Career Change is A Game of Inches

Took my little daughter to the athletics, and we watched the mighty Usain Bolt in the 4 x 100m heats (though my daughter was far more interested in Hero the Hedgehog).  We then cheered the British team on to qualify, before – incredibly – they snatched gold in the final this evening, winning by 0.05 seconds.

That’s half a second over 400 metres, shared between 4 people.  With such tiny margins I always think of this speech by Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday, which one of our brilliant clients first put me onto.

I guarantee this is worth 4 mins and 40 seconds of your time:


When I first watched this, it captured my experience of being stuck in a job I hated.

Sure, being a consultant was safe and comfortable, but it was killing me.  At times it really did feel like hell.

If I had stayed where I was I would have crumbled.  I would have died.  But at the same time, I was petrified of the alternatives.

Many of our clients feel the same, stuck between an unwanted present and an uncertain future.

Stuck between fear of death and fear of life.

If you recognise this then, just like Pacino’s team, you have a choice.

You can stay where you are and get the shit kicked out of you or you can fight your way out, one inch at a time.  This is painful and scary – I didn’t have the guts to change for 5 years.

If you choose to change career it will be painful.  You will need to fight for every inch.  But watch the clip again; what’s the alternative?

Could you be willing to fight for that next inch?  And the next?  Because that’s the difference between living and dying.

If you’re in career paralysis right now, the inches you need are all around you.

Now.  What are you going to do?


The Career Psychologist specialises in helping people who are stuck in careers they dislike yet who feel uncertain of the alternatives – career paralysis.  If this is you, and you want to fight for some inches, get in touch.

Career Change, Getting Unstuck coaching

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