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A Powerful Career Tip That Will Grow On You

I’ve just made a major career blunder.

Luckily, I caught myself just in time. Don’t make the same mistake, take learning from this lesson without going through it yourself.

I quit my big corporate job a while back and I had a clear plan on what I wanted to build next. I hit the pavements and with a great big bang! I was everywhere. The work literally poured in but yet, I was failing. I was neglecting a powerful ingredient in the recipe for success:

Grow where you are planted.


Stick to the businesses and markets you know best. Let yourself flourish in an environment where you are genuinely in your own flow. Where you are really good at what you’re doing and (this is most important of all) you absolutely love doing it.

My mistake was to do everything exactly as I usually advise other who are starting out again NOT to do. “Be selective,” I counsel. “Only take on what you really want to do. Keep yourself available for the right opportunity.

You see, secretly I was paralysed by fear. Negative thoughts were swirling around. Was I still valuable? Was I still wanted? Am I still current?

Also, my ego wanted to make damn sure former colleagues who were watching me (I now realise that no-one was!) would see me powering ahead. “Wow! What a guy! Look at him fly.”

I got extremely busy and the cash register was ringing loud and often. I flew around the world several times, the phone kept ringing. I should have been on top of the world, but I was not. I got to the Cannes Creativity Festival and I kind of had a meltdown. No yelling, panic attacks or any rants. Just a very deep sadness that settled on me.

I was failing.

What? But I was making more dosh than I expected to at this early stage. I was in demand. On fire!

Yet I was failing.

My health was suffering and I was comfort eating. My core relationships were under pressure, which means I was neglecting the most important things in my life.

Professionally, I was not having fun and it was a real struggle. Many of the assignments I was accepting weren’t feeling ‘natural’ to me, they felt clunky. My heart would sink every time I looked at my agenda for the day, it was outside my flow and just not a great fit.

That’s when I realised the true value of the wonderful advice I got a couple of years ago. Grow where you are planted.

And now, I’ve actually taken it.


First, I went to see a doctor. But that’s another story for another day.

Second, I resigned 50% of the revenue I had just spent nine months working hard to secure. Half of my income went just like that. Kapow! It frightened the proverbial out of me – but it had to be done. Luckily some projects naturally came to an end.  I also made the decision to pull back from some stuff I loved, but it involved travel and thus lots of pressure.

Overall I had to slow it down and I had to travel less. I had to focus on what was natural to me and I had to grow where I am planted.

I’m a few months in – and there’s literally a spring in my step.

Now when I look at my diary, the opposite reaction happens. My heart lifts and I feel inspired like I’m having fun again! All of that change in a very short space of time.

The cash register has gone a lot quieter, but I know this is merely temporary. The results will be quite awesome, just watch! (Ok, I know, I know – no-one is watching. Moving on) 


Are you growing where you are planted?

Are you working in a role and with ambition that is natural to you? Are you in your element, are you good at it and do you love doing it?

Or are you busy with THE struggle as I was for a while there? I wouldn’t say all of my role, but at least 50% of it.

Get VERY real. Tell yourself the truth. And if you’re not growing where you are planted, you need to do something about it.


Chris Savage is one of our amazing guest bloggers with lots of nuggets of wisdom he shares with us on a regular basis. If you would like to be a guest blogger with us in your area of expertise, then contact marketing today.

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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