Article Of The Month
Fire your Career before it kills you!
By Craig Nathanson
Excerpt from P Is For Perfect: Your Perfect Vocational Day © 2003
A headline I wish I saw this week in all the papers. Sadly, instead all I saw was , economy turning around, job indicators up!
Of course, what else would the economists say, whose careers are based on positive money flow. These positive job reports tend to ignore one major group in the U.S and that's those in mid-life. You see in mid-life most of us stop wanting jobs and even careers.
We have been there and done that. We know what it is like to have tough bosses, inflexible schedules, little time with family and little time for ourselves to do what we love. In mid-life we don't want jobs, we want meaning. We start to look around us and wonder about the big picture. We ponder what our lives are really about and what really matters. We are faced with the realization that over half our life is probably over and a realization that it's now or never to finally do what we love and figure out at the same time how to make a living at it. This is good advice for all ages..
We no longer get excited about climbing the ladder or even staying on it. What once seemed like a perk now seems like a ball and chain in mid-life..
In mid-life many of us start to question everything in our lives from our relationships to our health. Add in sexual issues and money and of course the work that we do each and every day and you have the big five challenges of mid-life.
No, the jobs statistics from the government have little meaning for us. We have much bigger things to think about. The majority of career counselors, coaches and career related authors continue to focus on jobs and careers. In mid-life, we worry instead about our life and how we can make it more meaningful. Being behind in email or reports or paperwork or worried about our next performance appraisal all of sudden carry little weight. The all important all company meeting to focus on what we all need to do to meet our numbers just don't matter to most of us any more. Yes, we sit there and show the face of concern but inside we ponder if our lives really matter. When we get the answers we don't like, we feel tension and a sense of urgency to do something, but what we ask ourselves?
In mid-life, someone turns 50 years of age every 15 seconds in the U.S. Think about that!
Many of us in mid-life will never get to enjoy a long retirement as % will die just 10 years into their ''retirement''. Yes, at mid-life it's time in many cases to fire your career before it kills you. Now, there are many people very happy at mid-life with their careers. That's wonderful. For those of us in mid-life who feel empty and unfulfilled, what do we do? We cannot rely on trait and factor career theories which seem to populate most helping professionals with a focus on individual output vs. general happiness, fulfillment and greater meaning within one's work environment.
So what do we do?
We start to look inside ourselves and answer the question; what is the purpose of my life?
What do I prize and how do I know if I am following or not following what's important to me. Do I have a healthy perspective of myself and have I examined all the possibilities for my life at this point? Is my daily perspective one of negativity or creativity?
Do I have a sense of my place in the world? Have I ever admitted what I am passionate about? What would my perfect vocational day or life be like if I carried it out?
What am I doing right now to move towards what I want?
Am I integrating all of me each and every day towards my goals at mid-life?
These are all questions no one will ever ask us in the workplace. It is usually deemed too esoteric and un-related to real work or is it?
I doubt in my lifetime will workers ever get paid based on their enjoyment of what they do. Yet, so many HR related programs focus on motivating workers to produce more.
Yet, we continue to ignore the core questions that people really carry about that would produce more motivation.
In mid-life, it is a time for deep thought and inner discovery. There are over 70 million of us with more entering the group every few seconds who no longer care as much as we did about jobs and careers. We have much bigger things to concern ourselves with.
Hurry; fire your career before it kills you. For those of you not in the 40-55 age group, you still have some time but heed now the advice. There is something to be said about wisdom.
Craig Nathanson The Vocational Coach™
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