I came across the phrase “White Collar Prison” a few weeks ago and it really resonated.

It describes a workplace where people go to the office everyday with their feet shuffling and their shoulders slumped, dreading another day of responding to endless emails and attending boring, unimaginative meetings.  People trapped in the white collar prison do meaningless work with no passion, but they put up with it because they need to work and they’re just grateful to have a job.

They feel trapped and they say to themselves that there’s no way out, so they tolerate the drudgery and suppress their dreams.

We spend so much of our lives at work that it would be a shame to have it feel like you’re in prison.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a job where you can express yourself with enthusiasm, where you look forward to going to work and where you have interesting problems to solve?

To me, the White Collar Prison isn’t an economic or physical trap, it’s a deception of the mind, where we feel compelled to turn up, but not to contribute.

Where we feel as though anything more is unrealistic.

Perhaps where it’s easier to defer responsibility than to take it.

Some people have their small cubicle with a picture of their kids and they remind themselves that it’s for them that they work there.

I believe that you’re doing your kids a disservice if you work in a white collar prison.

By complaining about your job, you’re teaching them that work sucks and that they shouldn’t hope for anything different, continuing the cycle for generations to come.

Break out, not just for you, but for them as well.

The fact is that the white collar prison is locked from the inside and you can escape if you really want to.

If you feel trapped in your current work situation, you have three choices:

  1. Don’t change anything and keep complaining about it. (Although why you would choose that option is beyond me)
  2. Change your perspective about your current role and free yourself to make a greater contribution.  Use your experience, skills and passion to make the workplace better for you, your peers and your customers.
  3. Find a new job.  One that’s more aligned with what you’re enthusiastic about and where you can express yourself with liberty and purpose.

Are you trapped in a white collar prison?

If so, what are you going to do about it?

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