Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor

Several years ago, I weighed my options. Stay in Denver at a job I hated and continue working for an absolute jerk, or move back to Florida for a better job and more money, but work as an editor for a less prestigious newspaper. I was ready to bolt, then froze.

What was I doing? I had a union-protected job where I couldn’t be fired. Five weeks of vacation, good money, great benefits and I got to live in Colorado, a state I loved that was filled with the best friends I’d ever had. I knew what I had where I was. I didn’t know what I would be trading for in Florida. What if my new boss was an even bigger jerk? What if I was even more miserable?

I weighed the options with my friend Jill Gould, who was and is one of my mentors and sisters in life. Finally, she said two things that changed my world.The first thing was, “Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.” She said it three times, emphasizing the point. The second thing she said was, “If you ain’t doin’ something, you’re doin’ nothing.” I can’t imagine two more profound pieces of wisdom to guide us through turbulent times as we make the decisions that will determine where we go next.

I quit the job, moved to Florida, stayed in the new job in a year-and-a-half and found my way to this new, exciting, oh-so-fun life as an author and speaker. None of this would be mine if I’d clung to that union protected job. Instead, I would have been stuck in an archaic job in a dying industry. A position that would have left me with no security whatsoever.

I see so many people clinging to what little security their jobs offer, not recognizing that the security is not real at all. Look at the behemoth companies collapsing in front of our eyes. There is no security in trusting institutions that have to make a profit first and take care of employees second. It’s good to have faith in the companies you have loyally supported and buoyed with your talents, but don’t have blind faith.

A friend called last night and lamented how much she deplores the work she is doing for a government agency that is so demanding of her time, energy and spirit that she knows she has neglected her husband and herself. And, for what? The security of a paycheck. I remember when she and I were starting our own businesses at the same time. I worked so hard to run fast enough to make mine take off. She seemed stuck to the floor. Finally, she called to tell me she’d taken the job she is now so miserable in. I remember telling her that self-employment was a lot like a tightrope walk in the circus.

“Those tightrope walkers never look down because, if they do, they fall,” I said.

“My problem was, I couldn’t look up,” she said.

It was the most concise description of the difference between success and failure. To succeed, you have to have faith in yourself so you can move forward with absolute certainty that you are on the right path.

Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizatons about courage and creative leadership strategies.

1 Comment
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