I’d be blunt and say YES, it’s not an overstatement – Your career is doomed if you don’t understand this about yourself…! Most people don’t.
This was in early 2014 – I woke up sick to my stomach with the feeling of being stuck in my job. Don’t get me wrong, everyone else that saw me just assumed that I had the best job in the world. I don’t blame them, to a large extent – my job was really great.
I had over 75 people working in my team and my team was operating at their peak and kicking ass with our services and our customer was super happy.
We were treated with respect and love by everyone around and my company didn’t care what we were doing here as long as we were delivering their profits. We were running a little kingdom of sorts.
But, I had a problem, in fact, a major one. I knew that even though we were doing good, my people in my team were not getting their basic rewards – Salary raises or growth in their career.
We as a business unit could not give them any raises or promotions – Corporate HR makes those decisions irrespective how well you and your team members perform. As much I desperately wanted to do something, this was one of those days – it became very clear to me that I cannot fix it.
I was always passionate about people and their long-term growth, that’s what I most enjoyed about my job. I suddenly felt a void that I and my job no longer served a bigger purpose. The day I cannot enjoy my job anymore – I had to make my move. What next am I going to do? How can I create a larger impact on a larger scale? All of this started in 2014.
Fast forward, 12 months later, it was February 2015 – this was a full 1 year later, as I look back and think about what had happened in the past one year, my frustration only had grown multifold, and the number of actions I had taken to change this situation in my career was ZERO. A Big bold ZERO. It was not only frustrating but it was very gut-wrenching to think I was not the disciplined person I had known myself to be. I knew I was feeling stuck and I had not done anything about the next step, I was lost.
Why is that an otherwise sane, responsible person – that has no problem with making a plan and dealing with ambiguity and executing the plan, struggles with something like this?
I did not have an answer for many more weeks until I encountered the concept of ‘resistance’. Steven Pressfield first started talking about this and I think it is very important for every human being to understand what it means. Because this is a little monster that resides within all of us.
What is ‘Resistance’?
Steven Pressfield defines it perfectly from a writer’s angle.
“There’s a secret that real writers know those wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.
And that force that keeps us from sitting down is ‘Resistance’.”
Have you ever promised yourself you’ll wake up at 6:30 in the morning and go to the gym?
Ever followed a diet regimen?
Ever wondered about writing an article or applying for a certification program.
Ever thought about updating your resume and applying to other companies?
Or learn a new technology?
Or try your hand in a new field that you are so passionate about for a long time?
Are you someone who wants to do something then doesn’t do that?
If you have said yes to any of the above, then you know what Resistance is. It is a very human concept. And every human being, even the best of the best struggle with it.
I realized – it was the same force that was keeping me away from creating my exit plan.
That is the same resistance that is causing you to get stuck in your job.
You are in your job that you don’t like. And that’s not because of your boss, not because of the company, not because of the circumstances in your life or the market conditions (this is most people’s favorite!).
The real monster is inside you – that’s your own Resistance.
“On one side there is the fear you may not perform well, on other side there is so much hope that you can do a lot more and you get stuck between these two opposing forces. This is called a disorienting dilemma. It takes quite a bit of effort to get out of this.”
What’s the biggest resistance you are going through right now?
In the next blog, we will talk about how to overcome that resistance and what small changes you can do in your life – from getting out of a stuck career.
If you have missed our earlier blogs in the series, check them out below
First post of the series -> The #1 reason 7 out of 10 tech professionals fail in their careers
Second post of the series -> Should I stay with my company or Should I leave? How would I know?
Third post of the series -> ‘I loved my job before, I don’t anymore – So what really changed?’