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Professional Emancipation Proclamation

By CAREEREALISM Founder, J.T. O'Donnell
On January 1st, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a means for ending slavery. Fast forward 150 years... Today, at CAREEREALISM we are issuing the Professional Emancipation Proclamation as a means for ending the Golden Handcuff Effect.

What Is The Golden Handcuff Effect?

For many of us, the current employment contract is out-of-whack. We feel held hostage by the outdated rules and constraints of traditional employment. The scales appear to be tipped in favor of our employers. And yet, we feel unable to break free from the control they have over our lives. We are living to work, not working to live... and it feels a lot like slavery.

What Are The Signs I’m Being Held Hostage?

The Golden Handcuff Effect creates a depressed, helpless mindset. Our brain is exhausted from trying to find ways to free ourselves. Our mood swings wildly back and forth through the early-to-mid stages of grief, including denial, anger, bargaining and depression. In an effort to deaden the pain, we may even use escapism tactics to temporarily relieve the anxiety and stress caused by the Golden Handcuff Effect. Excessive behavior and radical, impulse-driven decisions often accompany this phase.

What Can I Do About It?

Reaching the last stage of grief, known as “acceptance,” is half the battle to freeing yourself from the Golden Handcuff Effect. Only then can you rationally embrace the need to liberate your career. The other half is making the effort to consciously and proactively change your career development strategy. Letting go of society’s outdated beliefs and assumptions is not easy. Ignoring the pressure to conform to the standards of others is also challenging. But, if you can access resources to help you stay strong and on track with your goal, you can succeed at Professional Emancipation.

How Do I Get Started?

First, you need to make a contract with yourself. A conscious commitment to change your behavior and invest in acquiring the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed. You can achieve this by printing out and signing the attached Professional Emancipation Proclamation (download button below). Then, be sure to post it in a place where you will see it everyday as a reminder of your commitment. Download PDF *To download, right-mouse click the button and select “Save Link As” from the menu.
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