Golden Handcuffs and the Fear to Resign
Are you free?
If you’re among the 98% who has to work to make a living, you don’t have easy choices ahead of you. If they ask us if we’re free, we’ll say yes; but we actually know. We’re not entirely free. The decisions we made in the past and the comfort zone we created for ourselves have become our limitations. Yes, we did all the choices on our own, but did we know the consequences from the start? For example, did we know what getting a mortgage, sending our kids to private schools, starting car instalments would lead to?
The green bottle = Corporate life (Representative)
Are we really entrapped?
Of course we are not. We can leave our unhappy jobs any time we want. We can end our partnerships that aren’t working out any time we want. And we can leave our study programme and go into business any time we want. Technically, we think there’s nothing to stop us. There really aren’t any concrete obstacles. There’s no wall. No chain. The door is open for anyone to walk out whenever they want.
If that’s the case, why do people work at jobs they don’t want to for 15 years? Why do they continue torturous partnerships, study programs they hate?
A person who could break through the supposed wall within 15 years feels himself to be a part of the system that is out of his control. He thinks he is trapped.
There’s even a saying for this that is used by management consultants and hiring teams. “Golden Handcuff!”
Yes, gold is very, very precious. But this isn’t enough to hide the fact that it is a handcuff.
Company car, end-of-the-year bonus that is looked forward to, rights to gym discounts, health insurances, rights for partners and children… all very precious.
Yearly raise on the salary, instalments that are entered every year with the comfort of having a stable job, shopping that is done… all big luxuries.
Acquainted co-workers, the comfort and security that working at the same company for years brings, being a familiar name… all good feelings.
Yes, all of these are very good but they’re handcuffs even of gold.
How to break the Golden Handcuff?
Image credit: seanwes.com
Before asking how to break it, we need to ask why we need to break it. This is why: if you don’t break that handcuff; your value will decrease every year, you’ll miss out on self-improvement opportunities, your co-workers change in time and you become an “old and reliable” employee yet never reach your full potential. You need to not only get higher in your career, do quality work, be proud of what you do (but also to win more and to succeed) always follow better job opportunities, and make the transition at the right time.
Coming to the question of “how to” break it: Ignore the goldenness of the handcuff. Then it won’t have a value for you and you will have taken the first step necessary for breaking it.
If you are someone who values their work and does it by putting their labour and mind to it, then you can be sure that you can find the benefits of your current job and even more somewhere else. If you’re afraid of breaking your current golden handcuff, the psychological basis of this is probably your thinking you don’t fully deserve what you earn (and so you cannot get it somewhere else). Don’t hesitate if you think you earn what you gain to the fullest.
Read into where the world is going carefully, be aware of your own skills and follow a new road you draw.