Once an individual feels that he has reached the mid point of his career with the organization he is working for, there is a good chance that an individual could begin to lose interest. So the mid-career blues are not a matter of how long an individual has been at his job, but rather a change in his attitude towards his job.
The experience is more painful for those who fail to recognize when they crossed the threshold and canâ€™t bear their job anymore. Many people who are aware they are going through a mid career cannot pinpoint the reasons for it. As a result they may be in a general state of unproductive dissatisfaction, which is as bad for them as it is for their employer.
It is important to recognize the symptoms and take action before the mid-career dissatisfaction crystallizes into a mid-career crisis. There are many telling signs that suggest an individual in his current job that he should have been somewhere else.
Keeping mid-career employees engaged in their jobs is a challenge for human resource professionals too. For the organization, having more such people means having latent talent which cannot deliver. And the likelihood is high that such talent will sooner or later move away to other companies. A number of companies now keep an eye open for any possible mid-career crisis that could hurt their growth. Assessment center is one of the initiatives companies use to check employee competency thus ensuring the right employee is on the right job.
From the employeeâ€™s perspective, it is a good idea to achieve clarity on the reasons for job dissatisfaction and deal with the feeling of stagnation at a personal level. This is because not all human resources professionals look at the issue from the employeeâ€™s perspective.
Self help being the best policy, here are some strategies around which an individual can improvise, in order to avert a crisis.
The feelings of restlessness and boredom may be a temporary phase, because of work-related or emotional stress. Taking a temporary break might allow an individual to rethink his or her perspective towards the current job. It may not be as bad as an individual has thought before he went on a long-overdue holiday.
An individual must have clarity about his/her personal goals. A break could also be a good opportunity to prioritize and set personal goals. If an individual had an ambition to get to the top of the hierarchy, perhaps that is the cause of his frustration. If so, he must ask him self whether he is sure that this is really what he wants. If so he must start working towards getting to the very top. He should prepare by acquiring the skills that top management should have. There is no guarantee an individual will get there to the top, but it is a necessary to prepare as mentioned above..
Any job that gets monotonous can get boring. A good way to add something new to the job is to acquire new skills and knowledge about the field. This also ensures one is continuously creating new challenges for oneself.
Human resources professionals emphasize that constant interaction and communication are the key to satisfaction at the workplace. Talking to ones immediate boss, or the HR professional concerned may help. An individual willingness to talk reflects a proactive approach on his/her part.
Many bosses and HR professionals are willing to make adjustments of an individual to suit his work related needs. After all, everyone wants to make best use of their trained manpower and avoid repeating the recruitment cycle all over again. Employees could ask for a job redesign or a job rotation. A job redesign means adding a new dimension to the same job â€“ for instance, applying a new techniques or new learning to do the old job. Job rotation means switching to another department which is an extensions o the old job â€“ for instance, moving from production to quality control and then perhaps on to sales and logistics for the same product.
Often, the itch to quit is due to the entrepreneurial spirit. Such a decision needs careful planning. Every angle of setting up a business â€“ finances, sales, a back-up plan, and possible loopholes should be taken into account before venturing out. If an individual is branching out in the same field as his current job he may even find that his employer is wiling to mentor him. In one case, one such employee not only had been retained by his former employer but also allowed to be partner consultant for his own dream project, since his interests donâ€™t conflict with those of his company.
It is prudent to remember that itâ€™s always an individualâ€™s call on how he deals with the highs and lows of the workplace. Enough time and thought must be given before submitting a resignation letter when an individual is feeling low. Alternative strategies must be pursued before concluding that nothing can redeem his/her job.