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The Signs of Mid-Career Muddle

You know you’re experiencing mid-career muddle when:

  • You don’t feel refreshed and energized when you return to work after a two week vacation.
  • Your Monday through Friday life is a blur.  Most of your non-work activities have fallen off your “to do” list.  Who has the time or energy to work out?
  • You’ve been passed over for promotion and you have no idea how to re-energize your career momentum.  You’re beginning to feel invisible.  It’s finally dawning on you that most of your colleagues are half your age.
  • You’ve been in the same job for more than a few years and can’t remember when you last updated your resume.
  • You never volunteer for anything.  You’re not proactive with your clients or customers.  You skip networking events because you feel disengaged.
  • You’re relying on the same handful of clients to keep your business profitable.  You haven’t launched any new marketing strategies in years.
  • Nothing seems to inspire you anymore.  Even things that used to bring you pleasure no longer satisfy–you avoid making plans with friends because you don’t have the energy.  You’ve signed up for a few non-credit classes and end up skipping most of the sessions because you’re too tired or need to finish up something at work.
  • You find yourself staring into space….more often than you want to admit. You’re not sure what you want anymore.

Don’t despair.  After a few decades of working to build a career or business, it’s normal to feel stale.  The key is to begin asking yourself what’s next.  The challenge, however, is how to make good choices for your future when you’re in a place of low energy?

What’s a mid-career professional to do?  Here are some quick and easy suggestions to get started:

  1. Find time in your schedule to re-energize yourself. Yes, you can find at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make a list of what’s not working in your life.
  3. Eliminate anything you can to give yourself some breathing room.
  4. Identify the people or activities that energize you.  Find role models that inspire you and identify what they’re doing or how they live their life that appeals to you.  Emulate them.
  5. Commit to doing the things you identified above.  Be BOLD here.  Schedule a vacation day.  Clear your calendar until noon on Saturday.  Delegate projects to your team and give yourself an hour each day to do life and career planning.  Note:  When you delegate to your team, everyone wins.  You free up time and they get the opportunity to stretch and grow.
  6. Stay focused on self-care.  If you’re running on empty, you’ll make poor decisions, your friends and family won’t be able to rely on you, work will continue to cause you anxiety, and your health will suffer.

In short, ignorance is not bliss.  The only way to clear your  mid-career muddle is to give yourself some space and discipline yourself to work on figuring out what comes next.  Today is a great day to get started

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