If you stick a frog into boiling hot water, it will immediately sense the pain and jump the hell out.
But put it in cold water and gradually increase the temperature and the frog will stay, obliging to being boiled to death.
Is that something you’re doing in your career? Without the death bit I hope!
Maybe you’re settling for a job that doesn’t challenge or grow you because you have flexibility and you don’t think you can have things as good elsewhere.
Perhaps you feel like you’ve put too much work in where you’re at to walk away, when a promotion could be just round the corner…even if you’ve been walking round that corner for years.
You could even be progressing, but it’s at a rate that you know deep down that doesn’t reflect your capability or potential.
So now you’re settling for what you’ve got. You may tell yourself things like ‘I should be grateful, it’s a good job and things are uncertain right now’.
How long have you been telling yourself that?
Settling doesn’t feel that uncomfortable. It can become like your favourite spot on the sofa. You’re so accustomed to it you leave an imprint, and shifting to a new spot feels like more hassle. And could be colder and give you a crick in the neck.
But actually, is settling for less than you deserve really that comfortable?
What if I told you you’d still be there in 5 or 10 years? Does that still feel manageable?
Maybe it doesn’t feel so easy now.
So here I am, your friendly wake up call, to remind you…YOU HAVE WAY MORE POTENTIAL AND YOU ARE WORTH MORE! It’s time to stop settling and start stepping up.
So what can you do?
I’m going to share a story of someone I worked with. I never use real names so we’ll call her Sarah.
As an external observer you might have seen Sarah and thought…yes she’s successful. She’s doing well.
She had a senior role. Flexibility. A great salary.
She’d worked her way up and was managing to juggle a young family and a seemingly great job.
But scratch the surface and the reality was Sarah was overworked, under valued, and lacking the confidence to make a move.
She’d hung around in the same role for too many years because she had flexibility, young children, and a promotion being dangled in front of her.
She’d developed a mentality of just getting the head down and getting on with it, it would be worth it in the end.
She shrugged off the increasing hours.
Was letting slide the lower pay than she knew she was worth.
She even shook it off when people got promoted ahead of her.
Like the frog, with each increase in temperature she carried on, adapting to the new normal.
And like the frog, over time this was doing her damage…
- her self esteem was ebbing away
- her belief that she was capable of making a move was waning
- and she felt she was owed the promotion, so was telling herself that she had to stay because it was validation
But she was in danger of being boiled…or in career terms, getting stuck or burning out.
Thankfully she recognised it and a friend recommended her to me.
It didn’t take long for Sarah to see she was in the equivalent of an abusive relationship. Overworked, underpaid, and never feeling properly valued.
We worked on stripping back the damage done by poor managers. Helping her re-see her true value and potential.
We identified what she really wanted from her career, and the next company she worked with.
I helped her with reaching out to her network, getting ready for interview, increasing her visibility.
And within a few months, she had some phenomenal job offers and was being selective about who was good enough to employ her. How’s that for a flip in mindset?
Well if you’d like to get there too (I have worked with many Sarah’s who’ve all got results), here’s 5 things that can help you right now…
- Remind yourself of why you’re worth more by creating a career map of your achievements and experience.
- Reach out to people you respect for feedback and ask how they’d describe the impact you have.
- Take some time to daydream about what you’d love to be doing and how you’d like to be recognised. Add it to your career map as a future goal!
- Challenge yourself to think about what’s really important to you about your career. How can you get more of that?
- Identify 3 people from your past or present who can help you in your career. Reach out and ask them for a coffee.
And if you’ve realised you’re settling and are ready to say enough is enough…then why not check out my Back to School special for The Career Elevator.
It’s the ultimate career accelerator for taking your career and confidence to the next level and beyond. Be like Sarah and say no to settling, and yes to career success on your terms!