Find Mid-Career Satisfaction

You want more?

You’re smart and capable, but not fulfilled? You feel you could be doing more? Enjoying life more?

There is a pattern emerging among many seasoned professionals. They are rewriting the definition of success.

Many of the people I know are walking away from successful careers to write a new story for themselves.

  • A VP who quit her job, sold her 6 bedroom house and moved to a smaller city all to spend more time at home.
  • An independent shop owner who handed everything over, lock stock and barrel to work part-time and write a book.
  • An IT consultant who gave it all up to run a small business from her home, wherever that may be.
  • An exec who discovered she was more interested in pursuing her own business than in her dream job.
  • Or me, who after 16 surgeries, felt it was time to use the experiences for something more meaningful.
  • Read: How to Reinvent Yourself in the Career World, An Interview With Harvard Grad And Former Facebook Executive, Debra Bednar-Clark  from Thrive Global

Why did they do it?

What do these people have in common? What happened to make them want such a big change?

They have all endured a number of life-changing crises, but many others will face these challenges and continue on their way without reinventing themselves. In some cases, they or someone close to them suffered an illness or a life setback, causing them to take stock and assess their situation. In others, it just happened one day, enough became enough.

From the outside they had everything we all want: material success, position and title. They just stopped loving it, and getting enough satisfaction from it. It seems their lives have evolved, and with it how they see themselves and the world around them.

But many others who feel this way just continue on.

What makes them different?

  • They have courage. They have given up everything they know and are comfortable with to leap off the high board into dark water. This is not for everybody. You need to be able to live with the stomach clenching fear that will persist until you have achieved enough success to breath again.
  • They have vision. They are compelled to figure out what they want and what it is going to take to get it; this is not easy for any of us. You need to have drive and focus to see it through. Many people toss it all in to pursue a new endeavor without really knowing what they are trying to achieve.
  • They are driven. They are going to do whatever it takes, including selling their homes or working 100 hour weeks, to get what they want.

Is this you?

These people were all very successful in their fields, but none of them were achieving the feeling of satisfaction they were expecting by this point in their careers. When you reach the point in your career where you have “arrived” and discover that it’s not all it was cracked up to be, it is time to set a new journey.

Read: Five Signs That It’s Time to Reinvent Yourself from Forbes

Life is more about the journey than the destination. That is becoming very clear in the corporate world where you spend much of your career paying your dues only to discover that the main act isn’t as good as the warm-up one.

So many people are deciding that there is more to life than work & money. They want balance, satisfaction and quality of life. Is that too much to ask for? I think not.

How do you get them?

First you need to know what you want. Who are you? What’s important to you?

  1. Is it a big house, luxury vacations or designer brands? If so, you may not be able to take the leap and still be happy. Sometimes taking that leap means having less, at least initially. If material things are important to you, that’s okay, own it and keep making the big bucks. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, consider a lateral move, a change of department or another company. Sometimes a step sideways can bring us closer to a forward step, but a change can be refreshing anyway. We all have transferable skills that can be applied to another industry or specialty.
    Read: 11 Midlife Career Change Ideas That Don’t Suck from Life Wise Lady
  2. Is it prestige, recognition and position? If your company recognizes you and values you, then maybe you are fine where you are, maybe they can help you fall in love with the work again. If not, maybe you should consider a change, as in the above. Maybe you just need to get our there more and network to get more satisfaction. Think about opportunities to rub elbows with your peers. Having others be interested in you and what you do has a rejuvenating effect on your psyche. And networking will usually bring new opportunities.
    Try: Meetup for all sorts of Networking Opportunities
  3. Maybe you value the softer side and need more from your career than your current options offer; if you have some flexibility in your finances, maybe it is time for a change.
    Read: How To Change Careers When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing from Career Shifters
  4. Maybe you want it all. That is an option. Consider keeping your day job and taking on a side-hustle that brings you a little more inspiration and self-satisfaction. Someday you may even be able to turn it into a full-time gig.
    Read: 99 Side Hustle Business Ideas You Can Start Today from Side Hustle Nation

The work world is changing

And we must change with it or be ready to rewrite it. You can be successful and fulfilled if you just take time to determine what you want and what is important to you.

We are living in an era where there is unprecedented opportunity for David to compete with Goliath, where the internet and technology have made the little guy more powerful than ever before.

The biggest challenge remains. You still need to be able to face your fears and take the leap, know where you are going, and be willing to do everything to get there.

One thing never changes

You still need to put yourself out there.

So take a minute and think about it; are you happy? Do you still love it? Or is it time for a change?

Are you part of this trend?

Are you an inspiration who has found satisfaction mid-career and can share your experience?


Check out our Life Binder guides to help you figure out what’s next.

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