Saturday, November 1, 2008

Releasing Yourself from the Golden Handcuffs

Do you know someone who is struggling to find a job that pays the same salary they made in a previous position? Maybe it’s you who once made ten, twenty or even fifty thousand dollars more than the offers you are receiving today. It’s frustrating to balance maintaining your self-confidence and self-worth while still being weighted down by what career counselors call the “Golden Handcuffs.”

I had a career counselor tell me just this week that many of his clients feel it is “settling” to take a position that pays substantially below a position they formerly held. He disagrees. He pointed out that each job offers unique benefits. While compensation is a part of that, so is the ability to expand your field of knowledge to a new industry or field.

Job hunters seeking to create true job security, ultimately need to consider if the position provides the income, opportunity, creativity, feasibility, flexibility, stability, and longevity that meets their needs right now. Those are the keys to the Green Light Scoring Model™. To disproportionately consider income is to be tied up by golden handcuffs which may prevent you from finding a position that is otherwise ideal for you right now.

Is this downturn in the economy more of a hardship on men than on women? At a career fair in Parsippany, New Jersey – 35 minutes from Manhattan – approximately 90% of fair attendees were men, most of which described themselves as middle management. One female attendee [a former marketing VP] commented on this saying, “I think as women, we’ve learned to adjust in ways that men don’t consider, taking secretarial work temporarily or taking a part-time job to work around kids.” She added that with her husband making the primary income in the household, she didn’t have the pressure to be the family’s primary breadwinner.

In Creating Job Security, the 2009 All-In-One Workbook, due out in December 2008, readers benefits from a seven-step scoring model that empowers them to determine the ideal job right now. We’d like to hear your views. Are men suffering more than women in the current economic downturn? What advice can men give each other to help them cope while they work to determine the ideal job for them right now?


Lindy said...

How can I find out more about this? I am currently job searching and I can use all the help I can get.
Take care,

Creating_Job_Security said...

Hi Dee, this book will be available December 2008 from and to start. You can also request it from your local library. Thanks for inquiring.

B.Thompson said...


At first I didn't think the recession discriminated between men vs. women and thought it would be easy to provide supporting evidence but...

According to a study released in April 2008 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women are seemingly more recession-proof than men. American women (20 years and up) have surprisingly gained almost 300,000 jobs since November 2007. American men, on the other hand, have lost 700,000 jobs during the same time period.

The numbers don't lie - men appear to be at a disadvantage in an economic downturn as a whole based on many factors including their profession, experience and/or industry.


Creating_Job_Security said...

Excellent statistical information, Brian. As readers, do you feel that men -- single or married -- more often find themselves in a position where their income is more heavily relied upon to support a family, and if so, how might this affect them considering/taking a new job that pays less money than a former position? Would you expect a similar response from a female family breadwinner and why? Does anyone have thoughts on this?

LKBrause said...

Here in LA, the economy is tough on everyone. Industries like entertainment that have been known to largely withstand the severe twists of recessions are feeling it big time. What has people chained more than the golden handcuffs is the cost of monthly bills – mortgages, car leases, credit cards. Obviously you want to make as much as you can, but most people are leveraged at a level where we need to make a certain amount, not just to maintain a lifestyle, but to survive. Everyone is feeling it and regular people need to be able to find some way to make it financially. I’m looking at everything out there that can help me with that.

sam said...

l.cre man -v- woman as breadwinner with the option of taking a position which pays less.

is completely predicated upon the real (not perceived) abiity of the family unit to survive the economic transition. benefits versus ramifications
of any individual choice are severly magnified in the current economic realities, and job change must be well thought out. with consideration
given to a multitude of potential issues.

now if college just had a course... "breadwinning 101"!

kaczynski said...

I think there's is a great deal of truth to the Man v Woman argument when it comes to taking a position with a lower salary. I have personal experience with a friend and his significant other going through this exact situation. She is willing to take a big pay cut in changing jobs, whereas he will not.

There's something to be said for work-life balance, living conditions, and many other factors when looking for a job. That's what makes a resource like this one so useful. Salary isn't everything, but unfortunately for many people it's the deciding factor in a position where they ultimately end up unhappy.

Men generally have a larger ego than women do. They tie their salaries into a sense of self worth...ignoring self satisfaction when it comes to a career.

Keith_Kelley said...

There is generally a time vs. money or time vs. BS continuum that exists in most careers. So to say the man is under more pressure is really dependent on many factors. For the most part I agree. If my wife lost her job, we would feel a pinch but that would be about it. If I lost my job it would be more to the catastrophic. However, anyone who is not already looking for a way to become self sufficient is missing out on the American dream and may as well move back to Europe or whatever socialist regime that your forefathers escaped to come here. No risk no reward. I find it is also much easier to just tell yourself that this is just a test and God has something in mind for me. I just don't see it yet. I was fired about 15 years ago from the career that I had a degree in and completely changed fields and started all over. It sucked for about 3 years and then it got better. Now, I want to find the guy who fired me and send him Christmas cards thanking him for waking me up to the world that I was working too hard to even try to participate in.
Is it harder for men, I think so because we are, for the most part, a patriarchal society. However, men, we bring it on ourselves and if you can't stand the heat....maybe a change of scenery and thinking outside the box is what you need.
I would much rather wake up in the morning and look my boss in the eye in the mirror in my home office than to look at him across a desk on some 18 floor corner office that I do not have any real stake in. Ownership is the real deal. Middle Management.....These words that means that you will be judged by the shortcomings of your weakest employee.
Yep, a change of scenery may be just the answer.