Midlife Career Transition – Blessing or Curse?
“Midway on our life’s journey, I found myself in a dark wood.”
Thus begins Dante’s famous story, Divine Comedy. Themes in literature, art, and Hollywood movies show that life is a journey, a personal pilgrimage, and that we’re all at some unknown point between the beginning and the end of it.
Remember the 2005 movie with Nicholas Cage titled The Weather Man? In his early 40s, the lead character realizes that he gets paid too much for waving his arms around at swirling storm clouds he cannot actually see and doesn’t understand anyway. He fears that he hasn’t been much of a husband or a father to his children, and he is confronted with the fact that his life is not turning out the way he expected. Massive changes are needed.
Today’s downsizings, layoffs, loss of pension plans, outsourcing of jobs, or just the sense of being off track are forcing many of you to make midlife corrections in your career path. I am seeing increased numbers of physicians, dentists, attorneys, pastors, marketing and sales people, teachers, IT professionals, and others who are looking at the options for midlife realignment.
Where are you on your life’s journey? Dante was 35 when he wrote Divine Comedy, exactly at what turned out to be the halfway point on the way to the end of his life at 70. He wasn’t exactly optimistic about the options for midlife as he wrote, “Abandon all hope, you who enter.”
I take a different approach in looking at this process. Midlife can be an exciting time of redirection, clarity of purpose, and a new sense of meaning and accomplishment. Companies are looking for people who have great work habits and a clear sense of abilities. And there are new opportunities for doing “work you love” as contract work, project assignment, or simply designing your own work?
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” ― Frederick Buechner
Have you taken a fresh look at your life’s journey? Are you clear on...
Who am I ?
Why am I here?
And sometimes the search for the best fit brings us right back to where we are now.