There are lots of reasons you might feel trapped in your job, but no matter what your situation, the equation goes something like this:
reasons your job makes you feel less-than-human + reasons you can’t quit x fears² = how trapped you feel
This is the equation that we all seem to use to calculate how trapped we are in our jobs. Let’s examine this equation before we move on to the solution.
First, you’re trapped in your job because it makes you feel less-than-human in some way.
Jobs are great at that, it seems!
They can suck the creativity, independence, and meaning making right out of you.
If you long to have work you feel connected to and that doesn’t feel like work, a job that makes you feel less-than-human is never going to cut it.
In fact, that’s the very opposite of what you need – you’re looking for work that needs YOU at the center of it. Work that is an expression of you, whether that work turns out to be throwing pottery or making sales. . .
If you loved your work, you’d be happy and not trapped at all. But you don’t.
Now let’s add in a bad boss, a bad commute, some nasty co-workers, mundane paper-pushing and mind-numbing meetings. . . you get the idea. . . oh yeah, you’re already there! I don’t really have to go into that much detail.
Which brings us to all the reasons you can’t quit. I’ll keep this super brief.
Mortgage. Bills. Fears. What the heck am I going to do? What if I choose the wrong thing? What will I have to sacrifice?? Will everyone think I’m crazy? (Am I crazy?)
All that probably runs through your head about 1000 times a day too.
And then there’s your fears.
They magnify everything not only creating a real obstacle themselves, but making the other two issues that much worse.
So how can you ever get out of this horrible equation? What can you do to change even one of the variables?
Most people work on the first variable for a long, long time. They rationalize that it’s not really that bad at their job, or that they shouldn’t expect any better because that’s just what it means to be a grown-up.
But, if you’ve finally gotten to a point that you realize that you hate your job beyond words, it’s time to go to work on the other two variables.
Reasons You Can’t Quit Your Job
Honestly? Most of the time, the reasons you can’t quit your job are just fears.
I’m not saying that you can, or can afford, or should, quit your job today. Far from it. But if you decide you do want another career and it’s time to move on, there’s (almost) nothing in the world that should keep you stuck long-term where you are now.
In fact, I had a client who I just heard from again (to say hello!) after we worked together more than a year ago. He’s still at his old job, but he’s saving money and working to get to the point where he can pull off his Grand Plan to make the career move that is going to be fulfilling to him.
Just because you’re not ready to do it tomorrow doesn’t mean you shouldn’t figure it out and work toward it. You are too amazing and full of creativity, energy and intelligence to rot away where you are.
Maybe you need out of your job ASAP. Maybe you have a few years to figure things out. Whatever your situation, I promise you this:
Facing this head on and making a workable plan to get you out of your job and into work built for real humans is the only way to get you past your fears and through your reasons for not being able to get unstuck.
Because the very first move you need to make is the move in your head of figuring out WHAT you want, HOW to make it happen, and how to manage the FEAR that is part of the process.
Need help figuring out what’s next in your career? Email me to set up a time to meet me by phone and explore what can happen next in your career when you coach with me: firstname.lastname@example.org