Have you ever had a fantasy where you quit your job and go do something new?
Many executives secretly admit to their coaches that they’re contemplating mid-career shifts. They may not actively seek change, but they certainly start imagining it.
At one point in time, of LinkedIn’s 313 million members, 25% were active job seekers; 60% were passive job seekers (not proactively searching for new jobs, but seriously willing to consider viable opportunities). There has also been a steady increase in self-employed and temporary workers over the last two decades. Entrepreneurship may sound lucrative every time a startup goes public.
Regardless of your age, background, or professional accomplishments, you have probably dreamed about a new career at some point. Midlife is often a time when we re-evaluate our goals, aspirations, and what truly matters to us in life.
A re-evaluation of this importance can also follow a setback such as a critical illness that causes disruption in a career. The coaching program Re-ignite Your Mojo: Reinvent Your Work specifically designed for women executives who are returning to work during or after cancer treatment, begins with the emotional soul-searching task of evaluating what's really important in their new personal and professional reality.
Time for a New Job?
In “5 Signs It’s Time for a New Job” (Harvard Business Review, April 2015), Columbia University Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic examines what happens to many people at mid-career. Few of us actually shift to something different. As he explains, complacency often trumps transformation:
Humans are naturally prewired to fear and avoid change, even when we are decidedly unhappy with our current situation. Indeed, meta-analyses show that people often stay on the job despite having negative job attitudes, low engagement and failing to identify with the organization’s culture. Hence, at the end of the day, there is something comforting about the predictability of life: it makes us feel safe.
Chamorro-Premuzic cites five signs that indicate that the time has come to seriously consider a career shift:
- You feel undervalued.
- You are not learning.
- You are underperforming.
- You are just doing it for the money.
- You hate your boss.
Yet, who hasn’t experienced these feelings periodically? Do these feelings mean that you are headed for a full-fledged midlife or mid-career crisis? Perhaps, but not necessarily. Regardless, this might be a good time to bring up the subject with your coach.
If you aren't working with an accredited coach, find out how to find one suitable for you on the International Coach Federation (ICF) website - "Need Coaching?". Or, contact me. I would love to hear from you and assist you in finding the best coach for you. I refer only to world-class coaches who are my colleagues.