You started your career on a high note. You used to love your work, but now, after years, your motivation to work is fading away. You are questioning your life choices and your career. Well, if that’s so, then you are going through a mid-career crisis.
What is a Mid-Career Crisis?
A mid-career crisis is a natural phenomenon that occurs to people mostly in their 40s. People at this age have spent at least a decade in their respective industries. They are successful professionals and are in a good position in their company/business.
Everything looks good from the outside. They have a stable income, job security, and respect in their fields. When they finally reach a position in their career, they start feeling dissatisfied with it.
This dissatisfaction can occur due to several reasons. Maybe they feel caught in an endless loop of working all day with no time for themselves or their family. Or they can feel that their personality does not align with your work. Some people start realizing that they can perform better in another job or field, while others start questioning their life and career decisions.
No matter what the reason is, a mid-career crisis can be very frustrating and affect your job performance and satisfaction. So, it would be best if you addressed your mid-career crisis as soon as possible. The first step is to identify if you are going through a mid-career crisis.
Indications of A Mid-Career Crisis:
Here are some of the signs which can help you identify if you are going through a mid-career crisis:
- You feel disgruntled, defensive, and impatient.
- You are not excited or motivated to go to work.
- You are not interested in your work.
- You are uninterested in achieving better results in your job.
- You feel like your competence, knowledge, and skills are underutilized.
- You are successful but not satisfied.
However, it’s crucial to understand that a mid-career crisis is different from a temporary dissatisfaction with work. A mid-career crisis is a sort of dysphoria that most people go through when they are in the middle of their career. In contrast, a temporary dissatisfaction from work can occur at any time of career. You do not go through the same thinking process in both of these situations. So, you must question yourself if what you are feeling is a temporary dissatisfaction or you are concerned about your career choices.
Why MID-CAREER CRISIS happen?
The second step towards solving your mid-career crisis is to understand why it happens. There are several reasons why it happens when we are stable enough in our jobs.
First, when we start our careers, we get annual promotions and salary increments. But, as we climb up the organizational hierarchy, the frequency of promotions and salary increment reduces. There comes a point when we feel stuck at our job positions as we cannot go any higher. This is the point where we experience a mid-career crisis.
Second, the mid-career crisis comes when we get frustrated from our similar everyday routines. By working years and years in the same field, doing the same jobs, we feel stuck in one place. Even though we might have progressed and been promoted, we are usually doing the same job every day. This frustration is why we start questioning our career choices and feeling guilty about them.
However, it is essential to note that not everyone experiences a mid-career crisis for the same reasons. Everyone can have different reasons for feeling this way.
How to Deal with A Mid-Career Crisis?
Everyone goes through a mid-career crisis in their middle age. It is perfectly normal if you start questioning your career one day. However, the good news is that you can overcome your mid-career crisis by addressing the issues that are causing it. Following are some of the best ways to deal with it:
Rejuvenating and Charging:
Experts believe that taking some time off from your job can work wonders for you. When you feel that your mid-career crisis is creating problems, apply for leave immediately. It is better to take time off than forcing yourself to work even when you don’t want to. Otherwise, you will grow frustrated with your job, and it will take longer for you to get back on track.
The idea is to engage yourself in activities that please you. You have worked hard for years, and now is the time to reward yourself with a vacation. Sometimes, all you need to deal with your mid-career crisis is a break.
Self-reflection is the act of understanding yourself. You need to sit back and find out the reason behind your problem. Are you not satisfied with your job? If yes, then why? You happy with your job, but you think that you are not paid enough for it? Or do you feel that you must do something else?
Understanding your problem’s root cause is crucial in overcoming your mid-life crisis because once you understand the problem with your career, you can find solutions for it.
Learning how to choose a career path based on your personality can also help you in the self-reflection process.
Look at the Good Side:
Being optimistic about your career is an excellent way to overcome your mid-career crisis. Lay back and try to remember all the good things that happened to you since you got that job. Think about your accomplishments, the connections you made, the people you met on the job, etc. You can also think about the reasons why you chose this job or career. Reflect on how much you have developed and learned from it.
Looking back at the good moments in your career will help you find meaning and purpose in what you do. Becoming optimistic will help you overcome your mid-career crisis and fall in love with your job again.
Try to Move Up:
This option is for those who feel that their expertise is being underutilized or not paid enough. You can try to move up in four ways.
The first way is to apply to a different company which offers a better salary package. This way, you can earn better by doing the same job you did at your previous company. Learn how to land a high paying job now.
The second way is to start your own business related to your expertise. Many companies outsource their non-core activities, and so you can take it easy, offer your services to them and make good money. Learn how to start an outsourcing company now.
The third way is to start freelancing. By doing so, you can choose your working hours, earn based on your efforts and make time for things that matter the most to you. You must learn about 12 places to find freelance work online.
The fourth way is to enroll yourself in additional professional training to advance your skill sets. This way, you can qualify for higher-level opportunities and secure better paying and more satisfying jobs. You must learn how to develop your skills to advance your career.
Another way can also be to change your career if you are not satisfied with your current one. Learn about 6 careers worth going back to school for.
A mid-career crisis can be very stressful and frustrating. But always remember that you are not alone. It is a natural process and happens to everyone. The decisions you make during your mid-career crisis have the potential to turn your life over for better or worse. So, the key is first to understand your problems and then make decisions accordingly.