They were trapped in dead-end careers. Since they are bright, capable people, others wondered how it happened. The truth is they often wondered themselves. Some possible reasons were:
- Demoralization sapped their energy and with that went their dreams.
- They told themselves stories of magical career helpers who resembled elves. The elves, a.k.a. mentors, never arrived.
- They believed their fine work would one day get noticed. [They once saw that in a movie.]
- They could not make the decision to leave. There was always a reason to sit tight.
- They began to prefer the predictable.
- They ascribed human characteristics to an organization.
- There was always just enough hope to keep them there. Because of that, they suffered one of the worst types of failure: The slow version.
- They sucked even the slightest bit of status from any management decision.
- They fell prey to inertia and its close relative, procrastination.
- Their associates discouraged them from leaving, not wanting to lose their company.
- They overestimated the cost of leaving and underestimated the cost of staying.