The Golden Cage is an analogy that I use with my clients to help them understand where they currently are when they’re working for someone else, being paid well and yet feeling stuck.
The cage is absolutely beautiful… shiny and comfortable. The money is flowing and so are all the perks and benefits of working for a major corporation. The view is amazing from this height because you can see all the other places this position could take you. So, if it’s so beautiful why do I have a problem with it?
Truthfully, I don’t necessarily have a problem with it when the person is fulfilled in their position and aren’t wondering what’s missing in their life.
I have two issues with the golden cage:
#1 When you’re staying just for the beauty of the money and perks but feeling lost and stuck all at the same time, it’s a beautiful prison.
#2 The cage is not really under your control. You’re at the mercy of those who own and/or run the company. You can walk out of the door on your own, but without planning you will often find yourself settling for a lower position and less money, which is why you stay even though you’re not really happy.
The company can take your cage away at any time without your consent…
- They can open the door by telling you that you’re being laid off and give you time to start looking for another position before your current check stops. Generally giving you 3 – 6 months’ notice and a severance package after your last day working.
- They can pull the bottom out from under you by giving you a “pink slip” and telling you to pack up your office today and leave. You’ll receive severance, but you won’t have any time to look for a job before your current check stops.
Either way, it wreaks havoc on your mindset. You question your abilities and you wonder how you are going to make it without this job.
Having been through three layoffs in my career, I’ve learned the best way to prepare for a layoff is to never depend on one source for your income. You hear people talk all the time about multiple streams of income and they are generally referring to multi-level marketing opportunities. I believe in diversifying my income through a combination of savings, investments and business.
No matter how you feel about your job never put yourself and your family in the position to have the bottom dropped out from under you. Prepare today while the money is flowing for a future in the event something changes with your main source of income. Remain open to the possibilities. You never know where the road will lead.
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