If you find yourself scrolling through Sunday night memes wondering how you’ll manage to climb out of bed in the morning – if work feels unrewarding and the thought of seeing colleagues is anxiety-inducing, you could be facing a ‘mid-career crisis’.
You don’t have to be in the middle of your life to have a mid-career crisis – you could be a graduate in your first job and experience a mid-career crisis. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever be successful or find the path that creates fulfilment. There are various ways to address this feeling, and it doesn’t necessarily mean quitting your job.
1.Know when you are ready for change
Sometimes it can take a full force crisis for us to truly realise we urgently require a change of perception, or a change of action. Instead, self-reflection is an important step to gauge and monitor energy levels and enthusiasm for your job. Not wanting to get out of bed on a Monday is a clear indication that at least one or both changes are in order.
2. Interview yourself
Your life is what you make of it. No one knows you better than you do. No one is going to dedicate their life to your fulfilment. Ask yourself what you truly love to do and what career you truly desire. Write the answers down and try them on, after all you’re not going to marry the first person you date, so why not try a few different options to find the right fit. Your life demonstrates your highest values and a career that fulfil your highest values is essential for an inspired life.
3. Expand your mind
Take the time to read widely, research and explore areas that interest you. Observe what you spontaneously love learning about and doing. Find mentors by surrounding yourself with people you find inspiring and respect. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in pursuing your interests and expanding your knowledge – a mentor can be your greatest resource.
4. Make a plan
Act and start setting out a plan to achieve your longer-term career goals. Whether it may be to transform the role of your current position, to own a business or establish a career in a different industry – determine what is required turn your dream into a reality. Some entrepreneurs began their inspiring careers in their 60s or even later, so don’t be discouraged from pursuing your dream job.
5. Reinvent the role you have
Instead of a complete career overhaul, it may be more beneficial to renew your interest in the role and career path you already have. Evaluate your current role and establish the areas that are more inspiring and less fulfilling and think about the new skills and knowledge you could equip yourself with to bring more meaning and inspiration to your current job. Ask yourself how each of your present individual job responsibilities are already assisting you in achieving your highest values and long-term career goals. It is not as much about what you do, but rather how you choose to perceive what you do that counts.
6. See the solution
It is never too late to make a change and forge a new career path, but it is wise to not impulsively leap without some realistic planning and self-reflection. Don’t let age or time spent in a role trap you and deter you from acting and either transforming the career you have or finding a new career you love. The skills and experiences you have gained until this point have shaped you and will help prepare you for whichever change you chose. Sometimes finding a way of delegating uninspiring responsibilities to those more inspired to do them can be a solution.
Dr John Demartini is a human behaviour expert.