4 Easy Steps to Face a Mid-life Career Crisis Coming On Strong

Board saying Mid-life crisis ahead


Not all are fortunate enough to NOT be dealing with what is considered to be a well-earned mid-life crisis, “How am I going to manage a job change at an age of 40?”

But many people are somewhere between mildly concerned and full-on distressed about how their age, appearance, or level of seniority may factor in as they approach the job search or consider a career pivot.

Fear not, grasshoppers. Fear not. Well, fear a lot less, especially if you’re feeling a mid-life (career-related) crisis pulling into the station. Here are four incredibly realistic (even simple) things you can do right now to help ease your distress, and catapult yourself forward:

#1 – Take a Few Deep Breaths and Realize You’re Already Incredible

Recently a job seeker—about 52—was relatively certain that she was experiencing age discrimination. In spite of solid, up-to-date credentials, she was getting little response. Her resume was pretty darned impressive and gave little indication that she was a more seasoned professional.

When asked to point to a specific example in which she felt she’d been the victim of age discrimination, she had no answer. The concern, she said, was that she had assumed it was going to happen, so she mentally insisted that it was already happening.

Don’t do this.

Yes, take steps to present yourself as modern, current, and energetic (more of this in a second), but don’t assume that it’s happening, because it will simply serve as a hindrance to your progress. Instead? Take a few deep breaths and drill it into your core that you are already straight-up incredible. And it’s a matter of attitude and strategy that will take you the distance.

#2 – Understand How Youth and Vitality Is Celebrated, and Strategize Accordingly

There’s no denying it, especially in western culture—youth and vitality are celebrated, and rewarded. Hiring managers and recruiters are looking for people who are vibrant, energetic and—importantly—whose skills appear to be current.

If you look, on paper, to be a bit long in the tooth, these decision makers may jump to several wrong conclusions, including, “She’s looking for a place to ride out the rest of her career,” or “I’ll bet her skills are out-of-date.” Is this unfair? Oh, hell yes. But it goes on every day.

This being the case, you have a couple of options: One, get mad at the game and refuse to play. Or two, understand the game and strategize around it.

Better is to strategize around it all day long. A few ways you can do this are to: remove your college graduation dates, remove non-essential jobs prior to, say, the late ’90s, and be sure and showcase any software platforms or other “completely 2016” skills or areas of expertise, front and center on the resume.

Also, when it comes time for the interview? Invest in current clothing and a current haircut. And, if cost is a factor, consider resale shops, eBay or, Thredup.com.

#3 – Don’t Do Anything Major Without Giving Yourself a Waiting Period

Another client was so fearful that he was wasting valuable years at a job he hated (a company he’d been in for 17 years), that he walked in one morning and quit. And he didn’t just quit. He went out in grand, blow-torch-the-bridge-to-the-ground style.

And then, precisely a week later, he panicked. And he panicked even more when, three months later, he didn’t have a new position lined up.

If you’re feeling the mid-life (or quarter-life, or any life) bug to do draw a line in the sand with some grandiose career move (or any kind of move), force yourself to give that decision a few days (or weeks), rather than marching into your manager’s office and telling her where, exactly, she can stick that job.

Not all mid-life crisis moves are good ones. Especially the ones that likely cannot be easily undone (e.g., trendy tattoos and abrupt resignations without a Plan B.)

#4 – If You’re Reliant on Someone Hiring You, Don’t be Completely Ridiculous

If you’re your own boss, sometimes being completely ridiculous will work in your favor and garner you a more ardent following, because you’re ridiculous in an endearing, compelling way. However, in most of corporate America, acting ridiculous is not going to be celebrated, or accelerate your path to a new job or career.

Now, this doesn’t mean, “Don’t be original,” or “Don’t be memorable,” or “Don’t be creative.” Not at all. It means, “Acting like you’re in full-on, mid-life crisis mode may not be perceived as awesome by everyone.”

Don’t make your mid-life crisis turn into a detriment; instead, look for ways to make it advantageous to catapulting (or, even inching) you somewhere great.


Authored by Jenny Foss

Source: The Muse

(All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent MentorYes’s viewpoint or recommendations. Readers are advised to consider and evaluate the views presented here before implementing them in their preparation or otherwise.)