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Handling a Mid-Career Crisis

by JoVon Sotak,

Are you in the midst of a career crisis? Take this brief true-or-false quiz to find out:

  • I call in sick sometimes because I can’t face what I have to do at work.
  • I feel alone at my current job and blame myself for not fitting in.
  • I recognize that the company I work for–as well as some of its employees–is unethical.
  • I frequently fantasize about other fields I’d be excited to work in.

Do you have some “true” responses to the above statements? These are just a sampling of the scenarios that may indicate career trouble, according to career expert and psychotherapist Kathy Caprino. Caprino is the author of “Breakdown, Breakthrough: The Professional Woman’s Guide to Claiming a Life of Passion, Power, and Purpose,” a book that helps professional women identify and overcome 12 mid-career crises–Caprino describes her former self as a “chronically ill and miserable corporate VP” who then earned her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and reinvented herself as a “supremely fulfilled career coach, author, and speaker.”

She says that these crises affect both men and women who aren’t satisfied with one or more aspects of their career or professional identity. Other common crises are struggling to win in crushing competition, feeling trapped by your financial fears, failing to balance work and life, and experiencing chronic health problems.Six steps to a career change
For people facing any of these mid-career crises and considering changing careers, Caprino recommends taking action:

Step 1. Figure out what must change in your professional life. Assess all the jobs you’ve had. What did you love? What did you hate?

Step 2. Let go of blocks (such as the time you’ve invested in your current career) that are contributing to your crises, and work to address negative patterns so that your career problems don’t follow you to your next career.

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