All is not lost. Contrary to popular belief, you can make a change at midlife without it being a crisis.
Steve Jobs may have said it best: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Bottom line, if you don’t love it, keep searching. And don’t settle. But if you’ve invested 10, 20, 30 or more years into a career and you’re not Steve Jobs, then the idea of continuing the hunt for your life’s work may feel like a dream you’ll never realize.
Often, we find ourselves in a job where we are punching the clock, pulling a paycheck and uninspired. The dread may even start on Sunday evenings as you look toward another work week. But that’s because you’re not using your natural abilities.
All is not lost. Contrary to popular belief, you can make a change at midlife without it being a crisis. One of those ways is through taking a simple test that objectively evaluates your natural abilities and strengths. These tests can objectively measure how you problem solve, learn, generate ideas and understand the world around you and identify your unique individual pattern of abilities and traits. Once you understand your natural abilities, you can start the process with a counselor to explore how these fit in with other important career factors such as personal style, values and interests to create a personal vision for your work and life.
Sometimes, after taking these tests and working with a career counselor, people will decide to make a radical shift of what they do for work. Other times, people will discover or rediscover an ability that leads them to a hobby or activity, a simple addition that can lead to re-energization.
For example, a corporate headhunter who discovers she has a natural musical ear may realize that working in the music industry might be a better fit. If she desires a big life shift, she may transfer her skills into a job discovering unknown musicians. Conversely, she may need to stay in her job, but she could incorporate music into her life as more of a hobby. She may also find inspiration and renewed energy by joining a choral group, taking up an instrument or seeing live music on the weekends. To create your personal vision, along with your counselor you will explore the process and steps involved to make small or large changes that make sense.
Regardless of the change, understanding yourself and what drives you can help you make positive changes at midlife that can increase your satisfaction with life. Midlife change doesn’t have to be a crisis. If you make the change on your own terms and based on good information, it can lead to more fulfillment. You might even find yourself looking forward to Mondays.
Author: Kim Turner