Just like many around you - have you just celebrated your 40-something birthday, to suddenly realise that the image of ‘driving off into the sunset’ with your partner post retirement, seems further away than ever before. You spent a considerable amount of time contemplating things such as amassing money, owning a house and that fancy car in your garage – and you forgot to plan where you should be, in terms of your career. In spite of trying to stay positive, some of you are slowly beginning to question your career path and goals, especially the ones you had set when you were around 25.
With doubts clouding your mind, many of you might have the same questions such as - What are we doing at this job? Have we achieved all that we could? At this age, who will offer us a different job? Apart from these concerns, there are multiple signs which reflect that you are most probably going through a midlife crisis. It could be related to your career or in general, your life.
Ever since the dawn of the middle age, it has become harder to make it through life. This can be attributed to the rapidly changing workplace, for which one needs to be flexible and work industriously to continuously grow in your work arena.
At such a point, you should introspect and reaffirm what you are good at (and I don’t mean the skill sets that you use at work).
Have you applied for a job and found yourself pitched against someone far more experienced than you?
Let me tell you that a career change at around the age of 40 has become a cliché. This alone is enough to make me wonder if this might be associated to a developmental milestone. Deep down - all of us believe that we should at least have our career planned out by that age and when we don’t, we start panicking. This allows a fair bit of self-doubt to creep in your mind.
Do you feel a strong urge to make changes in your life but feel overwhelmed with what to do, and how to progress with it? Guess what - I just came by a recent LinkedIn study that states over 70% of people in corporate America hate their jobs. I just can’t wrap my head of what the figure it would be in the entire world. The prospect of having to make judicious career choices can leave many people clueless, powerless and scared.
Our career is an indispensable part of our lives that eventually, which makes us think that any new decision in this area will change our entire life. You may want to avoid the pressure but then someday, we all will have to face it. Should I move city for work? Do I take that job? Do I walk away from the industry I’ve been associated with for years and start something new? Start my own business, or should I go back to college?
If we have all these questions on our mind, then are we really happy with where we are? Moreover, making a big decision can be quite tough considering that more often than not, we don’t know how those decisions will pan out. We don’t have a crystal ball we can wave our hand over and see whether 6 months down the road, everything has worked out well or not. None of us have access to that level of certainty when making new decisions, yet we crave for it.
Instead of avoiding the inevitable and treating career changes as crises, we should welcome it with open arms to rethink our goals, and plan accordingly. I am not asking you to quit your job and just take the first offer that comes along. You should weigh your options to your advantage and advance in your career, unlike others who ignore the tell-tale signs and choose to overthink every decision. Thereby, you’ll be able to recognize these signs, and the sooner you realize that your present situation no longer brings you satisfaction, the happier you will be.
My advice to you is simple - don’t make your situation detrimental, instead always try look for ways to take yourself to greater heights!