Mid-career crisis: How to deal with it

After a few years in the job, many people experience a job stagnation – the so-called mid-career crisis. In the article, we present ways to counteract the crisis and perhaps even use it as an opportunity.

Everyone has probably heard of a midlife crisis – but what is a midlife crisis? A working life crisis usually occurs in people between the ages of 35 and 45 and describes a crisis in work-related meaning. No wonder this can happen to anyone – after all, work takes up so much space in life and for many is an important part of their identity. So what if the job no longer fits your self-image or simply no longer fun? Below we explain what leads to a mid-career crisis and what you can do if you are affected by it.

This leads to a mid-career crisis

The causes of lower job level in middle age can be varied. This habit often creeps up and lacks new challenges and opportunities. But excessive stress (including burnout) can make your job look more and more like a crisis and less like fulfillment.

Crisis often happens with people who have had great success in their careers thus far – but realize at some point that the job no longer aligns with their own values, because those things eventually change over the years. If so, it is difficult to see the meaning in one’s work. Anyone experiencing a mid-career crisis deals primarily with a crisis of meaning.

you can do it

Doubt your thoughts

If your job (or chosen career path) is suddenly making you unhappy, the first thing to do is stop and question your thoughts. Because not every negative thought reflects the facts either. Is the situation really as hopeless as it seems to you? Ideas about your abilities can also be distorted. It can help here to ask your colleagues for an evaluation. Try to answer for yourself whether your problem is just an unsuitable job – or a basic dissatisfaction that may need professional help.

Try crafting jobs

You’ve compared your attitude to your job to reality and come to the conclusion that your day job isn’t (anymore) right for you? Then you do not have to send a notice of termination immediately. As long as some aspect of your business still makes you happy, redesigning your business to suit your preferences is also an option. This is where the job crafting trend comes into play, as you – preferably with a manager and HR manager – try to tailor your job to your values ​​and personal traits.

Start training or therapy

Another way to deal with a mid-career crisis could be coaching or therapy. The first is useful in getting some direction for your further career path. Inquire about training offers tailored to professional issues. On the other hand, therapy is a better option if you are not doing well mentally. If you suffer from exhaustion or another illness, a therapist can remove you from the illness so that you have time to regain your strength. Once you recover, you can look at the situation from a clearer perspective.

Dare to restart

It is only after you have taken the time to think, but also after you have distanced yourself from your professional situation, that a fresh start can be considered under certain circumstances. You can also see an opportunity in a mid-career crisis – a chance to reshuffle the professional cards and try something completely different. Changing jobs or even functional areas is quite normal these days. However, this step should only be seriously considered after careful consideration and not if it arises from a spontaneous need for rapid change. You can find initial inspiration for a career change, for example, in our article on the best jobs for career changers.

Not only people between the ages of 30 and 45 are at risk of going through a crisis. For example, many young people between the ages of 20 and 30 experience what is called a quarterly life crisis. In our article on this topic, you can find out how influencers and their managers can deal with it.

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