Are You Being Pecked to Death?

suetcage-smOutside of my home office window there is generally quite an assortment of small winged creatures, enjoying the bounty of bird food that my compassionate wife puts out regularly in feeders suspended over the deck.

A favorite of some of these fluttering neighbors – especially the woodpeckers – is a cage with suet. They grasp the wires with their claws and peck-peck-peck away, reducing what was once a good-sized cake of suet to a ragged shell of its former self, and eventually making it disappear altogether.

I wonder how many of us have felt that way in our work. Trapped in a cage, and slowly pecked to death. Wanting to do what we love, but spending much of our time bemoaning the incessant beak-intrusions of managers, co-workers, and clients who are not only not on the same page, they’ve never even picked up the book.

I rejoice at a story like Kirsten Wright‘s, who left a position she didn’t enjoy to do something she loved. I’m glad to see Amber Naslund taking on a job with Radian6 that fits her to a “T”. And I read this morning on Twitter of the excitement of Leah Jones, who is leaving a current role (though I have no reason to believe it was a suet-in-the-cage job!) to start her own thing.

I think this will be future for many of us. While others continue to be pecked into smaller pieces, we have the tools and the networks and the creativity to “roll our own” businesses. It’s a scary trip at first, but having a supportive network of professionals eases the transition greatly. I’m certainly glad I went out on that limb – do you have a success story (or aspiration) to share in the comments?

About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

5 Responses to Are You Being Pecked to Death?

  1. Karen Swim says:

    Steve, I loved my job in corporate America but always knew that it was not the final destination. I took time out of the work force and went back to work for a different company. I lasted a year (barely) and knew I had to save my soul and bolt. Even on my lowest days in business, I have NEVER regretted the decision to strike out on my own. It’s been both easier and harder than I believed and extremely rewarding and life changing.

  2. Thanks so much for including me! My boldness is in levels, the next step is to work towards being a freelance writer/blogger/graphic designer full time instead of working for someone else. Keep up the great posts – I loved the comparison to the food and our jobs! lol

    Kirsten Wright

  3. Hi Steve,

    Thanks so much for the mention. It’s funny…I spent years in corporate America, then went out and did my own thing for a while. The most liberating and amazing thing I ever did, and it opened a whole new world of possibilities for me, including the position at Radian6.

    It sure feels like this position was “made for me” in many ways, so I’m looking forward to seeing what adventures I’ll be on. 🙂

    In general, I’m a big believer of calculated risk in your career in order to pursue the path that’s right for you. It takes trial and error sometimes, but with something as critical as your career, I can’t imagine anything more worth the effort.


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  5. Leah says:

    Hey Steve, a much delayed thank you for mentioning me. You’re right that it wasn’t a suet-in-a-cage job, I had so much opportunity at Edelman and am still here part time. But I felt a growing tug to try my skills with an audience that is incredibly important to me–artists, writers, musicians and other creative folks.

    So far, it’s been fun and exciting!

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