Reacting to a career in crisis

In my professional practice, I have noticed an interesting trend emerging over the last year or so.

In my professional practice, I have noticed an interesting trend emerging over the last year or so.

I am getting more requests for career coaching from employed, professional people who appear to be quite successful but express deep discontent with their work lives.

After 20 to 25 years of employment they are experiencing what I call a “mid-career crisis” which often manifests as a lack of satisfaction or meaning in their work, regardless of the financial rewards.

By the time people come to me, they are seriously ready to make a change.

That suggests that they have likely been disengaged for quite a while, which isn’t good for them or for their employer.

If you find yourself saying, “I need to change my job.” I would ask: “What do you need to change about it?”

The intention is not to be flippant, of course, but rather to pinpoint what is driving your need to take action at this particular point in time.

In trying to make sense of the choices that have created a seemingly successful career, it is common to start by challenging how success has been defined.

Traditionally it has meant an important job title, a hefty salary or even the cliché of getting a corner office (or at least one with a window and a view).

There is also the perception that career success means advancing to more senior management positions. Not everyone is cut out to be the “boss” or the “boss’s boss” and there aren’t enough of those positions to go around anyway.

It is encouraging to see people resisting those conventional measures of career success and instead re-directing their efforts towards finding work they enjoy.

That can mean a simpler job that is interesting and challenging, one with enough income to support a reasonable standard of living, and something that feels worthwhile.

We spend so much of our lives at work that we all deserve the best fit possible.

Finding that fit requires thoughtful planning and diligent effort.

Be forewarned; the process of re-envisioning your career can be unsettling, even downright scary.

It can also be liberating by leading you closer to your natural talents and a workplace that truly values those.

Don’t wait until you are at a breaking point to check on how well your work life is serving your personal values and goals.

Recharging a stale or stalled career can refresh your whole outlook on life.

Laurie Mills is a certified coach and human resource professional. Her company is Lighthouse Professional Development Consulting Services. The subject matter in this column is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional advice.

250-869-7523

www.lighthousepdcs.com

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

West Kelowna candidates discuss new city hall

This week learn about how your candidates feel about a new city hall in West Kelowna

Science teachers converge on Kelowna for conference

Exposing new instructional classroom tools for science teachers

Okanagan competitors to be featured in arm wrestling documentary

Arm Nation, featuring competitions from Kelowna and Penticton, will air on Oct. 20 on APTN

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Cough cough: Kelowna MLA gets flu shot to prep for the cold season

Steve Thomson got his flu shot from Lakeside Medicine Centre Friday

Watch it again: Kelowna mayoral candidates square off

Missing the LIVE Kelowna mayoral debate watch now

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Black trucks figure prominently in Shuswap thefts

Chase RCMP investigating stolen vehicles from several communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Most Read