• Read Are you at a Career Turning Point? Ignore it at your peril.

    Career, Change, Professional Development

    Are you at a Career Turning Point? Ignore it at your peril.

    Lately I’ve been feeling restless, which is usually a sign that something deeper is going on if I take the time to look under the surface.  What’s started to emerge upon deeper reflection is that I’m entering a new cycle of change as it relates to my career.  I find this interesting because the way we tend to view career is linear.  “I need to figure out what my calling is and then I’ll be happy.”  We frame the dilemma as an if, then statement and then are surprised when the old formula no longer works.  Things start to feel stale, but we’re not sure why.  We’re filled with an emptiness, a longing we can’t quite understand.  We distract ourselves with more work, social activities, relationships, we find other ways to numb.  But the feeling is still there.  The answer to this dilemma lies in the fact that we change and grow and evolve.  And because we do, we can’t stay in one static place.  Any successful career skillfully navigates several turning points.  These are sometimes referred to as an existential crisis, or a career crisis, or as we say in the South, a come to Jesus moment.  But the bottom line is that transition is normal and we need to learn to lean into it rather than push it away.  If you’re wondering what these turning points are once you’ve entered the working world, I can summarize them.  Ignore one at your peril, it will find a way of re-emerging louder and more painfully than ever before.  The main turning points of working life: Age 30 Assessment (age 28-33) No matter what direction we’ve launched ourselves in post college, we tend to do some reflection and assessment around age 30.  What has been working about the course I chose?  What hasn’t?  What do I want to achieve in the next 10 years?  How will I do this?  What values do I need to pay attention to?  What interests?  What are my family goals?  How am I balancing work and family?  What would be most meaningful to me as this point in my career?  What could I add to my life to make it more interesting and meaningful? Midlife Transition (age 38-45) This transition can be one of the most important in a person’s life.  And if we ignore it and bury the feelings that often accompany this transition point, it can be a disaster.  The proverbial mid-life crisis will often ensue.  Divorces are common at this stage.  Many people, confronted with the feelings of stress, anxiety and depression that often accompany this stage, choose avoidance.  But these feelings don’t really go away, they just go underground.  The True self, our soul essence, our spirit – whatever term you chose to use, still needs expression. How do I feel about my family?  How do I feel about work?  What changes would I like to make to achieve a better balance?  How connected do I feel to others?  What excites me […]

    May 31, 2024

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    4.8 min read