From Midlife Crisis to New Career: A Wake-Up Call


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When you're in the middle of a midlife crisis and your career is about to self- destruct, most achievers will follow a lifelong pattern of seeking advice from experts.

During a career change and job search, it is easy to give your power to anyone who offers career advice - a coach, a career counselor, even a good friend or relative. After all, when we are stranded on the highway, we are thrilled to see a tow truck.

Career changers in midlife crisis, who are seeking direction, are especially vulnerable to anyone who offers help. The US government has developed programs to protect newly-bereaved citizens who are vulnerable to claims from funeral services.

Often my clients have been laid off or otherwise terminated. They have been sitting on the couch for a long time, trying to decide what to do. They have undertaken introspective life reviews. They may have begun a frantic search for a new career, sending out batches of resumes. Perhaps they called half a dozen friends to commiserate about the evils of their former workplace.

After six months or a year, they get a wake-up call. They visit a career center, call a couch or check out the services of the Small Business Administration.

But when you get off the couch and start moving, you need to learn a whole new ball game.

Maybe you were a champion networker when you were vice president of Mega- Mega, and now you are a job seeker or a start-up entrepreneur. Or you wrote award-winning ads, and now you are faced with selling yourself through a resume.

Starting Over versus Starting Out

Author Martha Beck says that career transition feels like going back to kindergarten. You feel that everybody knows more than you and you really want to go back to the way things were before.

And one day you wake up and realize, “Wait a minute! I know more than I realized!"

You may be angry with those who steered you in the wrong direction - or with yourself for not paying attention.

You may be angry with someone who says, “You can't do that!" when you know perfectly well you can.

I am not suggesting you lash out at those who offended you, although I think you can ask for reparation if you can demonstrate that someone really harmed you. I am not suggesting that you make decisions while you are angry.

But if you have let your intuition lie dormant or you have responded passively to events around you, anger is a sign that you are getting your power back. You are turning on the juice. Your intuition is beginning to overpower the wet blankets, the poison darts, and the well-meaning but misguided mentors.

Some clients are surprised when they feel angry. Some believe that only happiness can signal that a transition is going well.

Sadness, depression and grief can be danger signals. They can paralyze.

Recognize, welcome and manage your anger. You are almost certainly ready to take action and experience your own power once again.

This article is based on Teach Your Intuition to Send You a Telegram, Not a Post Card: Using Intuition for Business and Career Decisions.


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