Recovering Corpoholics Podcast

Ep 2 - Why You Feel Stuck in Your Big 4 Career

In today’s episode, we’ll going to talk about why you may feel stuck in your Big 4 job and some tips on how to feel freer and more decisive. 

Find the show notes for this episode at RecoveringCorpoholics.com/2. And if you like what you hear, please share this podcast with 5 of your friends to help spread the word. 

Ok so let’s get started.

This episode is going to be a bit personal for me as I felt stuck in my career for years. And if you knew me, you wouldn’t have had any idea as I never told anyone. I just kept my head down and kept working.  

I knew I wanted to do something else but had no idea where to go next and was scared that making the wrong move would set me back in my career. Sound familiar? 

There are a couple reasons why you feel stuck at your job and haven’t left yet. 

First, and the most obvious, financial reasons. 

Working at a Big 4 job, you make a great salary, which increases every year, you get a nice bonus, have full benefits, unlimited sick days (that you probably never take), and you receive random gifts throughout the year. 

And it’s great but it’s also very hard to give up. And this is especially true if you have a family to support.  

Second, is the Fear of the unknown. 

Working at a Big 4, you have great job security. Through the financial crisis in 08-09 and the pandemic happening in 2020 till now, Big 4 firms made announcements that they were going to be there for their people. 

Personally, the firm I worked at actually said they weren’t going to let any us go and made cuts elsewhere in order to protect their staff. On top of that, I’ve only known 2 people to get let go after 12 years of working at a Big 4 and to be honest, it was years coming. 

I’m saying this as when working at a Big 4, you know what you need to do to keep your job and what you need to do if you want to be that A player. 

But working at a new company is tough. You don’t know the rules, you don’t know the people. And they don’t know you. You’re going to have to make a name for yourself again, maybe even hustle like you did when you were younger. 

So here comes the fear of the unknown. Some of the questions you’ll ask yourself are: 

  • What if it doesn’t work out? 

  • What if I left my safe job for nothing? 

  • What if I can’t pay my bills? 

  • What if my boss or team sucks? 

  • What if I’m even more miserable? 

 

Also included in this category is: 

  • What do I even want to be doing with my life? 

  • What is my passion? 

  • Will I ever even find my passion? 

  • Also, what will people think of me? 

  • Will they think I’m a loser if I quit for something silly, I like? I mean the list can go on and on. 

 

And the Third reason why you feel stuck is the fear of loss. 

On top of the fear of the unknown, you question that leaving now in your career will cause you to lose everything you’ve worked for in your career thus far. 

Some of those questions you may ask yourself are: 

  • What if I everything I did was for nothing? 

  • What if I don’t use my degree? A degree that you may be still be paying for each month?

  • What about all that time you spent working at your current job. Did you just waste all your good years?

 

So how do you move past this so you can get unstuck and finally make a decision you’ve been wanting to make? Here are 4 strategies to help you:

First, you need to get to the root of the issue. 

What is it that you are really scared of? We all have fears, it’s part of being human and is an essential part of our survival instincts. 

But there are different types of fears. Fears that protect us from dangerous situations and fears that stop us from living out our best life. The latter is the fear you need to understand. 

Our fears holding us back are made up of beliefs from experiences and thoughts that have happened through our life. 

Maybe you didn’t do well when you tried to leave in the past and maybe you were fired once before… whatever the situation, you need to get to the root of what really stopping you. 

Second, you need to question that fear. 

We all know that fears are not based on our reality. They are based on what we think may happen to us. We believe them to be so true that it can be paralyzing. 

But if we were to break those fears down, they become more and more easier to understand and to disprove.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Is it 100% true that what I am scared of will come true?

  • What are the facts that support that?

  • What are 3 scenarios when I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out and it did?

 

Third, I want you to counter the fear. 

 

Sometimes we are so held down on what’s going to happen that we forget about what’s possible.

 

So, ask yourself other questions to see the other side:

  • Is there a possibility that it could work out?

  • What if I am even more happy in that job?

  • What if I leave and the job ends up being the best thing that’s ever happened to me?

  • What if I stay forever in my current job (think about how many working years you have left in your career), will I really be happy, and proud of myself that I stayed?

 

I really love that last question because if you want to combat fear when finding a new job, or anything really, the simple solution is making the fear of staying where you’re at greater than the fear of change. 

Let that sink in – The average retirement age is 65, so if you’re 30, that means you have 35 more working years. That means 35 more years working in that miserable job. 

Now that you have that perspective, would you really want to stay in your job? Or would you want to take a chance on yourself? I know what I would do.

Fourth, and this may be difficult, but you need to accept the fear. 

At this point, you know your fear and have questioned both sides of it. What’s left at this point is accepting that there is a chance that you may fail, or that it may not work out. 

Instead of sitting in the world of pity, if it doesn’t work out, just think about what you can learn from the situation. 

As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. 

For me, I was so scared to leave my Big 4 job. But what I was more scared of was staying in a career I wasn’t passionate about and wasting my life, my talents and the impact that I could have on the world. 

I would rather have been a proud failure than to say I never tied. 

So, I made my financial plan, which we’ll talk about in the next episode, and I did it. 

You deserve to have everything you want in this life. You just have to be willing to work for it, no matter the cost. 

And if you really want to lessen the fear of job changing, do all of this while you are at your current job. 

If you get the job and are still unsure, you don’t have to take it. But at least you know you went for it. Be proud of yourself. 

I hope you enjoying listening to today’s episode. 

 

Stay Inspired and Live powerfully!

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