Career Quicksand – How Deep Are You Sinking?

I have been lucky enough to work out of a home office for 11 of the last 13 years. The two years that I had an office to report in to, I would get stuck in traffic daily. It gave me many opportunities to look at other people’s faces, as their days were off to very “slow” starts too.

Some looked sad; others looked angry or frustrated, some had blank stares or even looked dazed. On occasion, some were smiling, while others where actually singing! It blew my mind how many people looked unhappy though. Is it realistic to believe that all of them looked that way because they were unhappy going to work? Of course not. Some must have been dealing with other issues too (some were of course frustrated by the continual traffic jams).

Most studies report that 7 or 8 out of 10 people do not like their jobs! One study in the sales profession showed that more than 50% of people should not even be sales at all! Are you one of those people getting out of bed dreading the next 8 to 12 hours every day?

Internet marketer Gary Vaynerchuk changed his entire career path because he was only 99% happy in his situation at the time. To me, that was an incredibly powerful statement. As people become more and more unhappy with their jobs over the months, years or even decades, it is like they are sinking further and further into quicksand. The more unhappy they get, the deeper they sink. On the odd occasion that they try to change jobs, they try a little bit, then just stop trying all together.

People typically want to make the switch, but “life gets in the way”. A job search gets put on the back burner. Others lack confidence, and don’t feel that they are good enough to have a shot at “career satisfaction”. Too many people settle for the status quo, and don’t take action. Some stay in a career that they just don’t like, becoming a “work robot” completing the same repetitive tasks at nauseum, for what seems like an eternity.

The next thing they know, five, ten or 20+ years have passed, and then wake up one day saying, “What the heck am I still doing here?” I can tell you from experience that being comfortable in a role that “pays the bills” does not equal happiness. Not even close.

When you are in love with your career, you should rarely be counting down the minutes until the end of the day, week, or until holidays start. I had a manager tell me that you should be excited to go to work, from the moment your feet hit the floor each morning. So many people over the years have said that “every day should feel like a Saturday”, or “your work should not feel like a job”.

It can be a good practice to check in with yourself every now and then.

  • How happy are you with your career?
  • Is it heading in the direction you would like it to?

If you feel “sunk”, the good news is you can always change your path going forward.

Remember, “You don’t drown by falling in water. You only drown by staying there.” – Zig Ziglar

  • What does your perfect job look like (yes, you can have the perfect job)?
  • How does that list compare to the job you’re currently in?
  • What one step can you take today to move towards loving your job?




About Tim Mushey

Dynamic and energized sales rep, mentor and leader since 1999. This blog will be about sales, social networking, personal branding, leadership, music and having some laughs! Don’t be surprised if I mix it up on occasion, and talk about something totally different! I thrive on being part of successful, forward thinking teams. I am ready to go from the moment my feet hit the floor each morning, with the expectation that new adventures will be coming my way. It is rare that there isn't a smile on my face, as I take it all in, and have some fun along the way!

Posted on October 15, 2013, in Career, Success and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Timmy my man, you nailed it! I am totally with you. Although I do not hate my job, I can sympathize with your comments. It seems that you end up in a career that “typecasts” you and then if you want to make a change, it can be very difficult because new employers will look at your years of experience doing X and ask you why you think you can contribute doing Y. These days loyalty is no longer “rewarded” the way it used to. Changing roles and doing different things, even at different companies will make you a better candidate for moving up the ladder as it shows your diversity. I digress but I will say that I agree. Change is good, don’t stay where you are “just because it pays the bills” making new choices are challenging and can be stressful at times, but it is so worth it for your happiness.

  2. Hey Roger! Thanks for your comments as always. I could not agree with you more. I just want people to enjoy their journey along the way in their career, and not look back at retirement time with any regrets! Chat soon..

  3. Hey Moosh
    You are absolutely correct. I worked 16 yrs pulling wrenches as a mechanic, in the dirt, in the cold, in leadership positions and mangement positions. I also was 99% satisfied with my job, was really good at what I did but there was just something missing.
    In a job move I got an oportunity to join a local fire dept, went for training as a firefighter and first responder. Was trained as a paramedic and hired as a casual to work on the Ambulance. All while still working as a Full time mechanic.
    It was soon evident what the 1% was that I was missing, self satisfaction. I found that being able to help someone and to walk away knowing that I definitely made a difference in that persons life for the better meant everything to me. I ended my career as mechanic and be came a full time paramedic, happy to get up every morning and take on whatever comes my way! The good of the job for sure out weighs the bad, I will never get rich doing it but being happy and satisfied to me is worth it.
    Just wanted to share my story with you to give you proof you are right.
    Keep up the good work bud!

  4. Blaine! First of all, nice to hear from you after all of these years. Secondly, I am SO HAPPY that you made a career change, and are loving it. Taking that leap of faith can be a very scary proposition, but you are proof that it can all work out. The fact that you took the time to comment here means a lot to me, and with such a profound story! Stay in touch, and all the best…

  5. Great post Tim. And love the Zig Quote: “You don’t drown by falling in water. You only drown by staying there.” – Zig Ziglar

    • Thanks David! That is a fantastic quote! My editor (my lovely wife) found that quote and suggested that I add it to the post. Appreciate you stopping by again…

  6. I dig this on so many levels, not the least of which has been with regard to my new career in real estate. When I realized that the work I was doing didn’t give me the satisfaction I wanted out of it, I began searching for ways to make it better–but I’ve known so many guys who just refuse to step out of their zone and make the change, and they blame it on their house, their kids, or their wives when really it’s primarily the fact that they are petrified of change which holds them back. They look up and their whole lives are gone, and all they can do is count down the days (starting two or three years out) until retirement. That’s no life for me!

    Great post, Moosh. I’m glad you put it up for others to review because I hadn’t seen it before!

    • Jeff!

      Just a wonderful success story. Thanks for taking the time to share. I am glad that you decided to make the change, and you are right it is never easy but a necessity to be happy.

      It is difficult to many people to step out of their comfort zone and make a change, and many excused tend to pile up to prevent them from taking action. You absolutely nailed it with your comments.

      No amount of blogs, websites and miscellaneous inspiration and motivation is going to help people take action. It can be a contributing factor for sure, but the final decision has to come from within you, when you finally realize that “I CAN DO THIS”.

      Thanks again for taking the time to respond. AWESOME STUFF!

  7. Tim, this post couldn’t ring more true for me. I remember a great quote from Lance Secretan, “People who love what they do are rarely ill.” Can’t wait to be there again.

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