Lately I seem to talk to more and more people who express frustration about being stuck in their careers. A friend’s company just implemented yet another work furlough (i.e. unpaid vacation) and this time it is for two weeks and must be taken this month! He didn’t even get to weave the time off into a Christmas or Thanksgiving break. His bigger challenge is the company he works for hired him a year ago after he had been laid off from a similar company (high tech) and was unemployed for nearly a year. His perception is that he is stuck and basically a victim of this company’s economic journey.
Perception is everything! I just chatted with another friend who’s husband is halfway through his MBA and basically hates his job. His belief is that his MBA will broaden his opportunities and he’ll be able to escape his pain. But, he is now starting to wonder if this will prove true given all of the other MBA folks he knows who are underemployed and guess what . . . feel stuck.
It has become more common for people to approach me and ask about business ownership. For many, this concept seemed far fetched and non traditional from their previous mind sets. But let’s face it, for those in their “mid life” — career opportunities seem to be offering more underemployment and less certainty than ever before. Which brings me back to Perception is everything.
When I left my career the economy wasn’t bad. In fact it was still very good. Had I maintained my belief that I could keep my presidents job for as long as I wanted, I might still be there. Or, I might have been laid off or even demoted. But for a variety of reasons, my perception about the security changed so drastically that I came to believe that owning my own business was just as risky as working for someone else. Once I embraced this belief, it was not too difficult to jump ship so I could play in my own sandbox under my own rules.
If you’re stuck or otherwise dissatisfied with what is happening in your career, drop me a reply to this post. I would be happy to ask you three questions that might just cause you to realize in the words of Forest Gump . . . “Stuck is as Stuck does.”
Challenge your perceptions and your beliefs may change you for the better. It’s the most powerful choice I ever made.