Many people are making career shifts in mid-life. Is this a Mid-Life Crisis? Probably Not! WE are not talking about forced career changes because of changing economic conditions. That’s a different topic. We are talking about people who give up an excellent job and take a pay cut or risked life savings to launch a second career. More people are “Reinventing Themselves”. Since people are living routinely into their late seventies, eighties, and nineties, it doesn’t seem as surprising that a person who has worked for a long time at something WANTS and may need A CHANGE! After a job or profession of twenty or thirty years and still many years of productivity ahead… many of us might long to venture out and try ‘our hand’ at something else. The healthy brain needs a certain ‘Novelty’ or change. However, it also takes courage and some risk tolerance to make a career leap. There are no guarantees that a new career will work out as planned, however, for many the boredom and burn out may become intolerable. Boredom is an enemy of a happy brain. The perfect balance of challenge and newness without too much risk and upheaval makes us humans pretty content. Is it easy to achieve? Of course not! Changing careers mid-life can be liberating or difficult. A certain amount of uncertainty is part of the process of change. As for some couples, it creates tension and turmoil in the home during the transition and for others excitement. Whatever is happening, do not do this in a Vacuum. Being part of a couple and family means ‘having conversations’. Making solo life decisions create the possibility of other’s deep resentments and blame. And maybe even guilt on your part. That means start the conversation at the beginning. Whenever you are ‘aware’ of having thoughts about making changes, talk about it. Open lines of communication are a must for every one involved. Exchanging thoughts, ideas, wishes, fears, questions and dreams about any big change is the first most important step.
Do you qualify as a true workaholic? A person who works long hours, loves their work yet MAKES and HAS time for pleasure and leisure IS NOT a WORKAHOLIC. A true workaholic suffers from a driven-ness and a compulsion that dominates their life. There is a frantic quality in their daily behavior. If not frantic, then totally preoccupied. Either way, it is hard to find a way ‘to get in front of this person’ in a meaningful way. A sense of rushing and busyness, constantly thinking or talking about work, a reluctance to take time off from work and MOST importantly, a severely diminished and impaired social life are the hallmarks of Workaholics.
Interestingly enough, ‘Workaholic’ behavior is the only addiction that members of our society actually brag about. Unfortunately, small business owners tend to have a high incidence of ‘workaholism’… they feel solely responsible for the success of their business. As a result, they become indispensible and actually become prisoners to their work. Technology although spectacular, has created another major problem when it comes to taking a needed break. Texting, e-mails, websites and all our devices beckon the workaholic. Control is a big issue for the workaholic. Feeling out of touch with the business becomes terribly uncomfortable. These overly “hard workers” are truly lost without this addiction. It is the only way they can recognize ‘who they are’. Beneath the driven behavior is often a frightened and lost Self who is uncertain of their value…without the Addiction.