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18 reasons why people stay doing a job they hate

Dreams and obligations

Spring is a time of growth and change. Many people move jobs in the Spring, but many don’t. Here are 18 reasons why people stay doing a job they hate:

1. Inertia
2. Fear of change
3. Like staying in comfort zone
4. It is easier NOT to make a decision
5. Lack time
6. Laziness
7. Want to get redundancy pay off
8. Financial commitments e.g. large mortgage
9. Dependents e.g. children going through University
10. Anxious about career change
11. Planning to have a child and want to take maternity leave
12. Worried about losing employment law rights if they move companies
13. Don’t know what else they want to do
14. Lack time to think/plan
15. Not sure what their transferable skills are and what they would be useful for
16. Find it hard to get a job elsewhere – common for over 50’s
17. Want to build pension for retirement
18. Self-employment feels too scary

What would you add?

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If no 15 resonated with you, why not download our free PDF to identify what your transferable skills are? Click on this link:

Big data or big questions?

Set goals

Big questions are a useful tool to mine insights and utilize the capacities of our minds to analyse big data, solve problems and think better.

Open self-reflective questions or ‘self-coaching’ costs nothing, can be done anywhere and usefully, your mind works on them while you are doing something else. Here are some big questions for you:

What do I really want?

Who do I want to become?

How do I lose time?

What would make my life/work more fulfilling?

How can I minimise stress?

Where do I waste money?

What does happiness mean to me?

What does success mean to me?

What needs to change?

What is my career strategy?

What am I avoiding that needs resolution?

What fears hold me back?

What goals am I committed to?

What is my role in helping the world?

Self-reflective questions are very powerful, but it is action that creates the change, which is why having a coach is beneficial to achieve more faster; time and space to think, accountability and a supportive yet challenging sounding board.

For more insights and tips, follow us on Twitter @talentliberator. If you are ready for change, get in touch about how our coaching can support you.

Happy 2014 to you!

Career cul de sac?

Career opportunities next exit

This is a guest blog from one of our clients, Rick Cotgreave. We helped Rick discover his second career at 40.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson.

These are Rick’s words below:

“What can I do? I’m 40 years old, I’ve lost the enthusiasm I once had for my work, there must be more to life. How can I use my skills more productively? What opportunities are out there? These are just some of the questions I had when I met Rachel in 2010. I was taking a sabbatical from work and was feeling lost. The future looked uncertain, staying in the same job and ticking down the time until retirement was terrifying. Surely there was a more productive, a more exciting, and a more rewarding way to make a living.

I had been given a gift voucher to see Rachel as a Christmas present. We arranged to meet and spend some time exploring how to combine my skills, experience, and passions to create a meaningful career. At the time I had no idea that just a two hour meeting would create such a significant shift in direction for me. With skill Rachel coached and advised me to examine the things that really mattered to me to take a fresh perspective on my experiences and to bring them together in a way that was both relevant and of real value in the wider market place.

My background was predominantly in sport, I’d played lacrosse internationally and used that build my first career doing sports coaching and teaching Physical Education. Sport provided a great foundation for a mind-set keen to constantly look for ‘better’ and ways to develop and improve. I’d also studied yoga and meditation for many years which gave a balance to the competition of sport and helped provide an insight into the mind-set of contentment and fulfilment. Teaching had been a great way of sharing my passions with other people, but I sensed that there were more opportunities beyond the world of education.
Rachel broadened my perspective and allowed me to see how my skills could be applied in the corporate world.

I began to see that a keen understanding of performance excellence learned in sport was a transferable skills that could help businesses improve individual and team effectiveness. An understanding of mindfulness could help raise awareness, manage stress and improve performance under pressure. It was this knowledge combined with the passion for sharing, teaching and coaching that would provide the building blocks for my second career.

In just two hours with Rachel, my eyes were opened to new possibilities. I subsequently resigned from my role, gained extra training and qualifications in coaching and began to build my business, Mobius Performance. I chose the name Mobius to represent the fusing of the inner and outer worlds – bringing together the performance excellence seen in sport and the personal excellence discovered in meditation.

Since meeting with Rachel I have been able to create a career that is much more rewarding. I learn something new every day and develop my skills further than I ever had the opportunity to do before. I have had the privilege to work with some brilliant people and share my passion for human development in businesses all over the world.

It might have only been two hours, but the meeting with Rachel was the start of something that continues to grow. It’s a constant reminder to me of the power of coaching – the right person, at the right time can make a massive difference to someone’s life. We all have something inside of us, it sometimes takes someone else to give us a gentle nudge so that we can grow and blossom.“

For more information about Rick, click on this link:

Imagine what an Energise gift voucher could do for you or someone you care about? Click on this link to find out more about our services/enquire about Energise gift vouchers:

For more insights, tips and inspiring client examples, follow Rachel on Twitter:

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay.

What could your second career be? Download our free Skills report as a first step:

How to conduct a pre-termination negotiation

Sign pointing easy way or  hard way (Changing Work) (2)

This is a guest blog about pre-termination negotiations or PTNs by Blair Adams, an employment lawyer at law firm DMH Stallard.

In July 2013, new legislation introduced the concept of pre-termination negotiations (PTNs). PTNs are confidential and will not be admissible in certain tribunal proceedings, the intention being to make it easier for employers to have off-the-record conversations with employees about agreed terminations. In addition, conducting a PTN and concluding a settlement agreement are now the subject of a new ACAS Code on Settlement Agreements. The Code is not legally binding, but it will be taken into account by tribunals.

What is a PTN?

It is simply a discussion about terminating employment on agreed terms. There are no particular formalities required under the legislation, but it would be prudent to establish with the employee at the beginning that you are starting a discussion or sending them a letter on the basis that it falls with the scope of a PTN.

What is the benefit?

It is an opportunity to try to agree terms with an employee before taking any formal steps, such as a performance management review or a disciplinary procedure. In contrast to the existing “without prejudice” rule, a PTN does not require there to be a pre-existing dispute.

What are the risks?

• loss of confidentiality;
• constructive dismissal claims – nothing in the legislation prevents an employee claiming constructive dismissal if you suggest that they should leave. In some cases, employees could use this to “manufacture” a wrongful dismissal that allows them to escape contractual restrictions.

How far does the confidentiality go?

• the confidentiality only applies in claims of ordinary unfair dismissal. Evidence of what happened in a PTN could still be admissible in other claims, such as discrimination or automatic unfair dismissal;
• all confidentiality is lost if one party is found to have behaved improperly in the course of a PTN;
• the confidentiality relates to employment tribunal proceedings – nothing in the legislation prevents an employee telling a third party about a PTN; and
• it can be removed in relation to costs applications in the tribunal – but a party needs to reserve its position on this at the time of the PTN.

Improper behaviour

This is defined in the Code. It is ultimately for a tribunal to decide what amounts to improper behaviour, but the Code provides examples. These include the obvious (physical assault, harassment, victimisation and discrimination, bullying and intimidation) and the concept of “undue pressure”.

Undue pressure

According to the Code, undue pressure includes:
• failing to allow a reasonable time for consideration of a settlement agreement (the Code suggests 10 calendar days is the minimum period);
• saying that if a settlement is not reached the employee will be dismissed (although the Code says it will not be improper to set out in neutral terms the “likely alternatives” to settlement); and
• an employee threatening to damage an employer’s public reputation if a settlement is not reached.

Concepts such as intimidation and undue pressure are ill-defined – expect disputes about them in the near future. For example:

• would a statement by the employer that the employee will get a less favourable reference unless terms are agreed amount to improper behaviour?
• could an employee claim to have been unduly pressured if you ask them to respond to a settlement agreement within fewer than 10 days?


The Code suggests that the right to be accompanied should apply during a PTN, although this is not a legal requirement and so the employee cannot insist on it. Many employers will want to ignore the suggestion, the risk being that they will be found to have behaved improperly.

Without prejudice confidentiality

PTNs may also fall within the scope of the existing without prejudice rule. In most cases, employers will want to use both labels if they can.


On 29 July, compromise agreements were officially renamed “settlement agreements”.

To contact Blair Adams, click on this link:

My inspiring clients. Part 2 of 4.

Dreams and obligations

Most people don’t realize how amazing and talented they are, and hide their light under a bushel.

My job is to help them to see their talent & uniqueness, work with them to define a career vision, strategy and plan and support them to market themselves and get to where they want to be, overcoming actual and perceived hurdles.

My clients inspire me so much and I learn a lot from them, getting new ideas that help myself and I can share with others.

This is a 4 part blog series each sharing 5 current client scenarios and 5 success stories to inspire you.

5 current client scenarios:

• A quality assurance manager in her 30s who wants to become an events/project manager

• A management consultant in her 30s frustrated with full time employment in the NHS who wants to do contracting work more in line with her values

• A former manager in her 40s in a corporate who has been a full time carer for her family for many years and who now wants to create a new career & life for herself

• A female in her 30s who has just returned back to the UK after living in Australia and wants to get a job and build a network

• A successful management consultant in his 50s who wants to define their brand and market their business to get more clients in the UK rather than abroad so they can spend more time with their family

5 inspiring client examples:

Evolving business focus (Lorna)

Family friendly business (Francesca)

Hobby into a business and child friendly (Martin)

Leaving corporate life – portfolio career (Pippa)

Life work balance – (Jon)

Are you ready to create your own success story? Get in touch.

For more useful insights, follow us on Twitter:

My inspiring clients. Part 1 of 4.

Hands releasing butterflies (Individuals site Energise image)

Most people don’t realize how amazing and talented they are, and hide their light under a bushel. My job is to help them to see their talent & uniqueness, work with them to define a career vision, strategy and plan and support them to market themselves and get to where they want to be, overcoming actual and perceived hurdles.

My clients inspire me so much and I learn a lot from them, getting new ideas that help myself and I can share with others.

This is a 4 part blog series each sharing 5 current client scenarios and 5 success stories to inspire you.

5 current client scenarios:

• A female lawyer with a young baby who doesn’t want to return to work in private practice but wants a prestigious career which can be combined with growing her family

• A salesman in his 30s’ who has never enjoyed his career and wants to work out what career would fulfill him so he can enjoy the rest of his working life

• A finance manager in his 30s who chose to leave his job in the city because of a values mismatch and to become self-employed with better work life balance

• A female in her 60s who ran her own successful law firm for 30 years who now wants to enjoy a second career, rather than retire

• A talented female lawyer in her 20s with a young baby treated badly by her employer wanting to rebuild her confidence and find a new firm where she will be happier

5 inspiring client examples:

From employee to self-employed consultant (Chris)

A mid life career reinvention (Anne)

Child friendly self-employment and getting started (Sarah)

Defining USP (Alison)

Employment to contracting (Tony)

Are you ready to create your own success story? Get in touch.

For more useful insights, follow us on Twitter:

How career resilient are you?

Man running on water

How career resilient are you and how important is it?

I went to an interesting seminar last week about career resilience. I came away feeling confident that I am, which is good to know doing the work I do!

So what creates career resilience? Does it depend on having a laid back disposition, high levels of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin or something else?

The quick answer is resilience is learnt. What creates career resilience is keeping an eye on trends that may/will affect your job/career, being aware of your strengths, skills and character and what you have to offer – the value of your ‘currency’, making useful connections, both insights and people, listening to and taking note of the needs of your customers/target audience and aligning yourself with what is needed/will be needed.

A lot of this is about marketing – where I started my career in the 1980’s. The definition of marketing can be adapted to your career – “anticipating and satisfying customer needs profitably.” A ‘win win’ for employee and employer or customer/client and supplier.

What also increases resilience is having a clear sense of purpose and support to achieve your potential. ‘Super resilience’ is achieved my managing your thoughts, what some call ‘the monkey mind’, hence the growth in mindfulness plus reframing knockbacks into constructive learnings.

Future blogs will focus on each of these factors.

For now, give yourself a quick career resilience audit:

Resilience audit:

Ask yourself these questions:

How well do I know my skills and strengths and where they are useful?
Who champions me in my career?
What is my purpose?
What would increase my sense of resilience in my career?
How do emerging trends affect my career prospects?
What’s my contingency plan?
What are the positive learnings from my knockbacks at work?
If you had a personal Board, who would you appoint?


Have a career strategy
Define your purpose
Get a coach or mentor to support you
Invest 10% of your salary/revenue in improving your marketability – up-skill/qualification
Spend 1 hour a week keeping up to date with general and specific trends unique to your role
Spend 1 hour a week supporting and developing your network
Develop your self-awareness

For more useful insights, follow us on Twitter:

My clients are really unhappy with me

Fed up woman with pile of paper at desk

Sometimes my clients are very unhappy with me. They question what we are doing, how we are doing it and whether it works. I don’t mind. It is the storm before the calm.

Usually it is because they are very frustrated with themselves and/or feeling stuck and scared.

Changing career can be a pretty scary decision. A big change evokes big emotion and natural fears that need to be worked through.

During the process, they can feel very stuck at times, having made the decision to change, mentally left behind where they have been but not yet sure what they are going to do next and how they are going to get there. They don’t know what to do with this uncomfortable emotion swishing about so they project it onto us.

They can be slightly aggressive, defensive, ‘arsy’ even, but I see it as a positive because I know it is normal and healthy. They can be how they are and express exactly how they feel with me. Their friends and family may be worrying about the change they are making and talking about their fears to them can make them feel more worried and anxious, when they are feeling quite anxious enough as it is.

The breakthrough, or ‘aha’ moment follows this stuck phase and they move forward, often quite fast. The calm after the storm.

If you are considering a career change, it won’t be all plain sailing, but you will get to calm waters and be glad that you set sail, even if there are some squally patches along the way.

The alternative is staying in stagnant water that becomes more putrid over time, feeling more and more fed up, stuck and unfulfilled.

So what choice are you making for you? Get in touch if you are ready for change.

Click on this link for some blog about fears:

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Who’s your Sherpa?

Set goals

I recently heard an amazing speaker at an Ernst & Young quarterly women’s network event: Herta von Stiegel.

She decided she wanted to climb Kilimanjaro as a challenge for reaching 50. Not only that, but to do it taking a group of disabled people and their helpers too. It took two years of planning and she succeeded. The climb resulted in a book called “The inner mountain” which draws parallels between leadership lessons and her experiences climbing Kilimanjaro.

Two things I personally took away from her talk were:

1) Vision is the intersection between something you are passionate about/a major strength and how it meets a human need.

2) The aptness of the ‘inner mountain’ metaphor for career change.

Many people want to change career but don’t start because the change feels too great, the climb too steep, too daunting. No one who has climbed a mountain or done a marathon would say it is easy, but they focus on the motivation of the outcome and how they will feel and break the stages into steps, just as climbers have different camps along the way e.g. base camp.

Two of the highlights for me about helping people to change career are the ‘aha’ moments – insights about what they really want to do, what is stopping them and breakthroughs in progress. Career change like climbing a mountain is an outer journey too, but very much an inner one of personal discovery and change.

Three questions for you:

What do you feel passionately about doing through your career to help others?
What are you really good at?
What’s stopping you from career change?

Here is what a client of ours said recently:

“Coaching has been very instrumental for me, because it helped me carve my own path at my own pace, to reach my goal. I’m not sure that without coaching, I would still have had the willpower to change and enter a completely different line of work – I may have thought about it, but whether I would have put it in action anyways? I’m not so certain!

Also, I enjoyed speaking with Rachel, because I knew that she wouldn’t be judgemental or biased – she understood where I was coming from and she understood why I needed the change, which has been at times, difficult to explain to friends and family.”

Click on this link for some blog about fears:

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Fancy some garden leave?

Path through green grass

This is a guest blog – part 2 of 2 by Michael Scutt who is an employment lawyer. It explores garden leave, restrictive covenants and bonuses.

Garden leave
Another option open to employers is to place the departing employee on garden leave. This means that the employee remains just that, an employee for the duration of the notice period. The only difference is that they remain at home and will not be doing any work. Whilst on garden leave, the employee is entitled to continue to receive all salary and benefits but they must not compete against the employer or work for anyone else. A garden leave clause can be a most effective way of keeping an employee out of the job market and is likely to be more enforceable than a restrictive covenant.

Restrictive covenants
Restrictive covenants come in various forms. Basically it is a type of clause that seeks to prevent the departing employee from undermining the business after they have left. Common restrictive covenants include non-solicitation of clients or prospective customers, non-poaching of colleagues and non-competition clauses. They can be for varying periods of time, such as one, three or six months, but the longer the duration, the more unlikely it is that clause would be enforceable, particularly with a non-compete clause which seeks to prevent an employee from working in the same business. This is a very complex area and close scrutiny needs to be given to such clauses if you are the employee seeking to leave. Traditionally the courts have been reluctant to enforce restrictive covenants and will only do so if they protect a legitimate business interest of the employer. In other words, a non-compete or non-solicitation clause against a senior salesman is likely to be more enforceable than against a receptionist or back office administrator with no client contact.

Discretionary bonus
Don’t forget about any bonus that may be due. Many contracts of employment will contain a provision that the employee is paid an (often discretionary) bonus provided they remain in employment or are not under notice at the time the payment is made. Consequently, before handing in your notice you need to check to make sure that you will not be forfeiting that bonus if you leave at that time. In some cases it may be possible to negotiate for your new employer to pay you the bonus you are otherwise forfeiting in joining them, but that is a rare situation.
Finally, in some employment contracts you will find a provision that states you will bring the existence of restrictive covenants in it to the attention of your new employer. If there is subsequently a dispute and you fail to notify the new employer of the relevant clauses in the contract, it could lead to you being sued by the old employer, who will probably also take action against your new employer.

In summary then, when considering changing jobs it is worth checking your existing contract of employment and, if necessary, take advice from an employment lawyer. At the same time you could also take advice on the terms of the new contract you are being asked to enter into so that you are forewarned for any future issues that may arise when you finally move on from that employment.

In case you missed it, here is part 1:

Michael Scutt is an employment solicitor with Excello Law. ( He can be contacted via or (01707) 471030 or 0845 257 9449 Follow Michael on Twitter

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