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Your father worked forty years for the same company and retired with a gold watch and a nice pension. But after climbing that corporate ladder for 15 or 20 years, you don’t have nearly that level of job security. They’re bringing in younger workers to replace middle managers all the time since they work cheaper and generally don’t have as many family commitments. These young guns are willing to make a tradeoff most older workers cannot, i.e., they’re willing to spend 5 to 7 years essentially married to their jobs. This puts the average mid-career employee in an incredibly awkward, precarious position. Can he possibly complete with an employee 15 or 20 years his junior?
Doubt rears its ugly head
Of course, the mid-career blues are not always about other people. At times, a worker begins to question their career path and trajectory. Do you really want to spend the second half of your career working a job you can’t stand simply for financial security? Perhaps he wants to take that great leap and reach for a dream that he has always secretly harbored. Whether that dream is writing a novel or owning a small diner makes no matter. The point is that he only has a short time to make up his mind. Should he continue working an unfulfilling job because he has obligations to meet, or should he shoot for the dream?
Causes of a mid-career crisis
According to the experts, this is a fairly recent phenomenon. As we mentioned, workers of earlier generations enjoyed far greater job security. Changing jobs, let alone professions, was quite uncommon in the past. But greater access to higher education and technical training makes it easier than it has ever been. We should also add that work has taken a more prominent position in the American experience. There was a time when a job was a job and nothing more. The family took precedence over career goals since few Americans could actually pursue their dreams.Of course, the mid-career blues are not always about other people. At times, a worker begins to question their career path and trajectory. Do you want to spend the second half of your career working a job you can't stand simply for financial security?Click To Tweet
How to deal with it
Because we put so much emphasis on our careers in modern times, it can have an effect on every aspect of our lives. A person who feels uneasy about their career is far more likely to search for new meaning in both their professional and personal life. If the problem is not addressed, it can ruin an entire family in no time. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this common issue in a healthy way.
Assess your situation
The easiest and most reliable way to keep the mid-career blues at bay is to ask yourself some serious questions on a regular basis. You might start with questions like am I in the right role and in the right business. You must always ask yourself if the job you are doing reflects your level of skills, i.e., is it challenging? In nine out of ten cases of mid-career blues, this is the issue. Workers feel that their bosses do not appreciate their talents and therefore are assigning them monotonous tasks they could complete in their sleep.
If by answering these questions you find yourself in a genuine mid-career crisis, you should always discuss it with your family before you make a move. The absolute worst decision you could make would be to quit or resign without the support of your loved ones. This can and often does lead to serious problems in your personal life that could have been averted if you had simply talked it over with your family first.
If you are able to secure the support of your family, you have a far better chance of successfully pursuing your next career path or goal. Whether that goal involves opening your own business or going back to school to transition into a new profession really doesn’t matter. The key point is that you need to consult with those around you before you make a rash or hasty decision you might live to regret.
In conclusion, it is important to note that mid-career blues are quite common and nothing to be embarrassed about. The trick is to determine if they require a major life change or simply a slight alteration. Requesting more challenging assignments at work might be enough to keep you interested and motivated on the job.