When everything feels like a chore | Overcoming midcareer malaise

Midlife career malaise is real. Even for really successful executives and professionals.

You might recognize it as feeling generally uncomfortable or uneasy – in a way that’s difficult to define.

And at midlife, we’re already losing our illusion of immortality. We see that opportunities aren’t endless and that time is finite. It’s perfectly natural to search for excitement and more meaning.

And that was before the Pandemic and the “Great Resignation”

A recent study found that three out of four professionals surveyed said the Pandemic has altered their career plans.

49% said that the Pandemic has caused them to reflect on what they wanted from their career, or employer, prompting them to look for other job opportunities.

I’m kind of surprised it’s only 49%

Thinking deeply about what you really want out of your career, and for your life, is a natural and healthy part of midlife.

It’s also pretty intimidating. Even when you’re feeling dissatisfied and uncomfortable where you are. Especially when you’ve invested so much time and energy establishing yourself as a professional or building a business.

So the natural reaction is to suppress feelings of apathy and lost purpose and that ‘autopilot’ mode. And bury yourself in your work. Hoping the feelings will pass and that you’ll somehow get your mojo back.

Then another January comes around and the feelings come back, again. You’re a year older and you repeat the cycle.

There is a better way.

I’ve learned that pushing down feelings of discomfort doesn’t make them go away. In fact, researchers have found that bottling up emotions had an adverse effect on your body and your mind.

The constructive way to deal with these feelings is to acknowledge them, discover the underlying cause, and create a productive response. And that’s pretty hard to do when you’re so close to the subject.

Here’s the good news.

You’ve got more options than you think.

And you don’t have to abandon what you’ve created to fly to the island and open a margarita stand.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Don’t fall into the trap of slogging through to retirement in the hopes that you’ll find satisfaction.

Give yourself the gift of some thinking time to reflect on what’s really working well for you – and what’s driving you up the wall. Write it out longhand.

Because it’s only when you confront and name a challenge that you can start to solve it.

What are your Top 3 opportunities?

What if you made just one of them happen?

What’s stopping you?

Leave a comment below and let’s get over that thing holding you back.

Doug BrownWhen everything feels like a chore | Overcoming midcareer malaise
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“… but my skills aren’t transferrable to anything else”

Dave was miserable in his law practice. Sure, he was making lots of money – and on the outside, everything seemed ok. But on the inside everything was way harder than it should have been.

He used to wonder what it would be like to do something else.

But now in his early 50s, he felt like it was just too late to make a change.

And besides, the thought “my skills aren’t really transferrable to anything else”.

This is one of the many comfortable lies that lawyers – and other professionals – tell themselves to justify continuing on a path that they decided on 30 years ago. Even though they are unhappy, unfulfilled, and apathetic about work they once enjoyed.

Here’s the truth: Mid-career lawyers have countless transferrable skills that are in high demand. They just can’t see them because they are too close to it.

I know this is the truth because I made the transition from lawyer to corporate life – and quite a few more. I’ve seen firsthand how “lawyer-skills” are a huge advantage in business.

Skills like communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, and attention to detail. Not to mention that lawyers are some of the best-trained learners I’ve ever met.

And if you’re not a lawyer you still have the same kinds of transferable skills that come with so many years of experience in your chosen field.

So if you – or someone you love – are stuck in this uncomfortable lie it’s time to stop it.

Just stop perpetuating the lie.

You have valuable, transferrable skills. And it is absolutely not too late.

If you are not fully satisfied with your career then take it upon yourself to make it better.

I can help.

I know how hard it is to even give yourself permission to engage in the inquiry.

And once you’ve done that, you’ll need a guide to help you see things clearly.

When you do, your eyes will open to the world that could be yours.

And then you get to make an informed decision about your future – and not rely on a decision made by your 20-year-old self.

So, what’s it going to be?

Take the first step today. Follow this link and I’ll help you give yourself permission … and show you how you can start making it happen right now: https://summitsuccess.typeform.com/calldoug

Doug Brown“… but my skills aren’t transferrable to anything else”
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Busting Midlife Career Myths-2

Let’s keep busting midlife career myths …

So here are another few of my favorites and why they are B.S. …

1. To find real satisfaction you’ll need to change careers.

So many professionals are dissatisfied – but they are not sure why. They think the answer is to do a hard pivot to a totally new thing. That might be true for some. But I’ve seen professionals’ job satisfaction skyrocket with relatively minor shifts in mindset and operations. If you are not completely satisfied with your career don’t start by believing you need to start all over. Get curious about what’s bothering you – and use your critical thinking skills to really unpack it so you see what’s going on.

2. There isn’t enough time – you’re a short-timer

Wrong. Even entrepreneurs who start a new business often look to build it and sell it off within 5 years. You’ve got 15+ years left. Use your wisdom to build what you’ve always dreamed of building. You’ve got everything you need.

3. You’re being selfish – you should be grateful for what you have.

You deserve to do work that is challenging and fulfilling. Being grateful for what you have doesn’t mean that you should ignore things that aren’t working. You spend more than a third of your life at your job. It isn’t greedy to want to dedicate that time to something enjoyable where you are doing your best work.

4. You’re stuck in your ways or you are an “established personality”

Yes, you’ve discovered ways of doing things that work for you – and you’ve got a track record of getting results. Since when is that a bad thing? If you’ve gotten this far then you’ve demonstrated that you are resilient and can adapt to changing conditions. And you have the judgment and experience to know when a change will make a difference, and how to make it stick.

Myth Busting 

What myths would you like busted about midlife shifts in your company or career?

Just direct message me and share it with me. . And I’ll bust it in a future message.

Onward!

-Doug

Doug BrownBusting Midlife Career Myths-2
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Busting Midlife Career Myths-Part 1

There are so many myths around midlife – and midlife career change – that it’s hard to decide where to start.

So here are a (first) few of my favorites and why they are B.S. …

1. You’re too old to change.

This myth is perpetuated by those who fear change. Many highly successful people changed careers after 30, 40, or 50. One example is Ray Kroc who didn’t meet Mac McDonald until he was 50. Your years of experience and wisdom can open doors to more opportunities than you can imagine.

2. You invested all of this money and time in your current career – don’t throw it away.

Your success in one field doesn’t somehow preclude you from making a change. And making a change isn’t “throwing away” what you’ve built, and it certainly isn’t some sort of admission that it was a mistake. The truth is that all that you’ve become can be the springboard to something new.

3. You’re being selfish – you should be grateful for what you have.

You deserve to do work that is challenging and fulfilling. Being grateful for what you have doesn’t mean that you should ignore things that aren’t working. You spend more than a third of your life at your job. It isn’t greedy to want to dedicate that time to something enjoyable where you are doing your best work.

4. There’s just too much risk.

There is no risk, zero, to investigating what changes to your company or your career might increase your satisfaction. The real risk is not conducting the investigation. Now, you’ll want a framework so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel – and a guide for the journey so you don’t fall victim to SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome). And when you have those things and do the work, you’ll be in a position to make an intelligent risk/reward decision.

Myth Busting 

What myths would you like busted about midlife shifts in your company or career?

Just direct message me and share it with me. And I’ll bust it in a future message.

Onward!

-Doug

Doug BrownBusting Midlife Career Myths-Part 1
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Why Does Midlife Have to Be a Crisis? Golf Course Walkabout.

Don’t fall for the myth that midlife has to be a “crisis”. It’s just a natural time to re-evaluate what you’ve been doing and to decide what you want to do, on purpose for the next 15 years.

Check out today’s Walkabout video, and if you’d like to know more go ahead and reach out to me at www.summit-success.com/calldoug.

 

Doug BrownWhy Does Midlife Have to Be a Crisis? Golf Course Walkabout.
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