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I came across a great article in economic times on 8th Feb. I wanted to write, I wanted to start a blog, but for years, just kept brooding about it. Did not really get the strength or the inclination to start this. This article articulates the same dilemma in a lot of us.
Daniel Gulati is the author of this article. He says —
A year later, when I asked how her new venture was going, I was surprised to hear that she “couldn’t bring herself to quit” in the first place. And when we bumped into each other last week, I found her toiling away in exactly the same role, still dreaming of her nonprofit venture, but now more depressed than ever.
Forces At Work
Why can’t Susan just leave the job she despises? More generally, what powerful forces are pulling us back toward the “devil we know”?
As job dissatisfaction rates climb up towards 80%, it’s pretty safe to conclude that many of you reading this would rather be doing something else professionally.
But in my interviews, I was surprised to find that people’s inability to quit their current jobs had nothing to do with the perceived riskiness of their new professions, the fear of unemployment if job options fell through, or even how well they had defined their proposed new career step.
An overworked lawyer was hesitant to pursue his dream of regaining balance in a comparatively safe nine-to-five corporate job, despite given numerous opportunities to do so. A marketing professional who dreaded the thought of planning the next strategic campaign couldn’t bring herself to move into management consulting, a move which she acknowledged would be both exciting and a much-needed change.
And the many young men and women I met who hated their jobs, but didn’t know what to do instead? Most of them are in the exact same place today.
As I’ve found out, throwing in the towel on a dead-end job is actually quite difficult, even when you really want to. Here’s why: You’ve been conditioned. Scientists know that the best way to train someone to perform a behavior is to reward them for doing so at random intervals.
In the famous Skinner experiment, one group of rats earned a food pellet after pressing a lever a random number of times, and another group of rats earned the pellet after a fixed number of lever presses.
When the rewards ceased, the rats under the fixed schedule stopped working almost immediately, but those under the variable schedules kept working for a very long time.
What’s the link?
Well, read on……
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