As a previous recruiter, I consider myself a pretty good judge of character and adept at seeing someone’s potential and capabilities. However, working with college students has taught me that it is difficult if not impossible to gauge a persons potential when they are in midst of a growth spurt. Going to college, surviving a layoff or a bad break-up are all growth spurts. Growth spurts are times of enormous change, tremendous development and significant transformation and I have learned that it is unfair to judge someone’s future potential while they are in the process of great change. It would be like judging a barren tree in winter. You simply, cannot know how beautiful the blossoms will be until it blooms in spring and to judge the tree when it is a seedling is to rob it of all it’s potential.
Like winter, it passes. The growth spurt will end and the seasons will change but to judge someone while they are growing limits them, it locks them in. Working with clients who are in the midst of great change has taught me to stay open minded because you never know where they are in their process. Wherever they are, it is an important part of their process. Wherever you are, it is an important part of your process. Just because it might look ugly and bare now doesn’t mean that it won’t be bursting with life in the future. Stay open minded, you never know what you or anyone else is going to grow into.