Doom Loop “Variations” Since Its Creation

Since the introduction of the Doom Loop in the early 1980’s, presentations to the American Psychological Associations in 1985 and 1986, the Northwestern video in 1987, and Dory Hollander’s book in the early 1990’s, there have been some variations created – some with attribution to the source, some without, some useful, some not.

Here are four of the variations:

Magnify Your Excellence

“While the words “Doom Loop” are mentioned, the picture drawn here is not really what the “Doom Loop” in our context is all about.

Nevertheless, their treatment is described as follows:  The Doom Loop is your negative habitualized ego structure, that part of you made up of self-criticism, self-blame, self-disapproval that you put in place long ago, some of it before you even had words, and keeps you stuck, prevents you from moving forward—that part of you that gets on the way of Magnifying Your Excellence—and like a vampire that can’t stand the light of day, the Doom Loop cannot stand the light of praise, the light of something positive shining in your direction.  And the result, after the excitement of praise diminishes, your fall back into disappointment and gloom.  The Doom Loop, your unconscious addiction to keeping yourself caught up in The Fear of Being Fabulous – is running the show. Not you.”

This version treats the “Doom Loop” as an enemy when, in our context, it is a friend.  And what is described is really not the “Doom Loop” as originally described.

EBSCO Host Connection

This site provides a reprint of an article authored by Dory Hollander and Charles Jett in 1987 called, “The Doom Loop will get you if you don’t watch out!

“The article discusses the factors that marketing executives should consider to reach their company’s top marketing position. The two specific skills required for top marketing positions are marketing-oriented skills and generic skills. Marketing managers should build their personal skill profile to correspond to the skill profile of their targeted top marketing position. To achieve a marketing career goal, one should take jobs that develop experiences and skills that lead to the top position.”

 In this article we showed the Skill Set of the typical marketing executive built on the research done to identify the “Critical Skills.”  The article does not deal with the remedies one can use in the various “career crises.”

Performance Foundations – Avoid the Marketing Doom Loop

Here Janice Scanlon uses the original “Doom Loop” structure to describe her own version as follows:

Marketing Doom Loop
Scanlon “Marketing Doom Loop”

In our view, while we appreciate the constructive use of the “Doom Loop” principles, this approach adds more unnecessary complexity to the tool and falls short of genuine usefulness.

SparkPilot Blog

This treatment of the “Doom Loop” stays true to the original concept and the author presents an accurate description of the concept.  However, he presents an online assessment of the tool which, in our view, unnecessarily complicates the process.  The reason is that “Doom Loop” variables are qualitative in nature and not quantitative, and that in a pure sense, “preferences” are measured best by an individual and “performance” is measured best by the employer.

Additionally, we feel that the “Doom Loop” is inherently understandable and an individual does not need to do any sort of personal assessment that involves quantitative assessments of the variables.  Nevertheless, we applaud the creative use of the tool and effort made to try to make the tool more useful.

The Executive Roundtable – “The Career Doom Loop Revisited – Are you on a slippery slope?

This is a succinct and accurate representation of the “Doom Loop” without graphics and without remedies for various career crises.

As a short article about the tool, the description is excellent.

John Bertrand’s Newsletter Article, “Darwin, The Doom Loop,Dreams, and Direction:  What Does It Mean To Manage Your Career Today?” 


In this newsletter article, the author provides a variation of the “Doom Loop” and provides a “Success Loop” as a remedy.  He does not describe the “Doom Loop” in the traditional way it was introduced, but you can quickly grasp the idea, and his creative insight of the “Success Loop” remedy is insightful.

In summary, it is encouraging that others are using the concept to counsel individuals on the management of their careers.  Feel free to check these descriptions out and, if they increase your understanding of the concept, then that is a “good thing.”