Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Career Trap

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.


Dan in Philly said...

As I was contemplating going to get my MBA, I complained to a friend that it would take up to 5 years. He answered that in 5 years I'll be 5 years older if I get my MBA or not. Put it that way, it was an wasy choice :)

CincyCat said...

"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."

Guilty as charged.

I stayed at my last job far longer than I really wanted to because they kept dangling a "carrot" in front of me that never materialized.

I really like my new job, but the lesson has been learned. I will believe nothing unless I receive it in writing, and if they start making empty promises to string me along, I'm outta here.

@Dan, I'm getting my MBA now for that very reason. Some programs designed for working professionals only take about 2 years. When I started on mine, that seemed like such a looong time, but after biting the bullet, it really has gone by quickly. (I finish in May!) :)

Dan in Philly said...

Cincy, I find many of my fellow students are not much more than wet behind the ears college grads checking a box. I only started, but I wonder - I've actually trained MBAs who had little clue how to succeed in the business world.

I find haunting websites like this one and reading Shakespeare and Cicero a better education for office politics, anyway.