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Are you a wage slave?

Frank Hutton

I may be about to enter a touchy area for some people.

I can't apologise for that because I believe it is in an essential cause: a release from feeling work is a slavery we all must endure, whether we like it or not.

“What?! Me, a slave? I like my company. I like my job. I even like my boss. I like them so much that I will sometimes pass up on opportunities to be at special family moments for work commitments.”

"I am willing to work long after the hours I am contracted just to deliver above and beyond what has been asked so that I will be secure in the future."

“I will often get in early to ensure everyone knows how committed I am, even though it’s not actually the most productive thing for me or my job.”

“I will subjugate my needs to that of the company because I have no choice but to do so with the financial commitments I have.”

Whoa there! “because I have no choice’. Slavery is about being trapped, being enforced to do things we don’t want to when we don’t want to; having “no choice”.

And while the company may not have written this down anywhere, or even spoken it out (though many do) you ‘feel’ it is expected. You have created your own slavery.

It's time to break free.

OK - this may seem a little extreme, but it’s prevalent, believe me. And I know I’m not the only Career Coach who comes up against this mindset all the time: that you ‘have no choice’.

We all have potential choices. Sometimes they are not comfortable ones. But they might bring great ‘rewards’ in the medium to long term, or even the short term. Making those choices might mean you are actually following the priority order you want in your life, not one set for you or seemingly imposed from outside.

If you believe you have value and something to offer (and EVERYONE does), then you don’t have to stay in that job; you don’t have to stay silent and not query; you don’t have to wait for ‘fortune’ to smile on you and not ask; you can proactively pursue change. For there is no change without change.

I have lost count of the number of people who have told me that redundancy or an enforced career change was the best thing that ever happened to them (I recognise that the emotional trauma that often accompanies such events is not).

So take courage and take heart. You are probably better than you think. You may have to adjust your circumstances. But, you definitely can make a contribution. And someone, somewhere will value that. It might just take some effort to find that someone, or something, so start looking now.