Why a midlife crisis is exactly what you need
Increasing life expectancy and rising retirement ages have serious implications.
If you’re reading this, maybe you’re in your forties or fifties, wondering how come the career that you longed for and worked so hard for, just doesn’t light you up each morning when you think about what the day holds.
Something’s holding you back. You know it’s not a lack of skills and you’ve got experience. But there’s a feeling in the pit of your stomach and it’s certainly not excitement; more likely fear and dread at the prospect of another 20 years of what you’ve got now, feeling burned out, living from holiday to holiday, with just the daily grind going on in between. When you meet up with friends they ask you how you’re doing and you fudge it with something like ‘Oh, you know, busy/hectic!’ and change the subject.
You joke about your life being like a bad remake of groundhog day, but actually, it’s not that far from the truth!
You’re not alone. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 85% of workers worldwide hate their jobs. Work is more often a source of frustration than fulfilment for nearly 90% of the world’s workers. Only 13% of workers feel a sense of passion for their work and spend their days driving innovation and moving their company forward. Most people are sleepwalking through their days, putting little energy into their work with 23% actively hating their jobs. Can you imagine how much worldwide unhappiness is hidden in this? How much lost potential? How much underachievement?
After 20 or 30 years of that, there is no wonder that your ‘get up and go’ has gotten up and gone. You’re a different person now, things have changed, priorities are different, the territory has changed. There was a time when you knew what you wanted to be when you grew up. You thought you had it all figured out, but now it feels all up in the air again. You probably know people who have had a career change but can’t really see how that would for you and feel like you’ve lost your potential whatever that means now.
Wherever there is resignation there is lost opportunity and lost potential
The thing is that we’re all suffering when people can’t reach their full potential because the world needs everyone to step up and do their best work. How’s it going to happen if we’re all just going through the motions, ‘getting by’ and surviving?
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about doing something for years, trying to find a way out and towards something more fulfilling and in line with who you are now but haven’t really got anywhere. If you think the stakes are high now, they’re a lot higher if you don’t do anything about it. How about another 15–25 years of feeling the way you do now about every working day? Either way, hanging on for dear life and contemplating your mortality is the wrong strategy if you’re going to set the scene for making the most of the next 40 or 50 years!
This is why I believe that a midlife career crisis is exactly what you need!
It’s the push you need to re-evaluate:
- Where you are.
- What’s working at work and what isn’t.
- Who you’ve become.
- Who you want to be.
- What’s important to you now.
- What it is now that will bring you happiness, joy, fulfilment, contentment?
- How you can bring that into your life.
The trouble is it’s really difficult to know where to even start when you’re feeling like this and you still have to pretend you’re not feeling lost. Making it look like everything’s fine and you’re on top of your game. A coach can help you find this part of yourself that you long to re-connect with.
While life is really short, (you’ve likely already lost some friends to illness) you probably have another 20 years or more before you can retire!
Enjoy every day not just the holidays.