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Facing Your Mid-Career Crisis

Written by: Gauri Kacherikar, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Monica was 45 and was doing excellent in her career- holding a corporate director-level position. She was giving her best to give the best results to her organization. She was aspiring to be the VP in the next couple of years. However, things started changing suddenly.

Her peers in the organization kept cornering her and overloading her with more and more responsibilities. The office politics to bring her down, the fear of losing out her position and authority kept playing on her.


She was living on the edge to balance her responsibilities at home, meet the needs of growing up kids, support her aging parents. Sleepless nights, menopausal changes in hormones added to her depression and anxiety. She was stressed to the core. She started dreading going to work and soon realized that this problem was not just for one or 2 weeks but lasted longer.


Many of you may resonate with this situation, like Monica. At some point in time, we no longer find our jobs to be satisfying or rewarding.


Both men and women experience midlife crises, and it usually is all rooted in the sense of sudden unrest. There is usually an oppressive fear of growing old that becomes more and more present until it starts making a person start doing things that create big changes in their lives.


So when it comes to midlife crises in women and in men, there is usually a strong urge to change the direction of your life. You start to feel anxiety about the quality of your life. You start to doubt or maybe even regret certain decisions you made in terms of your personal life or your professional career. You might want to quit the commitment, job, or relationship that has started to make you feel trapped.


Determine What Is Wrong or Missing


Consider asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you think you would be happier almost anywhere other than your current position?

  • Do you think you can take a different approach toward your work that might make you see it differently?

  • When was a time you felt really energized in your work? Why?

  • What value would you not compromise in a job? Why?

Discovering new dimensions of the self


One of the terms thrown around a lot in career transition and development is the "personal rebrand." For some mid-career professionals, it can seem like a strange concept and often is a mental hurdle. It all starts with the way you view yourself. Very often, individuals tend to think of the barriers rather than the advantages that they bring to the table. Rebranding helps to see yourself with a different set of glasses and find a new you. Once you are convinced of this image, it's easy to communicate the story to the world.


Identifying the strengths and the values is the key while building this new image!!

Ideally, finding your personal brand or "mission" is something professionals should evaluate throughout their careers. People are always evolving, and someone's goals at 40 may not be what they are at 50, Ask yourself how what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about can intersect. That is the point at which you can use your skills to make a difference in something you care about.


Find your own Ikigai!!


Find new Goals


You might have large aspirations and goals that may not be realistic. While you may need to give up your dreams in some areas, create goals in others. Maybe you never got your book published or achieved fame, but you’ve had a fulfilling life in other ways. You won’t reach your childhood dream of being an astronaut, but you can achieve other dreams.

  • Create financial, family, romantic, career, and health goals. For example, aim to finish a marathon or completing a silent meditation retreat.

  • Make sure that you do not compare yourself to other people. If you find that you are doing this, then try taking a break from social media to avoid seeing what other people are up to.

Appreciate the life you have. Accept that you are an adult and have responsibilities. Instead of resenting your roles and responsibilities, find what you can be grateful for in your life. For example, if you envy your children’s carefree lives while you work tirelessly at a job you don’t enjoy, remember that you play a vital role in their lives and are blessed to have a job.

  • Instead of seeing things as burdens, see them as gifts that contribute to the life you’ve created and that you’re creating. Keep in mind that there are people who desperately want, pray for, and need the things that you may see as burdens.

  • Start a gratitude journal to get into a regular habit of practicing thankfulness.

Make informed choices. If you think making a drastic decision is the only way out or the only thing that will make you happy, think again. You likely have more than 1 option to choose from. For example, if you’re unhappy at your job, consider shifting positions, working at another branch, or asking to move up in your company. While it can be fun to make impulsive decisions, don’t let them rule your life. Gather information and examine your choices first

  • If you feel like buying fancy things is the only way you experience happiness, find other ways to feel fulfilled, like growing a garden or learning how to dance. Get into the habit of waiting 24 to 48 hours before buying items that you suddenly want.

  • Carefully and thoughtfully consider your options before moving forward. You don’t have to make drastic choices to be happy. Try to give yourself a few months to think about making a big change, such as changing careers or moving to a new city.

Move forward, not backward. Many people who hit mid-life think that turning back the clock is the answer to moving ahead. While acting young, looking young, and dating young people might feel good for a few moments, it won’t solve your problems. You may postpone feelings of confusion, but they will likely not go away. No amount of fancy things or nice cars will actually turn back the clock. It’s best to acknowledge your age and be okay with it.

  • For example, if you’ve put your worth into your looks all your life, try to find worth in yourself in other more enduring ways, like your kindness and generosity. Everybody ages and gets older. It only matters how you handle it and grow from it.

However, keep in mind that it is okay to invest in your appearance in healthy, non-invasive ways, such as by getting a personal trainer to work on your physique or getting your hair and makeup done professionally. This can be great for your self-esteem.


Follow Gauri on her Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit her website for more info.


 

Gauri Kacherikar, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Gauri Kacherikar is a global business leader and has extensive experience working with the Nordics. She comes with unique capabilities and has led businesses across diverse sectors, including Public and Healthcare, Financial Services. She believes her learnings from the Stockholm School of Economics have contributed to her futuristic approach and thought leadership.


As a Coach, she brings an uncanny ability to nurture, coach people to achieve their goals, and advance their career paths. Her mission is to empower women to grow as successful entrepreneurs/corporate executives. Her signature program, "MidLife Energizer," has helped women transform their lives and dreams to find their purpose. "Build Your Executive Presence" is another program that has assisted women in their career trajectories. She has been recognized by the Swedish Royal Family for her gender equality initiatives and is a winner of the Sandvik India Diversity Awards.

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