Recently, I was reading an article which focused on the state of affairs of the travel industry given the Covid pandemic. I came across an assessment from a tourism analyst about the significant impact caused by this infectious disease on air travel, hotels, and entertainment locations.
He said: “The industry was roaring and had a 10-year run where demand exceeded supply, and people got greedy. Now suddenly a crowbar has been stuck in the flywheel …”
Crowbar defined: A crowbar is a wedge-shaped blunt object that is used as a pry or lever. It’s also known as a wrecking bar, pry bar, or pinch-bar. The fact that a tool or weapon is also known as a “wrecking bar” doesn’t sound conducive to progress or productivity, right?
Flywheel defined: A flywheel is a mechanical design to efficiently store rotational or kinetic energy. As long as the wheel is turning, engine rotation is possible, leading to a consistent delivery of torque.
Imagine a Crowbar in Your Career Flywheel
Now that we have an understanding of the purpose of a crowbar and a flywheel, let’s apply them metaphorically to your career.
Here are some examples of having a crowbar stuck in your career flywheel:
- You are backed into your current job. You never liked it from the beginning, but now you are in somewhat of a comfort zone. You often think of leaving the current situation, but that might mean starting over, which is a challenge you are unwilling to tackle at this time or even in the near future.
- You’ve thought about pursuing a professional certification, university degree program, or learning a new skill by watching a video series on your own, but inertia has taken over your thinking process, and it actually feels safer to resist change.
- You receive a performance appraisal that confirms you are meeting company expectations, which means you qualify for a pay hike and a possible end-of-year bonus. The increases in compensation are expected to be nominal, but you label them as a “promotion.” You’re moving up the corporate ladder! Are you really, though?
The Crowbar Effect is Obvious
From an outside perspective, you can easily spot the crowbar in these scenarios. However, blinded by an inside perspective, the flywheel may no longer be rotating.
You want your career to change for the better, but this means mustering up your willpower and ramping up your strength to disengage the resilient crowbar from your career flywheel.
Making it Happen
There’s no doubt that making positive changes in life can be tough. The first step is to determine where you are today and decide where you want to be in the future. The concept is simple, but the action required is often difficult with ambiguous processes ahead.
For most people, if not all, there’s more than one crowbar stubbornly stuck in their flywheel.
A good start is to take the time to create an image of where these crowbars are lodged. What do they look like? What is their size? Do they look like overbearing and dominating people who try to control your actions? Are they negative thoughts that permeate your mind throughout the day?
Once you have this flywheel image firmly fixed in your mind, determine which crowbars you can extract first. Clearly tell yourself that you are now in control of what will happen with your career. Put on a pair of working gloves, if necessary, and take action to pry these crowbars from your career flywheel.
In just a short time, the flywheel will start to churn, and soon, it will generate a powerful and unstoppable rotation speed that yields constant positive energy, which will undoubtedly unearth the opportunities that have been hidden inside you for years.