A couple of articles caught my attention this past week. One was from Stanford, a very bleak look at the massive health toll that today’s corporate work culture is having on employees; and the other from McKinsey, on the millions of people who want to quit the 9 to 5 within the next few years.
It looks like a perfect storm of negative aspects that are pushing people to escape from the 9 to 5 –
- low levels of job engagement, distrust in management and declining job satisfaction;
- chronic stress and work-family conflict;
- and the insecurity that makes a corporate job far less reliable as a source of income for life than in the past
– along with growing desires that are drawing people towards more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment:
- craving more control over their work and career;
- looking for more flexible work arrangements to manage children and other personal priorities;
- and longing to do more meaningful work that really makes a difference in the world.
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But given that perfect storm… why are so many people staying put in their jobs? Why are they still stuck where they are despite wanting to quit the 9 to 5?
Why are people not quitting their jobs (even though they want to)?
There can be a lot of individual reasons and explanations for why someone isn’t doing anything about their particular situation but there are also some very common reasons that will tend to apply across the board.
Some of the reasons why you might not be taking that step to quit the 9 to 5 (even though you want to) include:
- You don’t know what you want to do instead and so you stay where you are by default
- You get stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’ trying to research and assess all the different options
- You follow bad advice from people around you who don’t know what they’re talking about
- You know that you want to move but you just don’t know where to start and how to make it happen
- You’re not willing to put in the work that’s required both to find an alternative path and then to work hard to make that alternative happen
The result is that a lot of people are stuck in a situation they know they want to get out of but still they’re not doing anything to change that situation. And, speaking from experience, that can be pretty soul destroying.
We’ll continue to explore these blocks and look at how you can overcome them in the coming weeks. In the meantime, why not start with reflecting on your own situation: Why are you staying stuck where you are? What are your reasons for not taking action? Are you committed to making a change, if only you can find a way to get over these obstacles?
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