YOU HAVE A GOOD STEADY JOB WITH A GOOD COMPANY, A JOB YOU HAVE HELD FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS NOW. Your job title puts you squarely and firmly in the ranks of “middle management.” Your annual salary is one that many others can only wish they earned. Just one problem, though. You have come to despise your job! You cringe at the thought of trudging off to the job each and every business day. You have chosen, however, to exercise “good sense” and continue to labour on in “stable misery.”

What’s the matter with me?! you’ve probably asked yourself more than a few times and with increasing frequency. Have I lost my mind?! Actually, probably not.

You might be surprised to learn that you’re certainly not alone. Millions of other men and women currently find themselves in a similar situation, but they, perhaps like you, are hesitant to do anything to change their situation. They are afraid to even think about making a career change at this point!

Welcome to the wonderful world of the “golden handcuffs” job!



A “golden handcuffs” job is usually defined as one that is characterised by an honest belief and total conviction that you . . .

  • Now earn too much money to even consider making a move that could enrich your life and your career.
  • Have too much seniority to chuck it all and move to a brand-new position in a brand-new company, where you will be “starting all over.”
  • Have grave doubts that you could ever match, let alone exceed, what you now have in your current job by moving to another company.

And you know what? You may actually be right? But what if you are wrong?

If you have positioned/branded yourself, or can position/brand yourself, as being among the TOP candidates in today’s expanding, improving job market, you very definitely could be wrong. Of course, if you don’t take the time and make the effort to explore possible new career opportunities, you’ll never know, will you? Plus—and this is a very significant consideration!—just because you feel you have too much invested in your current company to even consider testing the career waters doesn’t mean your company shares that opinion. (More about that at the bottom of this post).



There are many reasons people become dissatisfied with a current position, no matter how ostensibly rewarding that position may be, or appear to be. Among those reasons may be the following:

  • Your job has become boringredundant and largely unfulfilling and unrewarding.
  • You find that you are simply going through the motions each and every day, neither progressing nor regressing in your career path.
  • There is every indication that your career has definitely plateaued, i.e., it has simply “stalled.”
  • You feel that your company, and your bosses,take you and your contributions for granted, and have for some time now.
  • You believe you have considerably more to offer your career and profession than you’re likely to be allowed to demonstrate to your current bosses/employer.
  • Not only are you not getting the respect you deserve at your current job, sometimes you are even being shown disrespect.
  • You’ve long given up on any expectation of achieving “more” in your current position. In fact, all you really expect at this point is just more of the same.



It’s very understandable and very human to honesty believe that, when you have a job where you are well compensated, or perhaps even very well compensated, enjoy considerable seniority and great benefits, that you should not even consider other career opportunities, no matter how dissatisfied you may have become with that job. It’s easy to see how you could indeed believe you are shackled by “golden handcuffs.” There is one MAJOR problem with this attitude, this belief, however.


If the Great Recession taught us anything, it certainly taught us how cyclical, and how very, very fickle, the job market can be and quite often is. Millions of men and women in the U.S. and worldwide who thought they had become “indispensable” to their companies suddenly, and oftentimes quite unexpectedly, found out they weren’t! Those “golden handcuffs” fit only the wrists of the employees, not of the companies that employed them!



Most people don’t readily embrace change because it’s often frightening, often too replete with a high degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. Again, that’s very human and very understandable. But, if you don’t take charge of your own career, your own destiny, guess who will gladly to do that for you, if it becomes necessary and expedient? The company that currently employs you, if things turn south again in the economy and job market.

No hiring professional or career coach, including me of course, would ever advise you to create unnecessary or ill-advised turmoil and chaos if you are in an established career path that holds the genuine promise of continued growth and job fulfilment. That said, though, you should nonetheless always keep your eye firmly onthe continual management and development of your own career.



Don’t let anything, including “golden handcuffs,” lull you into any false sense of security where your career is concerned. In the final analysis, your career, your destiny, is really under the total control of just one person, and that is YOU!

Few things of importance in this life remain forever static, and that certainly includes the job market and your place in it. If you now find yourself in a job that stopped being fulfilling long ago, but you also think you are irrevocably tied to it and the company that employs you because of “golden handcuffs,” then I strongly advise you to shed them, and instead start reaching for the “golden ring”—your DREAM job!

Source: Skip Freeman on LinkedIn Pulse