I’m 45, Joint Managing Director of a fantastic Recruitment business and love what I do as a profession: help candidates make great career moves and empower our clients with the best talent to build their businesses, but there have been moments, since entering my mid-life, that I’ve had the occasional “off day” and asked what if?
Research shows a modern mid-life crisis hits men at age 43, although I’m convinced I started to experience this on the stroke of midnight on my 40th Birthday, with a little help from my friend Jack Daniels. I do agree with the fact that the male mid-life crisis lasts between 3-10 years, as I’m still showing very obvious signs half way through my forties, by splashing out on new hobbies, such as flying, taking out a direct debit for charity, and weekly trips to Holland & Barrett to find that magical anti-ageing vitamin pill.
Ladies on the other hand, hit mid-life crisis at around age 44 and lucky for them, the crisis lasts for 2 to 5 years max. Thankfully, this means my wife & I will sail this ship together and disembark from the mid-life crisis at the same time.
Here’s top 7 signs of having a modern mid-life crisis
- Still going to music festivals like Glastonbury
- Start looking up old boyfriends or girlfriends on Facebook
- Realizing you’ll never be able to pay off your mortgage
- Joining Twitter, so your boss thinks you get “Digital”
- Switching from Kiss FM to Magic Radio
- Constantly comparing your career success with your friends’
- Worrying that a younger employee will take your job.
Whilst I may have had mid-life career blues, there are many of us in the mid-career life, where this turns into a nagging feeling of discontent that just doesn’t go away. Career change at this time is much more common now and it’s never too late to make a swap! Mid-life men & women, facing career crisis, redundancy or just boredom, are especially adept at coming up with job schemes that will permit them an opportunity for reinvention and financial survival in their coming pension-bereft later years.
Whatever the reasons for revaluating, the idea of starting again and trying something new can be daunting, especially if you choose a different role outside your comfort zone. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! Deciding what to do can also be fun, especially, if helped along with a few drinks, as my brother in law did when he decided to quit the corporate rat race to start his own digital creative agency over a few glasses of Martini with his mates, only to sell his company 3 years later to M&C Saatchi for many more £££.
Contemplating your options with close friends and good career advisors is a great starting point, but here’s some tips from me to help you tackle the career “cross roads” you may be facing in mid-life.
Step 1 – Create a PLAN
Once you identify your ideal job, your next step is to come up with a plan for how to get it. You’ll need to engage with real-world considerations (think: monthly bills; your kids’ schools; etc.) to ensure that your dream career is realistic based on your existing responsibilities. And, you’ll need to evaluate which skills you have and which skills you’ll need to add.
Step 2 – Ask yourself what you really are capable of & identify your current skills:
What skills and talents do you possess (list them out), and how could they be applied to your new field of work? Remember, as a seasoned worker, you’re in luck, as many of the skills employers seek out the most are transferable.
Step 3 – Identify the skills you need to have: Next, look at job postings for the role you want to have. Consider what excites you and can see yourself doing for the final third of your career life? What requirements are listed? Remember, you don’t need to have every requirement listed on a job posting to apply, but for some sectors, especially in the Digital & IT space, that are often deal-breakers. Or, you may need to think of creative ways to add experience to your resume, such as taking on a volunteer position that allows you to learn new skills or technical courses to upskill.
Step 4 – Job Search Strategies
Update your CV: Lean heavily on the summary statement or objective section to express your story and show how your current skills and abilities are transferable. Also, check out CV, and how to write a powerful career change resume. Be sure, as well, to target your cover letters to the new jobs for which you’re applying.
Use your existing network: Don’t feel like you need to start a whole new network just because you’re switching gears. Inform close friends and qualified advisors that you’re considering a move, and share the details on what you’re looking for. You never know what jobs will come into people’s inboxes.
Look within your current company: Who knows you better than your current business? Even if you are making a big switch—from Merchandising to Digital Marketing for instance—your current workplace may be willing to work with you to make this transition. Because, no business wants to lose great talent, so they may be more willing to take a risk and try you out in a new position.
Expand your network: Start going to networking events in the field you want to work at. Prepare a persuasive pitch, and use it while you take classes, socialize with friends, etc. Let everyone know the type of position you want and how it logically fits with your work history, even if it seems like a bit of a leap.
Do informational interviews: One easy way to expand your network, and learn the lingo of the new field you want to enter, is to do informational interviews.
My final tip: Consider going slowly, especially with drastic changes. If you have a Marketing position, but desire to do Web Design, be realistic and map out clearly how you can get yourself in the mix against the competition who may be ahead of you in the queue. Work on this during evenings and weekends, until you have a clear sense if it’s financially sustainable and fulfilling.
Don’t write yourself off just because you may be part of the “40 members club”. Remember, you’ll undoubtedly have valuable experience under your belt & have a wide range of transferable skills to help add real value to your next employer.
Sometimes, you just need to take that chance and remember there’s never only one turning at a crossroads.
Please feel free to contact us at Success Appointments to discuss your options.
Edited by Red Squirrel Digital.