It’s a common, possibly over-used term in our society, WHY? Possibly because so many employees feel trapped in corporate America.
But what does it really mean GOLDEN HANDCUFFS?
Here’s what it means to me:
I was 30 years old, 33 weeks pregnant and just landed in Dallas Texas, with a 2-hour commute to a rural town for a business trip. I was traveling nearly every week for my career to his point. Yes, it was against doctors’ orders, and probably even my better judgment, but I had NO choice (or that is what I let myself believe).
There was a closing of a business acquisition under my direct line of management, 50 employees I need to meet, greet, orient, and onboard to the new company culture.
I had an overwhelming feeling, I couldn’t say NO because of the amount of responsibility and opportunity I had been given in this stage of my career.
If I didn’t do it, something would go wrong and
I would be left with the mess to clean up and possibly lose future opportunities.
I didn’t want to risk that, I was climbing the corporate ladder and had
already come too far.
I got back on the plane, exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed; THATS the day I resonated with the term “golden handcuffs”.
I was placing my decisions in life
in the hands of corporate occurrences, timelines, and projects in exchange for a paycheck, stock options waiting to vest, large bonuses……
I didn’t know how to say no, so I was saying YES to everything. And what did it get me? MORE …..MORE……MORE responsibility.
Corporate America rewards this lifestyle, and I was caught in this game of classical conditioning:
more responsibility (stimulus)
more work, less work-life balance (response)
increased salary, total package (stock options, 401, tuition reimbursement, company car, etc), or title (reward)
Once I had the luxuries of a high salary, and overall compensation it became more difficult to walk away. This is the detriment and entrapment of the golden handcuffs,
TAKING AWAY MY FREEDOM.
And yet, the company was extremely effective at keeping me from leaving.
How golden handcuffs will stop corporate executives from leaving to start their own business?
Most impacts are related to an employee’s ability to take control of their future.
They restrict individuals from making decisions
Based on values, family needs,
Or individual desires
Here are some signs you could be under lock and key:
You sacrifice time with your friends and family to spend extra time at work
You operate in fear mentality, constantly checking email and engage in office politics
You agree with the majority to avoid any conflict or disagreement
You don’t take a vacation
You take on additional responsibility without questioning monetary increase or its impact on other areas of your life
You bypass any opportunities for change in career
You are living paycheck to paycheck and increase your spending with every increase in compensation
You dismiss any chance you could ever have a job you are passionate about
Are you under lock and Key?
Ask yourself these 3 questions, if you answer yes to any of them, your freedom is tethered to that of your current corporate job.
- If you were to resign from your corporate job tomorrow would you be leaving significant monetary reward on the table in the form of unvested stock shares or bonuses?
- Are you spending 90% or more of your income monthly on bills and lifestyle expenses?
- Would you feel guilty leaving your team or other colleagues behind at your current employer?
Golden handcuffs are a method of power, control, and manipulation of individual needs to meet the needs of a corporation.
They increase tenure through power, entrapment, and manipulation…
…which well you can imagine the culture and work environment of an ‘only strongest survive’.
Ready to take the steps to learn how to unlock your golden handcuffs and become a business owner?
Apply for a discover call
How can You Unlock Your Golden Handcuffs and Start Your Own Business?
Have a solid financial plan:
Pay off debts
Cut unnecessary expenses
Invest in 401k
Put bonuses and incremental income in savings
Plan for business start-up expenses
Track all career accomplishments and milestones so you can use them to attract future clients for your own business!
Invest in continued personal development, skills, certifications that increase your value in your business niche.
Practice creating YOUR future company culture, where individuals desire to come to work, and feel empowered they can share their idea and speak up.
Build strong relationships among colleagues to empower a pleasant exit strategy.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK in the industry of your desired business niche!! Your network is your net worth in starting a new business!