Are You Succumbing to Mid-Career Madness? By Robin Trimingham

… A Funny thing happened on the way to the forum … Five years ago Olderhood started as a blog for retirees only because that is who we imagined would be interested in what we have to say. Over time we expanded both our audience and topic base to the point that younger and younger people started asking for help and advice on a variety of topics. Today The Olderhood Group which maintains this blog provides workshops, video, radio and consulting services for millennials, mid-career workers, baby boomers and retirees as so … as of today … is for everyone.

What follows is the first of a long series of lifestyle articles that will share insights and ideas for all generations of adults. Some will still be geared to those who are fully retired, some will be for your younger relatives who are still in the workforce, but all will be posted with the goal of helping everyone transition through the many phases of life to live as fully and happily as possible. We hope you enjoy what we have to share. Robin & Bill


Are You Succumbing to Mid-Career Madness? By Robin Trimingham

Remember what it was like when you landed your first “real” job? The light-footed way you glided through the lobby, the thrill you felt when you opened your first box of business cards, the nervousness of recording your voice message? You were going to make your mark – change the world – be a vice president by the age of forty!

Now you are nearing fifty and dragging yourself from one meeting to the next, resenting your boss and praying that the phone won’t ring any time after two in the afternoon. Where did all that energy and optimism go?

When did your career path go stagnant? Why didn’t you see this coming? Better yet what can you do about it?

Ironically the importance of self-discipline intensifies during your mid-career just at the moment when there is a part of yourself telling you that it might be OK to take it easy. While hiding out in the loading dock with the other cool kids or acting out in meetings because you have the self-confidence to think you can get away with it might be tempting, but is that how you really want the rest of your career to play out?

It’s normal to feel a certain degree of frustration that your career dreams are not working out as you had hoped, or that you are caught on a treadmill – running all the time and never moving forward.

The first step to improving your circumstances is simply to recognize that you are not alone.

Part of working your way through the middle section of your working life frequently involves learning to deal with job-related boredom, the disappointment of being passed over for a promotion, fears of losing your job, fears of having to starting-over – not to mention anger issues brought on by stress and feeling that things are out of control.

Next – realize that if nothing else, you can change your perspective on your situation.

Yes, your office life might be a little dull, or you might be working long hours – but how does this job serve you in other respects?

What are the other benefits that you are receiving from your employer besides a pay cheque? If your answer is “nothing”, have you considered chatting with your boss or human resources department regarding any learning opportunities that you may be missing out on? Many companies have work shadowing, mentoring, training or continuing education opportunities for anyone who asks for them. Some employers will even permit you to study for a degree or certificate during working hours if the course of study is approved and viewed by management as helping both you and your employer.  A side issue might be that completing this work may qualify you for a raise, or a promotion.

Finally begin to nurture your self-confidence in a way that will serve you well personally: reassess your work life balance and make decisions that are smart for your well being and your career path.

Remember, you have the job experience, maturity and self-confidence to either be the architect of your own success by seeking opportunities, driving projects and working toward a promotion – or be the wrecking ball that sabotages your own future. The choice is up to you.

By Robin Trimingham

Republished from with permission

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