Saturday, August 01, 2020

Mid-Career Crisis: Inevitable but manageable

I keep getting a lot of calls of friends, professionals, peers, consultants, journalists, professors, training & placement officers, conference organisers and many more. Purpose of calling varies from asking career advice, asking views to selling their products or services. After a few interactions, they become comfortable with me to share their personal achievement and sometimes ask for some help in career development. At a certain point, most of them mention that they are working hard, they are doing good in their current job, but they feel they are stuck and they are not enjoying what they are doing today. 

Have you experienced a similar feeling sometimes in life? You are successful, you are earning a good salary, you have everything with you but still you are unhappy and looking for something different in life. You are unhappy because you feel that opportunities you should get in the organizations are given to somebody else. This happens typically when you are at mid- career at the age of 40-50. 

There are 5 stages in career development: 

5 stages in career development

Exploration: Your initial period where you decide about your career.

Establishment: You gain the experience and you settle in the career you choose,

Mid-career: this is the stage where your struggle starts. You are established but you are not enjoying the job. You don’t want to change the job because now you are comfortable doing what you are doing and scared to take the risk. 

Late career and decline are the different stages of career and most of the people are at these 2 stages accept the fact of life and don’t do much. 

However mid -career is the stage where the mind-career crisis starts popping up in your life. 

Mind career crisis is defined by a sensation of feeling stuck, specifically in your career. People going through a rough patch in their professional development will commonly perceive a lack of growth and opportunities in their current work environment. Further at this stage life seems to settle, but you feel that nobody in the family, spouse, children etc or peers and superiors understand you. And you feel that nobody values your contribution. This is a strange situation. 

This stage is a normal phenomenon but can lead to disappointment, self-destructive behaviours and depression. It may also lead to making wrong decisions about the career like changing the job desperately without thinking much or starting your own venture. 

How do you deal with mid-career crisis?

First recognise the situation and face that. Believe that this is a temporary situation.  

There are two strategies to deal with this. Quit or Cope.

If you quit, there is no guarantee of solution. Your career crisis may go worse. People who are trapped in mid-career crisis mostly go for their own business, consultancy or alternate career. Before doing so, please review your situation and take a calculated risk.   

In our careers one of the issues is we are known for the position or title we hold and not really who we are. We have an identity which is associated with the job and company we work. Nobody knows us except for family, relatives and few co-workers. Ideally this should not be the case. This happens because we miss the larger purpose of the job and career and are held in the trap of the competition. 

So, find out the purpose. Go for the self -reflection journey. 

Invest in yourself. Learn new skills, read a lot of books, upgrade yourself.

Network strongly, there are a lot of people who may help and support you in your career journey. If you don’t share with them, how will they know that you need their support. It is reciprocal. Keep investing in building relations.

Find a Mentor or coach. Not necessarily we have all the knowledge and awareness about life. Get the mentor and if required Life Coach. You may have to invest some money here but consider this as an investment. 

Pursue your hobby, your “me time” is very important to reflect. Give some time to yourself and work on your hobbies. 

Finally, patience is the key. You have to learn to take the ownership of your career and life. Opportunities come silently, grab them.

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organization)

Please read the print replica of my latest book written for leaders on amazon kindle; Vitality in Human Resource    


Rashmi Chougule said...

Very true Sir

Rashmi Chougule said...

Very true Sir

Anuraag said...

Seek help on knowing self; there’s no sub substitute to receive help & guidance from coach and mentor.
And, “ invest on self “ is a brilliant value proposition Vinod .

Aware , accept , actions and achieve purpose is wise model.

Anonymous said...

Mid-Career Crisis: Inevitable but manageable

This is really worth to read. I relate this to my father. He did not learn Autocad in his era and he was in trap of that crisis at his last phase of career. In fact everybody who did not learn autocad they were outdated all of sudden as earlier they used to do manual design and detailing.
Thanks to you that u picked up this topic. Good to learn few advance techniques before we get outdated.
Pls keep writing. 👍
Take care

Subu Methew said...

Good reading👌👌 associate myself with quite a few of these points....worth introspecting🙏🏻🙏🏻

Anonymous said...

Perfect.. Unfortunately many professionals don't understand this thoroughly and keep struggling on one and another front.

Thank you writing on important aspect of career transition 🙏🏼

Aniket Nilekar said...

Very precisely described.
Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.
Love your Writing.

Sandeep Phuke said...

This one has been faced by many in all aspects... You have highlighted very correctly. Many started feeling at mid career that they have Superior competencies and skillsets and hence they don't want to work under any one else. This creates trap for them. But as u said rightly that people forget to learn new things and face the world. Timely guidance and sharpening skillsets help these confused people to choose right path...

Thanks for sharing.

R H Khanolkar said...

So apt,
You need to introspect at various stages of career specially in this VUCA environment.
Worth reading

Hanumant Lal Shukla said...

excellent topic - Peer pressure plays key role in disturbing your life

Anonymous said...

Very nice and inspirational article. Book is also good opens practicality. Thank you.
Laxmikant Gandhi

Akash Pawar said...

Thank you for sharing such realistic approach to tackle this issue. I think this article will be most useful to youngsters who have just started their careers. For me the most liked part of this article is who am I and what is my identity.
There is one tv serial based on WW2, there is dialogue in it as " we salute to the rank and not to the man"
To overcome this Identity issue I agree on the various ways mentioned in Article and certainly I will start to implement it in my professional life.

Urmila said...

Worth reading, self reflection and seeking guidance is need of Time these days.
Thanks for touching very sensative reality sometimes we missed.

Urmila said...

Worth readind, self reflection is very imp . Mentoring helps to understnd n find correct path.
Keep writing. Very sensative issue touched upon, someone may missed attention on these aspect.

Urmila said...

Worth readind, self reflection is very imp . Mentoring helps to understnd n find correct path.
Keep writing. Very sensative issue touched upon, someone may missed attention on these aspect...

Unknown said...

Worth reading. Sensative topic touched upon which we often missed

Sachin Gaikwad said...

Good reading ... correctly explain as usual

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