Career Lessons from HGTV


I have absolutely no shame in admitting my deep and abiding love for all things Home and Garden Television. If it weren’t for having a full-time job, school work, the need to eat and sleep and other grown-up stuff, I would happily sit on my couch and binge watch hour after hour. For me, HGTV is all about transformation, human ingenuity and the power of possibility. Here are a few career lessons I’ve learned during my ongoing love affair with HGTV.

  1. Know your budget– As government employees, we’re operating in an age where we’re often asked to do more with less. I make it a point to always be up front with my team members and supervisors regardless of their rank or GS level. I’ve learned to clearly outline the budget resources that we have, what we can do, our deadline and our desired result. It’s important to remain flexible but don’t sugar coat problems or ignore limitations to save face or avoid conflict. It’s much cheaper in the long run.
  2. Don’t disregard the fixer-upper-There are some projects or jobs that no one wants or just don’t quite seem ideal for our career path. These are the type of projects that require every single ounce of our imagination and brain power to pull together. In HGTV terms, they would be what we refer to as NOT “turn-key” ready. In these cases, I’ve learned that it’s better to focus on the potential and embrace the hard jobs. Sometimes, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the outcome and others, I was just grateful for the experience and the lesson learned.
  3.  Assemble the right team- I’ve lived long enough to know and understand my strengths and weaknesses. There are some things I can literally do with my eyes closed, while others require my full concentration and additional adult supervision. However, I’ve learned to surround myself with people who are great at what they do and ENJOY what they do! I steer clear of the negative and complacent types who fear innovation or who refuse to think outside of the box. I believe there’s enough greatness to go around, so I have no problem staying in my lane and trusting my team mates to shine. One person can’t build or remodel a house alone, but when everyone does their part, amazing transformations can’t help but to happen.
  4.  Dream for the future – I currently live in a one-bedroom apartment where my rent is literally equivalent to a mortgage payment. Housing is expensive here and I didn’t really think seriously about home ownership until I moved to the D.C. Metro area. When I see the stories on HGTV and the faces of the owners when they walk into their new or remodeled properties for the first time, I envy that feeling. I dream of the day that I will do the same. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of government and career focus, we forget to dream big and see the possibilities of what could be with a little time, patience and investment.

Dijon N. Rolle is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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I could watch HGTV all day too.

I enjoyed your article. i particularly like when
you stated that: there’s enough greatness to go around, so I have no problem staying in my lane and trusting my team mates to shine.

I mentioned about staying in one’s lane in my latest article (in review).

Dijon N. Rolle

Thank you for reading my piece Junebfl 🙂 Awesome job on your latest piece too. Life would be alot simplier if we all practiced that advice.I agree with you.

Angela Hooker

Dijon, these are great analogies! I knew there was another reason that I watch HGTV (other than Scott McGillivray, of course).

Besides the career angle, I also like to “dream for the future” when it comes to working on projects. Sometimes when I imagine what would be great to have if we didn’t have certain constraints, I’m able to find innovative solutions to problems.

Dijon N. Rolle

Angela, thanks for checking out my blog 🙂 I like Scott and the Property Brothers. I’m a dreamer too and it can be hard not to feel constrained by regulations and lack of resources. Love the fact that you don’t give up! There’s always a way.


Really solid thoughts, Dijon. Thanks for your vulnerability and connecting the dots… I want to be looking out for other lessons I can learn from things I love!

Dijon N. Rolle

Christine, thank you so much. I appreciate you taking time out to read it. It’s easier for me to process things when I can relate to them in different ways. I love things that are simple.