Save Your Careers Without Leaving Your Job with Darcy Eikenberg

By: | |

“We are in more control than we think.”  — Darcy Eikenberg

I had the opportunity to speak with Darcy Eikenberg, Executive and Leadership Career Coach, Keynote speaker, workshop facilitator for organizations and professional associations, and author. 

She is the founder of Red Cape Revolution, where she helps organization leaders and high-achieving professionals generate more clarity, confidence, and control of their life without changing their careers or finding new jobs.

We discuss: 

  • Why it’s time for employees and leaders to change their perspective on work
  • Listening to the little whispers
  • Understanding the Illusion of Transparency

Why it’s time for employees and leaders to change their perspective on work

Why it’s time for employees and leaders to change their perspective on work

Amidst the “Great Resignation,” many buzzwords are flying around, looking for places to land—quiet quitting and quiet firing, to name two. These are not new ways of coping with an unsatisfactory work environment, they’re merely renamed.

“It's funny when we think about our mindset about work. So often that mindset leads us to say, ‘Well if this works not working for me, go do something else.’” Darcy shares, “I believe that we all control everything that we think, everything we say or choose not to say, and everything that we do or stop doing or don't do.”

We have three main levers within us: 

  • Thinking
  • Saying
  • Doing 

“When we think about our life at work in terms of those three levers, we recognize that's all we can pull and push. That's all we can do.” she continues.

It’s time for a change of view. Instead of thinking about work or an organization we don’t like as bad or evil, we can change the narrative and focus on what we can control. What can we do to improve the situation? What is in our power to change? 

We get to choose positive thoughts. We get to choose the mindset that will move us forward as opposed to one that keeps us small.

Listening to the little whispers

Listening to the little whispers

Our brains are wired to avoid discomfort. Instinct says to move away from that emotion as fast as possible. In the modern world, we’re not running from wild animals, but the programming to escape uncomfortable environments is still active and trying to keep us alive.

The answer to overcoming that tendency isn’t at the next job or the next company. It’s within ourselves.

“You think the next new whatever it is—job, company, etc.— is going to be the solution. But in truth, it's not. And you keep repeating the same habits, the same mindsets, the same things that got in your way before.” Darcy explains.

There’s a critical clause for this way of thinking: in no way does this mean you must stay in a situation that is unethical, misaligned, or against your morals.

Darcy implores us to ask ourselves why we want to leave and to take the time to sort out the root of the discomfort.  

“Stop and listen to the little whispers, ‘is this really the situation? Is this really the work? Is this something that I have to learn about myself? If I'm willing to leave, is it an opportunity where I could try something new as an experiment and maybe build a new muscle that I'm going to need for the rest of my life?’” she continues.

We have the power to speak up, to do something differently, and to ask for different behavior. “When you are in those situations when you actually stand up for yourself, and speak up and ask for what you need, you feel like you are back in control,” Darcy explains.

Even if that approach doesn’t work, you get data showing you what you want will not come to fruition at that establishment. Once you’ve determined that, you can put energy into looking elsewhere with an unburdened conscience.

Understanding the Illusion of Transparency

Understanding the Illusion of Transparency

We’ve all been there. A co-worker cuts us off, a manager leaves us out of a discussion, a client seemingly disrespects our work, etc. It’s natural to jump into the defensive mind frame and start filling the gaps in the situation with assumptions and unfound certainty. 

“We can change our whole physicality in an instant by choosing a different thought,” Darcy explains. “Often, when I'm leader coaching, a team will go through what the scenario is. And they've made up a whole story about what else was happening.” 

Darcy asks a simple question: “How do you know that’s the case?” 

Her clients will often insist that they know the story they’re telling themselves is true because they just know. 

Situations like the above are where the illusion of transparency takes the first position and builds a case around speculation.

“Many times, we haven't said that something is bothering us. We haven't asked for different behavior. There's interesting research called the illusion of transparency.” Darcy continues, “the illusion of transparency is a bias that all human beings have that says that we think people see what we need and what we want, at a much higher degree than they do.” 

The reality is that people are focused on their world and are not going to pick up telepathically what it is we want or need to thrive in the workplace. If we don’t bring those wants and needs to a manager's or employer's attention, how can we complain about not receiving them?

“Often, we have to use our voice.” Darcy shares, “I've talked to so many leaders that are hungry for people to speak up. But people feel like leaders don't want to hear them. It takes work on all sides. We have to learn to trust each other a little bit more at the moment, but the only way we can trust each other a little bit more is by taking what we feel like are some risks.” 

Sometimes what can feel like a sizable risk leads to the best result—straightforward conversations, assuming positive truths instead of negative truths—all can feel daunting. Even so, it’s a proven way to determine if your workplace is open to change or if you need to look elsewhere.

Take the pause. Use your levers. Speak up.

When did you last use your voice to convey a want or a need in the workplace? How do you use your levers of thinking, saying, and doing?
Be sure to catch Darcy’s full episode for further insights on saving your career without leaving your job, and learn more at!