Are you experiencing a mid-career crisis? And, if not, should you be experiencing a mid-career crisis? I did when I was thirty-four years old. I'd been working in my chosen field for 14 years and had finished my Masters degree in a related subject. I experienced a growing sense of uneasiness that this work was not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Fortunately, I listened to my inner voices. Or, I would never have been able to create this wonderful life and work that I love.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,and that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost
You can, too. Are your inner voices asking you, "Is this all there is?" Do you have a growing sense that you would be happier doing something else? Do you hate going to work each morning? If so, it's time to create a mid-career crisis. I'll share with you some tools to help.
Guided Thinking Exercises
Personal thought time and day dreaming help you explore your options, but guided thinking exercises direct your thoughts in more concrete, helpful directions. Try these exercises to focus your career planning and life thinking – yes, you have to do the work to get to your goal.
- Write down your ten favorite activities, the ones without which your life would feel bereft. (Mine included reading, writing, walking and more.) No career choice is suitable unless you get to do your favorite activities at least weekly, and preferably, daily.
- Write down the top five goals you want to accomplish in your career. (Think money, fame, impact, contribution and more.) Your selected career must enable you to reach these goals.
- List everything you’d like to do in your lifetime. These lists can run several hundred items. (Mine included walk frequently on the shore of Lake Michigan, write books, travel to every country in Europe and design two additional websites.) Your chosen career must allow you to accomplish your most important dreams.
Websites for Career Planning and Information
Your online career sites today surpass the resources available to me in the early to mid-eighties. Helpful websites for career education and career planning include those dedicated to career testing and career information. I’ll start by recommending our own About GuideSites.
Websites for Career Assessment
- From About Job Searching, Career Tests, General Personality Tests and Aptitude Tests
- QuintCareers.com Assessment of No-cost or Low-cost Online Tests
Books for Career Building, Career Planning and Career Education
I have summarized my favorite books for careers and job search. From Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million+ to the ever popular, What Color Is Your Parachute?, these Top 10 Books for Job Seekers and Career Changers are my favorites.
I'm trusting that these resources will jump-start a mid-career crisis for you so you can take the opportunity to explore all of your career and life options. May your feet turn toward the road you may not yet have identified or taken. At least, affirm that the road you’ve chosen is the right road for you.