The Paralyzed Candidate- 10 Things you are missing

NOTE:  The following blog is not about physical paralysis, but rather the incapacity to act on a certain situation.

I have been in the recruiting industry long enough to know there are some people I just can't help. Why? They aren't willing to help themselves. Qualifications have nothing to do with it. I know they could do anything they want. The truth is, that deep down they don't want to make a change.

I call these people "Paralyzed Candidates". I am not talking about physical capabilities. People get comfortable and are scared to make a change. I get it. You can clock in and clock out and you know what to expect every day. You have a salary that you are comfortable with, and you know when you are going to take time off for your vacation every year.

This being said, somewhere deep inside, you are discontent. You are discontent with the direction of the company, the management, the salary, and your coworkers. You don't feel challenged anymore. How do I know you are not happy? I'll tell you why. I hear it from you all the time! It could be quarterly, yearly, weekly or daily, but I know you are miserable.

My advice to the Paralyzed Candidate. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! If it doesn't work out, at least you can say you gave it a try. You can always go back if you stay on good terms or look for something else.


Here are 10 Things You are missing if you are the Paralyzed Candidate.

1) Happiness. Say it with me. Happiness! Can you say you love your job? I honestly can say I do. Is your job consuming your daily thoughts where you dread waking up in the morning? C'mon. Life is too short, snap out of it, there is grass greener on the other side. I promise!  I'd love to see a smile on your face. I'm pulling for you!

2) Challenges. For the first time in a long time, you will be tested. Things may not be easy, but that isn't a bad thing.  Aren't you sick of the TPS reports?  

3) Meeting new people. Your network will be expanded and you will be exposed to different ideas and views that you haven't thought of if you stayed with your current company.

4) Learning new Technologies. In today's world you will be a dinosour if you don't learn a new software and expand your technical expertise.

5) Potentially more money. Have you hit the glass ceiling with your current organization? Someone out there could use your skills that you aren't being recognized for doing.

6) Career advancement. People get stuck! Are you at a company where you simply can't move at all? You signed on with a company that offered absolutely no movement. Your manager has been in the same role for 30 years and he/she isn't leaving anytime soon. So why again are you staying at this place?!

7) Better Hours. Are you working 3rd shift or weekends. Sounds miserable to me. I sold houses for years on the weekends and had no life. Do you travel 7 days a week? Want your life back? Take control. 

8) Shorter Commute. Do you spend hours in your car commuting. Is it affecting your family life. No reason to spend half your life in a car. 

9) Better work life balance. Do you know some companies offer a flexible workforce, even telecommuting?  Yes- it is new and more companies are offering it than not. It is terrific! 

10) You could be a part of the next best thing. There are some companies out there with some really great ideas.  They could change the future. Would you like to be a part of the team that started Facebook or Twitter? The next great idea is around the corner and you could be a part of it!

If you fall into the category of a "paralyzed candidate", I challenge you. If you have evaluated all of your options and come to the conclusion that the company you work for is not fulfilling you, stop complaining and do something about it. You will be a different person. The above advice is something you already know and have known. Hopefully I have helped you get out of your  "Career Wheelchair". Good luck!

If you liked this article, please follow me on Twitter at @WThomsonJr or connect with me on linkedin and read my weekly blogs at  

Views: 1519

Comment by Lisa A, Doorly on December 3, 2012 at 8:17am

I have a friend and former colleague who fallis into this category.  She has been whining for the past 5 years that there is nowhere to go in the company, she was finally promoted and is now complaining that the role is too confining.  I've sent job leads and offered to help with her resume (which she has not updated in 5 years).  It may be a case of complacency or lack of motivation, but I find a lot of people who are 'looking' for a new role fall into this category.  I am also amazed when they expect me to find a job for them - or maybe I shouldn't be.

Comment by Will Thomson on December 3, 2012 at 9:11am

Hi Lisa- thanks for the comment.  I think all of us know someone in a "career wheelchair".  My suggestion is to do everything you can to better your current situation first. If it is a no win situation though,  it is better to make a change than be miserable.  At the very least, give it a try. The only person you have to blame is yourself if you stay in a bad situation. 

Comment by StaffingStarr on December 3, 2012 at 12:54pm

Great article, Will. It hits home in more ways than one...Thank you for the inspiration and call to action!

Comment by Will Thomson on December 3, 2012 at 2:00pm
Thank you! This blog I have been thinking about writing for a long time. I just put pen to paper finally.
Comment by StaffingStarr on December 3, 2012 at 2:03pm

Glad you did! By the way, "Career Wheelchair"... I would trademark that right away!  LOL!

Comment by Suzanne Levison on December 4, 2012 at 10:57am

Interesting points..I've been in the recruiting industry long enough to (many times) identify those candidates who aren't ready or willing to make a change, even though he/she would be the perfect match for a client's open's not my job to help anyone, but more to find a motivated candidate for my client.. There are some who are just fine where their career paths have taken them, would complain endlessly about a new position,..

Comment by Will Thomson on December 4, 2012 at 12:06pm

Hi Suzanne, thank you for your response!  Motivated candidates are what all recruiters look to find.  I wrote this to motivate the candidate to do something about their current situation if they are unhappy.  All too often, people complain about their current job and they can't seem to find the time to really enjoy life.  You are correct by saying making a change is difficult, and often times when a candidate makes a change they feel lost and will complain. Sometimes it takes making a change to appreciate what they had or maybe they will find the job they were dreaming about.  It is a risk, but at least they tried something.  As recruiters, we can't do much with the unmotivated candidate.  They need to motivate themselves, then we can help.

Comment by David Barkin on December 12, 2012 at 4:50pm

Great article Will. This definitely rang true with my own experiences with my last firm. After 8.5 years I was almost too comfortable and each one of these points hits home. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Will Thomson on December 12, 2012 at 5:02pm

Thanks David.  It is really hard to make a change after 8.5 years.  Really, really hard.  Sometimes, you just need a little nudge.  


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