own, and flourish.
Years ago, I was newly divorced at the ripe old age of 26 and set my sights on Chicago or New York. So when a recruiter in Cleveland called me, I almost hung up immediately. What a mistake that would have been! In Cleveland not only did I enjoy a great job, but I made incredible life-long friends, became president of a non-profit board, and built mentoring relationships with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. When I left eight years later, I was so involved in the community that people sometimes referred to me as “Ms. Cleveland.”
How did I do it? I showed up. Prior to moving there, I reached out to my network and asked for any Cleveland connections they had. Then, once I moved, I said “Yes!” to every opportunity. Yes, I’ll go to that engagement party for a couple I don’t know. Yes, I’ll go to that Jewish singles’ event when I don’t really want to. Sure, I’d love to be set up with my dad’s former colleague’s son. Those first connections didn’t immediately click, but through them, my world opened.
What I learned is that we can flourish in any city—if we’re willing to jump in with both feet. Go to Meetup groups. Volunteer for a non-profit. Be brave and meet people. Say “Yes!” and take it in.
Prior to moving to Cleveland, I didn’t know that The Cleveland Orchestra is rated above the New York Philharmonic or that Cleveland is home to Iron Chef restaurants. In Cleveland, I could afford a boat and use it on the Great Lakes! Every city has wonderful people and historical gems; you just need to be open to exploring them. Plus, in a smaller city, you’ll find friendly people, open doors, and accessible leaders who are hungry to welcome fresh talent. You just have to dive in because in a smaller pond, you can be a great big fish with contacts and opportunities you can’t get elsewhere. That’s why my mentor today is the CEO of Sherwin-Williams.
So, the next time that recruiter calls, listen. Hear her out and be open. You never know what fertile soil you’ll find to blossom into your best, most beautiful self!
What are your tips for blooming in a smaller city? Tell us in the comments!
This article originally published at LEVO LEAGUE
by Carin Rockind
Bloom: “A flourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty and artistry.” This month we’re celebrating all things spring and ‘April-showering’ you with beauty and joy.