Imagine a pot filled with cold water, a frog is peacefully swimming in it- a flame is lit under that pot. The water begins to warm up and soon it becomes lukewarm- the frog continues to swim. The temperature keeps rising and the water is now warm- it is now a little more than what the frog enjoys, it becomes a bit tired but doesn’t panic. The water is now really warm- the change in temperature is so gradual that the frog does not realise it is burning to death. On the other hand, when plunged straight into a pot of hot water, the frog would immediately jump out.
While the results of the experiment are in question, it is a good metaphor for organisation cultures.
We’ve become like those slowly boiling frogs, who keep acclimatising to the rising temperature of the water, instead of just jumping out. While some among us keep hollering about how hot it’s getting, the majority of us in the developed world show no signs of out. When everything is going well, you’re more likely to take your eye off the ball and start operating on autopilot. It’s not so easy to tell when the water is heating up until it’s too late. Before you know it, you’re a pair of cooked frog’s legs and it’s far from a delicacy.
This can often be the case in your career or job occupation that isn’t satisfying your needs. Like the simmering frog you stay where you are, telling yourself things will improve when you know they won’t. Instead of removing yourself from the position you may spend this time complaining to others, but never do anything about it until you are trapped without any updated skills or forward movement in your career progression.
People stuck in stagnating jobs fall prey to the boiling frog in water syndrome, they go on being unhappy without making changes or steps to move forward. They stay where they are until the water reaches boiling point and they have lost their window of opportunity to make changes.
Don’t be like our friend the boiling frog. Take stock of situations in your life such as your health, your job, your business or investments. Do you need a career change? Check out our current list of vacancies here