The “hamster on the wheel” is a meaningful metaphor to describe how some employees, often middle managers and professionals, feel at work.

They’re hard workers, demanding with themselves and focused on “get things better”. Sometimes they’re perfectionist, other times they suffer from “over-doing syndrome” or they are swamped by too much work and they stretch themselves more and more.

Anyway, what do these people have in common?

They run. Fast and, sometimes, even furiously.

You can easily recognize them in your organization: their company mobile is like their second skin and it has the priority everywhere and above everything/everyone. They never have time for a breath, from their arriving in the (early) morning to their exit in the (later) evening. You don’t know what exactly they are doing, but they’re constantly and unceasingly doing something.

They are always in a rush… and the worse issue is that they often don’t have time to think, overworked by their daily doing.

If you are one of them or if you meet a “hamster” in your company aisles, there is only 1 question you should ask: Where are you running?

I mean, does your running have a real aim? Where would you like to be after so much effort?

That’s the key: if you don’t have a clear vision about yourself and your professional goals, you risk to run for other’s goals that are not what you really want for yourself. And… after having run for miles, you risk to be still in the same position: on the wheel, in the cage.

I know, it could be hard to get off the wheel and open the cage, but everyone deserves it. Everyone has the chance to do it.

Even if you’re doing a job you don’t like, you deserve to have a crystalline vision about yourself and your career path. Even if you’ve accepted a compromise between what you really want to do and what the reality is offering you, you deserve to create the conditions to be satisfied and reach your aims.

You can be on the hamster wheel, running and running, trying to grab whatever others define as “success”, but yourself, your personal and professional vision, that’s really all that matters when it’s all said and done.

You cannot shut your brain off.

Get off the wheel and start running in your own direction 🙂

Enjoy your journey!


Enza Artino,
International Service Manager c/o Wyser; Coaching Competence Center Manager c/o Gi Group