Career counseling – Harvard Business Review published anarticle called facing your mid-career crisis the author a philosophyprofessor at MIT describes the research that shows how life and careersatisfaction takes the form of a gently curving u-shape it begins high duringyouth bottoms out in the forties and recovers in the old age interestingly weget a lot of requests from professionals not just in their forties but also 30sand 20s.
Who say they are facing a mid-career crisis and need help have youfelt the need to jazz up your wardrobe get a revolutionary haircut with abizarre color or upgrade to an absolutely impractical fashion car inshort does your life seem directionless well then you’ve approached thecondition coin back in the 1960s as a midlife crisis and while midlife crisis has its own place in the all that I regret in my personal life.
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Hall of Fameanother similar yet a more professional version of the same is called themid-career crisis for many professionals the traditional and time-tested grin andbear it strategy works just fine as they navigate through the rough phase but forsome it can get a bit too much to handle in this.
We’ll look at thedifferences between midlife crisis and mid-career crisis the symptoms andreasons for both what you can do to deal with mid-career crisis independently andwhether professional career counseling and guidance is worth it we also have abonus for you towards the end so watch the full Post.
What does mid-careercrisis in the current age it has become difficult to segregate career and lifeso it can get confusing to differentiate between problems that start off in onedomain and spill over into the other which is why it’s important to firstunderstand the difference between midlife crisis and mid-career.
Crisis here is a short definition for both in midlife crisis people encounterfeelings of failure or stress related to events such as failed relationshipsdecline of health or personal loss here’s a list of symptoms for midlifecrisis published by psychologytoday.com in contrast during a mid-career crisispeople combat stress and other issues related to their profession feelings of failure regret or stagnation are common.
When at a certain age usually closer to40 men and women are faced with the evaluation of their career decisions sofar it manifests itself as disinterest in one’s work-life and a lack of motivation to move ahead victims often feel like the very idea of going to work or carrying on everyday tasks are very exhausting in other words.
They are suffering from a professional burnout here are some symptoms of a mid-careercrisis what causes mid-career crisis doubts andloss of faith in one’s career can manifest in forms that can further disrupt your performance work irregularity fatigue absenteeism and stagnation are manifestations or symptoms but not the root cause though at times it may very well seem.
To be the case like a snake eating its own tailit’s a problem that feeds on itself and one needs to be able to differentiate the problem from its symptoms what’s the psychology behind mid-career crisis andwhat makes it so difficult to handle the vicious circleusually starts off small and stays below the radar for a long time possibly months or even years before you recognize it as a full-blown crisis inthe early days the problems.
Don’t seem big or even noticeable enough to takecorrective action but if ignored it can have serious implications it could alsoaffect the mental or physical health when you realize that it indeed is aproblem that needs to be tackled first of all evaluate.
How serious it isif you suspect that you’re suffering from physical or mental problemsincluding anxiety or depression reach out to a doctor or psychologist as soonas you can if the situation is not that badhere’s what you can do independently without taking professional help from acareer counselor.
let’s talk about how to deal with amid career crisis here’s athree step process that you can use to deal with material crisis the very firstand possibly the most difficult step to fixing any problem is to first acceptthat there is a problem living in denial will only make it worse in order to dothis list down the symptoms you’re facing and compare them to the list we’veshared earlier figure out.
If these are indeed related to a mid career crisisthe most common first symptom for many is Monday morning blues of course itdoesn’t always point to any serious issue maybe it’s just a passing phasebut it never hurts to dig deeper to understand why you’re not as excited togo to work now as you were when you first joined.
Once you accept the factthe next step would be to pin down the root cause here are some questions thatyou can ask yourself to facilitate the process has the crisis developed fromyour current situation at work such as impending layoff office politics orother reasons that you may not have complete control over or does the crisishave roots related to your expectations or limitations.
In other words is it something that could potentially be under your control such as these the typical and often wrong way to deal with mid-career crises is by changing jobs assuming you can start off on a clean slate and a higher salary will make your troubles go away.
The other approach that we see quite frequently is using amaster’s degree or an MBA as an escape route compared to simply changing jobsspending all your life savings on higher education is a highly risky approachsure both of these might be perfectly legitimate options.
But only if they helpyou tackle the root cause before you take any big decisions consider all thesmaller and less risky fixes as an example if you like your current companybut not the job maybe a heart-to-heart discussion with your manager and HR teamcan open up opportunities.
If the root cause is related more to midlife crisismaking lifestyle changes can help such as exercising eating healthier pursuingthe hobby you like taking a vacation but all this is easier said than done especially with an emotionally clouded mind it can be confusing to objective lyand dispassionately identify the symptoms causes and the solution on your own that’s when career counseling might bean option if you can find the right career guide with the right experience and a structured counseling process career counseling can be helpful but theeffectiveness of counseling not only depends on the quality of counselors butalso the source of the crisis can career counseling help there.
Are three answers to this question yes when the source of the crisis can be objectively defined and isolated for instance if the root cause happens to be a lack ofcertain skills to keep up with the current job demands or dissatisfactionwith a job role or career track one can find ways to address the problems in asystematic fashion be it by upgrading your skills or changing careers by getting a related degree or experience on the other hand.
If a crisis in thecareer is an outcome of one’s personal situation such as unhappiness arisingfrom poor health or a loss of relationship or a loved one then itwould be hard to reconcile with a professional discontent withoutaddressing the personal one.
If it gets to be too serious a trained physician orpsychologist should be a consultation priority rather than a career counselorafter all what career solutions can you expect without a healthy body and mindto follow through finally there could be a mix of reasons putting yourof track.
For example in efficiency at work causing incompatibility withcolleagues or supervisors how does career counseling work each career counselorworks differently we can’t speak about the other teams but at MBA Crystal Ballhere’s the process we follow before signing up candidates we first evaluatewhether we can help we end up turning down more requests than we accept westart off with a questionnaire.
A psychometric test to understand the candidates personality traits well our career counselor gets into a call to suggest one or more career guidance options for the candidate’s consideration along with the timeline the entire process is virtual we work with professionals across the world without meeting them in person is career counseling worth it or not.
Ultimately career counselors areadvisors they cannot guarantee quick and magical results they can only shareobjective and external perspectives and a structured plan to address the issuesthe onus remains on the candidate to follow up on the suggestions don’t rushto a career counselor as the first option keep that the last recourse afteryou have exhausted all the self-help options.
We’ve created a free onlinecareer guidance tool that you can use to evaluate the health of your career calledthe career graph it’s a self-help tool to help you get a visual snapshot of howyour career has been moving whether you need a new job and if that new job you’reconsidering will make your career graph better or worse after.
You’ve explored all the free andindependent options if you are still convinced that career counseling wouldbe worth a shot drop us an email we’ll let you know ifwe can help or not.
If the problems are beyond what our process can handle we’llbe upfront in admitting that we are not the right team for you we hope you areable to tackle all that’s holding you back and unleash your true potential good luck