Search like a Lily Pad


I’ve sometimes wondered how lily pads knew to grow just tall enough to reach the top of the pond, so the leaves, the pads, could spread out and get sunlight and grow. I figured that once they reached the surface, that was the signal to stop growing in height and spread out.

In fact, lilies have a remarkably long and flexible stem that’s greater than the depth of the pond. This allows the pads to rise and fall along with the water level. Heavy rain, the pond fills up, the stem stretches out to accommodate. Dry season, the stem relaxes below the pads and curls up again until needed. More sun over on the other side of the pond? The lily can float over in that direction to get the rays it needs to survive.

People searching for jobs can take a lesson from the lily. You need to be as adaptable as the lily. Lots of jobs on the horizon? It’s time to stretch out, raise your profile on LinkedIn or with your network and make yourself known. As things dry up and the volume of jobs lessens, pull back, conserve your energy. More jobs in another geography or industry? Might be time to float over in that direction to get the warming rays that you need to remain viable in your search or industry.

It’s important to have roots, as the lily does, planted firmly in the soil at the bottom of the pond. The flexibility of the stem is what keeps the lily¬†from drowning or drying up. Staying flexible in your search may be the key for you as well.

Photo by Neha Maheen Mahfin

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