Career Corner: A Monthly Executive Search Firm News Article Series.
Spicing up your Career
July 1st, 2011
After spending years of your life in the working world, it is extremely easy to find yourself getting stuck in a rut, especially around the mid-career time frame, many people find that they lack the motivation they once had when they were younger. In general, there are also more stresses associated with getting older and deeper into your career than when you are younger, whether straight out of high school or college. In years past, people (for the most part) were able to stray here and there from their work and get away with it. Although this used to be the case, many people today are finding it impossible to slip up at work if they want to keep their jobs.
The minute an employee is caught off guard can mean a layoff for some. Because of the economy today, people cannot become complacent with their work. As The Wall Street Journal stated, “Mid-career derailment can happen at any time…with job opportunities harder than ever to find, it’s a particularly rough time to be fired or demoted or to hit a career plateau. You can reduce your risk for derailment by paying attention to your value and effectiveness…”
Steps to Success
With retirement in sight, people in mid-career and older professionals can easily get sucked into the every day monotonous drag of the workplace. Although this is the case, there are ways to avoid falling into this trap. For instance, change things up. Many people find that where they have been working for years is not motivating any longer. With this being the case, many people (especially in this difficult economy) have turned to trying out their entrepreneurial skills. As The Wall Street Journal points out, “According to the nonprofit Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, individuals between the ages of 54 and 64 represented 22.9% of the entrepreneurs who launched businesses in 2019-up from 14.5% in 1996. Since 2007, the foundation says, this age group has created new businesses at a higher rate than any other.”
Because of the rough shape of the economy for the past couple of years, many older generations are facing higher unemployment rates as well as beat up (or in some cases, nonexistent) retirement funds. Many times, older entrepreneurs start a step up from younger ones because they have more business and worldly experience under their belts. People trudging through these difficulties are finding it even more problematic to find a job, so they are becoming more and more resourceful, as they needed to be during the recession.
If being an entrepreneur is not your cup of tea, as it is not for many, then meeting with your boss could help change your feelings towards work a great amount. Let your boss or supervisor know that you are not feeling challenged, if that is the issue. Ask to be given a heavier workload and if possible, get involved with projects that will make a positive impact on your fellow employees and on the office in general. Even the little changes to your every day work life can help refresh and rejuvenate your career. Small activities like switching desks, re-organizing your space, or getting to know new people around you (if the office is large enough) can make quite a difference in how you feel. Since changing jobs mid-career is a very difficult and risky move to make right now, it is important to try new things within your job first.