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Careers Advice
5 min read

Do You Feel Tied To Your Job?

If you do, you may be wearing golden handcuffs! Not literally of course, but the phrase ‘golden handcuffs' refers to certain benefits which are provided by an employer to discourage employees from leaving their job and going to work elsewhere.The word ‘golden’ implies that the incentives offered are substantial and tempting but bear in mind that they do act as a binding commitment.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
January 25, 2024

If you do, you may be wearing golden handcuffs! Not literally of course, but the phrase ‘golden handcuffs' refers to certain benefits which are provided by an employer to discourage employees from leaving their job and going to work elsewhere.The word ‘golden’ implies that the incentives offered are substantial and tempting but bear in mind that they do act as a binding commitment. It could be financial incentives that are offered at certain intervals such as large bonuses, great health care benefits, generous discounts for certain items, housing assistance, gift vouchers or even use of a company car. These incentives are agreements that specify that the employee can only receive them after a certain length of time with an employer and will have to be given back if the employee leaves before a certain date. This inevitably gives the employee a dilemma if they really want to leave a job but enjoy the perks and benefits that come with the employment!

A large amount of resources go into the varying processes of recruitment and training of staff, but it doesn’t stop there. Once a company has hired the staff, it then has to develop certain strategies in order to retain the staff. Companies will undoubtedly want to hold on to their staff, especially the more talented or loyal employees or the employees that are able to consistently perform to the best of their ability and prove to be an asset. No company wants to lose their best performing staff yet on the other hand, staff may find it difficult to cease working in a job they no longer derive satisfaction from, because of the lure of the benefits. Essentially, you may feel your hands are tied - with these golden handcuffs!

Your salary may be good, you are due a large bonus in a few months time but you really wish you could leave and find a job that you enjoy more. So what should you do? Well, if you are not happy in your job then you need to assess your priorities as there will always be a next incentive or bonus to look forward to, keeping you in the job you are already in.

All companies have different incentives to retain their staff. So you may decide to give up a job that you have got used to and you also give up that bonus or incentive every six or twelve months, but who is to say that the next company you choose to work for won't have even better benefits?

Long term job satisfaction is essential for your overall well being and career growth. Staying in a job that you want to leave, no matter what the salary or incentives are, can lead to stress, unhappiness and ultimately burnout. Therefore, it is imperative to evaluate your individual circumstances and consider the long term consequences of staying in a job solely for incentives. You may arrive at the decision to explore opportunities that align better with your interests and values, even if it does mean forfeiting some financial incentives.

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