Your Career: Are You a Hostage or a Captor?


It’s easy to point fingers to explain why you didn’t get that promotion at work or didn’t get assigned that big project you were hoping to take the lead on—but maybe it’s time to take a realistic look at how you approach your career.

From a high-level view of the U.S. workforce, it’s easy to divide employees into two categories: hostages and captors.

Hostages are those who consider their career paths (in part or completely) in the hands of others. They believe they will only be called for a job interview or hired if there’s a position available. Once they have the job, their career advancement plan is to only do what their bosses allow and assign. Promotions, increased responsibilities and climbing the corporate ladder hinge on others.

Captors, on the other hand, don’t believe they’re at the mercy of others. They set goals and don’t believe in limitations set by others. They understand that their career outcomes are as a result of their own actions and decisions. These people tend to be the ones others are drawn to because they have a great attitude about everything.

But before we tattoo your label on you, it’s important to point out that...

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Posted on October 30, 2013 .