Thoughts about a happy career: Mid-age

Over the last years, you’ve managed to build a career for yourself, more or less following a plan you had when you finished your education. Now, in your mid-career years, you probably have a family and several notable responsibilities that depend on your work and your ability to succeed.

So how do you feel? Are you happy with your current workplace? What’s the next step for you?

We’ll help you answer that with a few hints. Let’s start with the upside of the mid-career stage you’re in:

  • The experience you’ve gained over the last few years should make you feel proud and confident. Knowledge is power and you have practiced and tested enough strategies to know what works best.
  • You have a clear and broad understanding of business and you know how to handle the usual hurdles and challenges.
  • The industry has few secrets left for you and you could easily mentor a new generation.
  • You are now able to balance your professional life and your personal one. While in the early years of your career the lines between the two might have been blurred, now they are fairly disconnected.

Now let’s move on to the challenges this stage might bring:

  • Technology has no mercy for time. In just a couple of days, your industry could be revolutionized by a new tech solution that you didn’t see coming.
  • There might have been recent advancements and promotions but you didn’t qualify for one.
  • You’ve gotten comfortable with performing your job day-by-day and there are very few moments when you pause your auto-pilot and see things from a completely different perspective. Monotony is at its peak.
  • The workplace is not what it used to be. You may have a new leadership body or a shift in company values.

Ok, but this is the worst case scenario. Many of these so called challenges could be easily avoided with a little self-discipline and with the commitment to measure and ensure your own workplace happiness.

We did some research and came up with some positive approaches you could take to ensure a growth in your mid-career evolution and in your workplace happiness.

Takeaway

  • Make the most out of your experience. You now have the knowledge and the understanding to be strategically involved in managing the company you work for. Talk to your manager. Tell him your strengths and ask to be involved.  It’s important that you apply for the right position.
  • Sure, technology may be getting haywire but with very new advancement, you have a chance to put your brain to work and always stay on top of your industry’s trends. And it’s actually fun, you get to always learn new things and it keeps your brain young and hungry. Recent studies show that creativity and innovation reach a high point in your 40s. Read more about it in The Memory Bible: An Innovative Strategy for Keeping Your Brain Young, by Gary Small, director of the UCLA Center on Aging.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach your goals.  Follow the career path you’ve set for yourself or build a new one, based on your current needs. You should be grateful for your achievements and for being where you are. But you should also make sure that follow your dreams.
  • Stay on top of your professional development so that you continue to be relevant. Lifelong learning is one of the key ingredients of happiness.
  • You might be tired of the same events or the same people. It’s important that you continue meeting new people and keep quality contacts in your network. You could set a goal for yourself to attend one event a month. You will probably meet around 20 people there, out of which it would be great if you could find at least one person whom you really appreciate and would like to keep in touch with. They can also help increase your happiness by challenging you to develop new projects or to explore personal interests.

 

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