Guest Post by Britney Marie Chan
Time can work for us but it can also work against us. No matter how passionate you felt about your career when you started, time and repetition have the ability to make your interest wane. You may find that things you once enjoyed doing no longer hold their luster. Things you once found fascinating now feel mundane and repetitious. If you’re feeling the mid-career blues, it may mean that you need to choose a new career. Or it may be simpler than that. No matter what, though, you need to address your issues before they it’s too late.
Figure Out What Kind of Blues You’re Having
Some career plateaus are normal. They come when you’re waiting to get a promotion or when you’re experiencing life changes at home. Others come when you least expect it and for no clear reason. They may even creep up on you.
You notice that you’re not connecting with your boss or teammates the way you used to or you find that when you really think about it, you haven’t felt excited about work in a while.
If things are changing at home, wait it out at work. You’ll be surprised how everything will readjust once things in your life are settled elsewhere. If things are the same as they ever were at home, you may want to make a career change. At the very least, do some serious analysis.
Revisit Your Original Goals
One woman tells Oprah her story of giving up a six-figure career to work for a not-for-profit thinking she would be signing up to change the world. Over time, however, she found that she was stuck in an organization full of bureaucracy and red tape. She wasn’t doing anything for anyone. After many years, she found that she was miles away from where she thought she was going. She had to reassess her goal versus her position and decide if she needed to move to a new organization.
Resist Getting Pigeonholed
You could be stalled and bored in your job because you’re not getting promoted or moved into better departments. Everyone at your workplace sees you as an assistant and so you get stuck. Being too good at your job can even land you in this predicament. Typecasting becomes part of the workplace. If you push against these typecasts, and you get nothing but resistance, you have to move on no matter how comfortable you are. Comfort can easily lead to boredom.
Take Time Off
It may not be that you’re in wrong place. It may be that you’re just plain exhausted. Don’t go searching for a completely balanced life. It doesn’t exist. But do take time to round it out. Make time off as much a priority as working.
Draw boundaries with coworkers and clients and let them know you won’t be on the computer on Sundays or on Saturdays. Let them know that you won’t respond to emails after work hours. These boundaries won’t affect them nearly as much as they will help you.
No matter how great your job or the idea of your job starts out, the mid-career blues can come on slowly and without warning. The most important part of the whole situation is how you deal with feelings of boredom and blues in the workplace. Once you’ve figured out the source of your blues, take initiative and don’t be afraid to break out of your rut no matter how scary it can feel.
How do you resolve and work through your mid-career blues?
Britney Marie Chan is a blogger and a career advisor. She suggests checking out the Smart Choice 25 Best Online Colleges for opportunities to enhance your career and training.
Join the Conversation
Heal Your Mid-Career Blues
Hi Britney! This article is packed with wisdom. I wouldn’t have thought to wait out changes at work if they are happening at home, that all would settle in time.
In my own career(s) I’ve probably had mid-career blues about every 5-10 years and they are coming more frequently in time! I’ve got about 2 major balls in the air (My business, my writing) with a third out there as well (my Reiki healing work).
I find a re-visiting of the goals is necessary often. If we evolve in life, we evolve in our careers. You can’t really separate them can you?
Great points, Lori. It is good to re-sync and, at least, take the time to discern if we are heading in our intended direction. At times, we may just need to wrestle with our restlessness to ensure we aren’t just jumping around, making no real progress. Great thoughts! Jon
Great post! My favorite suggestion is to take time to round out work-life balance.
Balance isn’t a static achievement and what it takes to bring balance into your work-life will change throughout the day, the week, the month, and, as you pointed out, throughout your career. Taking time to stop and assess where you’re at and what you need in that moment is a great way to find more balance.
I agree, Chrysta. Need to continuously find the activities to balance out our work and refresh ourselves — mind, body, and soul. Thanks! Jon
Thanks Jon the post really looks great…
Thanks for a solid post and great practices to embrace, Britney!
What I really appreciate is how level-headed this is! If you’re feeling like you’ve got the mid-career blues it is important to look at why and understand what can change beyond leaving for another job. It’s always possible that making that leap will not be any better because it is running from a problem that will continue to follow you around. Great advice, Britney!
Agree, Alli. Need to pause and ensure we are potentially changing for the right reasons. Thanks for your feedback and a solid post by Britney! Jon