Buried or Planted?

Yesterday I asked the question, “Are You Happy in Your Work?”

The answer must be no, because all day I was hit with frustrated feedback.

Assuming there are those of you looking longing for escape, let me remind you it’s not too late. You are not forgotten. There is still hope.

A couple years ago I sat in your chair … knowing there was more, but afraid to make the break. Thankfully, I summoned the courage and haven’t looked back. You can do the same.

In the mean time, I encourage you to think like my friend who I quoted in yesterday’s post. Seek to appreciate your position while planning your promotion.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how you can plan your promotion, but today let’s start with the other, which is often the hardest, appreciating your position.

Truthfully, when you are feeling stuck, it is difficult to appreciate anything, much less your job. But the reality is, your current role is a gift. It is either preparing you for what’s next, or causing you so much pain you will ultimately muster up the courage to move on – probably a bit of each. 

The question is, how do you appreciate a job you no longer want to have?

The answer is simple. You can either view yourself as buried, or see yourself as planted. While the circumstances are the same, the attitude is drastically different.


Buried feels hopeless. Planted embraces preparation. Buried is depressing. Planted knows peace. Buried focuses on the circumstances. Planted focuses on the future. Buried is bitter, while planted is grateful.

Please don’t give into temptation and abandon your ambition. Instead, appreciate the fact that you are employed, and like a seed planted in the ground, keep germinating. 

Seeds are a great reminder for those in vocational limbo. Even though it can’t be seen or felt, growth is happening. Eventually, a plant will mature and bear fruit. You will too. Stay the course.

Just as a seed often needs water, sunlight, and fertilizer to sprout, there are three things you need while you are waiting on your dream job.

  1. Growth. The bottom line is, you need to focus on getting better. Work on the skills you will need in your dream job while continually improving at your current job. Your capacity to grow will determine your capacity to lead. See yourself as planted in the perfect place to become a better leader. Work on your communication skills, how to work with people and resolve conflict, and how to improve your work ethic. All things you will need in your next career.
  2. Struggle. Seeds don’t become shades without struggle. They don’t even get out of the ground. Someday others will benefit from  your pain. Until then keep striving with a focus on those you will be better prepared to serve, rather than seeing yourself as buried. Trust me, learning to struggle will be worth it because it will teach you to become better at struggling. Seriously, struggling will be #1 on your job description if you ever intend to be great … even when you land your dream job.
  3. Encouragement. Honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am if it were not for a few important people who helped encourage me while I was planted. Dan Webster and Chuck Cusumano are friends who listened more than anyone should be required to. Both kept fanning the flame and challenged me to stay the course. My amazing wife also continually encouraged me. Even on the days when I felt buried, she listened, prayed, and believed. Like me, you need some trusted confidants who can talk you off the ledge and keep you focused on what is true rather than what you feel.

So the big question is, do you see yourself as buried or planted? I’m convinced if you will choose the latter, prioritize growth, embrace the struggle, and surround yourself with the right people, you will soon find yourself with a promotion to your dream job.

Tomorrow we will look at how to plan that promotion. Until then, appreciate your position and the opportunity to be planted!

Leadership Begins at Home,


What advice would you give to someone who feels stuck in their career?

Comment Below …

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6 years ago

This was EXACTLY the message I needed to hear today. Thank you.
I look forward to tomorrow’s message.nn1

TJ Hammond

6 years ago

This message was packed with wisdom. Thank you for pouring into us.


6 years ago

Thanks TJ!

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