Mid Life Crisis Career Change

Does it exist?

In order to fully cover mid life crisis career change, it makes sense to have a look at what a mid life crisis is and whether it actually exists.

The term was only coined in 1965 and some people consider that this phase of life is a normal transition as we move along the journey of our lives.

More than one study has shown that the symptoms of midlife crisis do not occur across all cultures, so it may simply be a manifestation of the stresses and strains we put ourselves under in the Western world.

How it shows up

The symptoms that sometimes prompt a mid life crisis career change may include worries about the future, concerns about deteriorating health, negative evaluations of relationships and work, the stress of looking after ageing parents, concerns over what one has achieved so far in life, and anxieties over debt.

The core of it

It is often considered that a central theme is a realization of one's own mortality, with a shift in time consideration from 'time since birth' to 'time left to live'. When people begin to realize what time is left, there is a major re-evaluation of who they are, the decisions they have made and what they really care about.

Crisis or challenge?

For some, it may indeed be a crisis. There may be a seemingly insurmountable gap between the life they have built and the life they really want for themselves. For others, the change in perspective may spur them on to the challenge of making decisions around a mid life crisis career change.

A huge amount of people's waking life is spent at work. It makes sense then, that when someone's life is not so good, their work comes under scrutiny. So during a mid life crisis, career change may seem to be the solution to a lot of concerns.


What if it is a normal phase?

Joseph Campbell, the mythologist, described the path we all take through our lives as the 'hero's journey'. He points out that when we cross the threshold into the adventure of our own lives, we have to face monsters and demons. The ultimate trial, he says, the ultimate monster we have to face is actually ourselves. Not being able to leads many to a mid life crises career change.

The question is Can you face yourself and truly accept yourself as you are?


Inside out

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This is an internal struggle that may manifest in external behaviors. By the way, this is the direction in which these things usually occur. Who we are influences how we think. How and what we think determines our behaviors.

So when in a midlife crisis career change becomes the solution, people are trying to work things backwards. They are trying to change the external world and the external behaviors they do in order to create an internal difference.

It's an attempt to create a sense of satisfaction or fulfilment for themselves. And it can be incredibly difficult, not to mind destructive for marriages, social relationships and job commitments to do it this way.

Your own direction

If you learn how to establish this internal sense of who you are first, it allows for a resolution of the mid life crisis, career change then being a change that is aligned with who you are becoming, the new you. Instead of using the mid life crisis career change to try and force a shift in who you are, you start with who you are and make decisions to keep it intact.

Instead of a mid life crisis career change, what you have is a process in place that just allows the transition to go much easier and smoother. Not just for you, but for those around you as well!

Where to next?

So let's have a look at what is involved in midlife career changes...

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