The golden cage syndrome

Laura Burchardt
  • 2 Min read

In the war for talent, employers are more aware of the value of their employees and so they overcompensate with rewards, good working environment, high income, and job security, to keep these good elements. At first this will satisfy and motivate the worker, but in the long term, with lack of opportunities, the employee feels beholden to the organization and this creates an unbalance between the employer and the employee.

The employee then stays for the wrong reasons, and the company has managed to keep one of its best elements, however this staff member has lost motivation and ambition, thus losing excellence.

The dilemma is that the employee likes the job, the colleagues, and the environment; they have been there for a while and have a good situation. And the unknown is scary. To this I say that even a golden cage is still a cage.

Time for reflection:

  • Do you go to work cheerfully or are you counting the hours until you can leave?
  • Do you feel like your job is worthwhile?
  • Do you have constant fatigue at work; yet feel more energetic outside of work hours?
  • Do you find yourself complaining more than usual?
  • Are you staying for the right reasons?

To answer this last question, you will need to prioritise what it is that you truly want for your career, what can you live with, more importantly what can you thrive with. And see if this ties in with your present situation.

If you have answered positively to most of these questions, congratulations, you are where you need to be at this point in time.

If not, it’s time for you to move on, and keep in mind your list of priorities when looking for that next step in your career.


"Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it."  - Buddha

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