You may have heard of a mid-life crisis but what about a mid-career crisis?
It’s a pesky little problem that sneaks up along your career journey (normally near the middle but not always). Usually, it happens when you’ve reached a career plateau. When your rise to success is more sluggish than meteoric.
It’s not so much an event just a nagging feeling in the back of your head. An inner voice that’s questioning everything you’ve done up to this point.
How do you know if you’re in the throws of a mid-career crisis? Here are some of the tell-tale signs.
You’ve lost motivation
Projects that used to excite you now bore you endlessly and you find no joy in your everyday tasks. You’re never the first person to put up your hand with an idea and in general, you try to avoid taking on any more work commitments.
Your self-confidence has taken a hit
One surefire sign that you’re facing a mid-career crisis is when your self-confidence takes a hit. If you aren’t convinced that you are truly valued in your current role then naturally you will start to have feelings of self-doubt.
You’re not happy at work
Spending all of Sunday evening worrying about Monday morning just isn’t normal. If you find yourself dreading starting work each morning then something is definitely wrong. While your work might not be a huge source of joy in your life, it shouldn’t make you miserable.
You begrudge new employees
Instead of welcoming fresh-faced new starters with open arms you put your head down and (pretend to) get on with your work. Their enthusiasm for the job might be impressive to others but to you it’s nauseating.
Your attitude stinks
See the point above about not being friendly. If you’re facing a mid-career crisis you probably can’t be bothered making any kind of effort to be cordial with your work colleagues. If you’re not careful people will start to think you’re just rude.
You’re constantly tired
Being tired after a busy day at work is totally normal. But if you are constantly lacking energy you could be emotionally exhausted. That is one important physical sign that tells you are in the midst of a career crisis.
So, they are just some of the symptoms of a mid-career crisis. What can you do to solve the problem?
Take some time off
If you’re suffering from the above symptoms then you should seriously consider taking some time off to recharge. Book some annual leave and spend some time at home with your loved ones. Everyone deserves a break once in a while.
Ask yourself the hard questions
Use your time off for some introspection. Reflect on your career to date. Ask yourself what has caused this slump? Is it your colleagues? Is it the workload? Identifying these key factors will help you to take steps to fix the situation.
Mix things up
It’s totally normal to get fed up in a role, especially if you have been doing the same thing for a few years. If you want to break up the monotony think about small targets that you can set for yourself. Perhaps you want to learn a new skill or collaborate on a project with a different team.
Switch up your tribe
The people you spend time with can have a huge effect on both your mood and your attitude. Surround yourself with people who inspire and support you. This may mean cutting some people out of your life or making room for some new friends.
Be ready to make tough decisions
If after trying everything, you are still unhappy you may need to make the tough decision to leave your job. It’s important that you do not take this decision lightly. Take your time and plan everything out before you take the plunge. At the end of the day, the risk will be worth it if it helps you to find happiness.