28/05/2014 07:50 BST | Updated 27/07/2014 06:59 BST

Tired of Your Corporate Job? Time to Think Like Sherlock!

Tired of Your Corporate Job? Time to Think Like Sherlock! A Huffpost written by Maite Baron The Corporate Escape Coach

'Sherlock' is a quirky, intelligent drama series that's grabbing the attention of a growing audience worldwide, and it's recently finished its latest run on BBCTV.

Based on the iconic detective from London's Baker Street, this Sherlock has been reinvented for the 21st Century - no traditional deerstalker this time round, but a willingness to use modern technology to solve seemingly 'impossible' crimes.

One thing the contemporary Holmes does have in common with his predecessors is the way he applies thought to solving his problems ... relentlessly ... until he finds an answer.

And it's a terrific strategy. Holmes keeps on thinking because he knows there is a solution - which he will come up with if he persists long enough. So he examines and analyses a problem from every angle, dissecting it, slicing and dicing it in different ways before putting the pieces together and coming up with an answer that no one else has seen.

Now contrast that approach with the way most of us tackle our problems, with off-the-shelf stereotypical thinking that results only in off-the-shelf stereotypical answers.

And when we're dealing with everyday problems that's generally good enough. When it isn't good enough, how many of us can honestly say that we haven't pushed the problem to the back of a metaphorical cupboard, closed the door, and hoped it would simply go away?

But standard thinking won't do when you are faced with what appears to be a more intractable problem ... like how to escape from a corporate job you no longer like, when you can see no way of doing so without exposing yourself to risk.

That's a problem for many across all sectors and all levels. In the US for instance, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas,  297 chief executive officers managed to escape from their corporate job in 2013, including General Motors CEO Dan Akerson, who announced his retirement to spend time with family.

It's a conundrum that people in a corporate job face every day, but push to the back of the cupboard and never try to solve, because they can't see an answer other than keeping calm and carrying on.

But what if you approached the problem like Sherlock, leaving no stone unturned as you examined that problem from every angle?

If you did that, you would eventually find an answer. In fact, I guarantee you'd find many answers.

So here's your challenge.

If you want to break free from the drudgery and mediocrity of corporate life to do something more fulfilling and rewarding, start thinking like Holmes.

Trapped in a Corporate Job

Take the problem - being trapped in a corporate job you no longer like and everything that goes with it, like the misery of its long commutes and working weekends - tear it to bits and put it back together in a different way.

Start analysing the problems you face in making your escape - money, relationships, expectations of others -  and every time you come up with a reason why you can't leave your current corporate job, pick away at it until you find reasons why you can. Do the same with the next problem you can foresee.

If you find this exercise a little too 'personal', try substituting yourself with an avatar, a figure that's facing a similar situation and which represents you. This helps to create a 'third party perspective' that distances you from the problem. If the avatar can escape from a corporate 'locked room', then so can you.

Nearly every problem will eventually yield - it just requires the application of persistence, some creativity and a fresh perspective. The trouble is that most of us give up too easily and too soon, leaving us believing there's no way out from where we are.

Increasingly however, more people are deciding that the grass actually is greener on the other side, which is why they are moving out of 'traditional' employment and setting up on their own. As a result, 520,000 new businesses were created in Britain last year, nearly 73,000 of them (14%) set up by former corporate employees.

At The Corporate Escape™, through our events, workshops and coaching programmes, we help 40+ experienced executives and professionals start to think like Sherlock, so that through focused and creative effort they come to realise that there is a way forward, and that they don't have to remain trapped, doing what they've always done.

And with the clarity you will get, you will be able to face the fears that are holding you back and work out your escape plan step-by-step, and it's probably not as difficult as you think. In fact, the solution to your particular problem may, as Sherlock Holmes would say, be "elementary".

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Thank you for reading

With gratitude,


©ATTRIBUTION© 2014 Maite Barón. All rights reserved. This Article was first posted on The Corporate Escape Blog.