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After years of consulting across different industry segments, I am struck by a common theme. In many organizations, there are a large number of people who wish they were not there- but stay on because they are held back by their pay check.

This thought was confirmed by an article which I admired for its honesty and openness by Pamela Skillings in today’s New York Times. She writes of the things that held her back when actually she yearned to start something on her own.

Based on my experience, here are the reasons people stay on even though they are not interested in the work content or the organization itself:

  • They are trapped in a debt situation. The pressures of loan repayment make it essential for them to have a assured income without a break of any kind or any reduction whatsoever in their incomes.
  • They are hesitant to try elsewhere because they are not sure they will get as much as they do now. Even if they do, they may lose out on other goodies like title, perquisites etc.
  • They are complacent with the passage of time and feel nothing can happen to shake them out of their comfort zone.
  • They are not ambitious or have put away their ambitions for a safer environment which make less demands on them with fewer risks.

Some just need to push themselves to take the plunge – if they want to strike out on their own, for example.

In a more demanding world,  don’t be held back by the paycheck. You just can’t say for sure how long that paycheck will keep coming.

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This is Post No: 181 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success