Have you ever had a mid career fantasy where you quit your job and go do something new?

Some of my coaching clients secretly admit that they’re contemplating mid career shifts. They may not actively seek change, but they certainly start imagining it.

Of LinkedIn’s 313 million members, 25% are active job seekers; 60% are passive job seekers (not proactively searching for new jobs, but seriously willing to consider viable opportunities). There’s also been a steady increase in self-employed and temporary workers over the last two decades. Entrepreneurship may sound lucrative every time a startup goes public.

Regardless of your age, background or professional accomplishments, you’ve probably dreamed about a new career at some point. Midlife is often a time when we reevaluate our goals, aspirations and what truly matters to us in life.

Is It Time for a New Job?

In “5 Signs It’s Time for a New Job” (Harvard Business Review, April 2015), Columbia University Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic examines what happens to many people at mid career.   Few of us actually shift to something different. As he explains, complacency often trumps transformation:

Humans are naturally prewired to fear and avoid change, even when we are decidedly unhappy with our current situation. Indeed, meta-analyses show that people often stay on the job despite having negative job attitudes, low engagement and failing to identify with the organization’s culture…So at the end of the day, there is something comforting about the predictability of life: it makes us feel safe.

Chamorro-Premuzic cites five signs that indicate it’s time to seriously consider a career switch:

  1. You feel undervalued. 
  2. You’re not learning.
  3. You’re underperforming.
  4. You’re just doing it for the money.
  5. You hate your boss.

Yet, who hasn’t experienced these feelings periodically? Do they mean you’re headed for a full-fledged midlife or mid career crisis?

Perhaps, but not necessarily. It might be a good time to talk it over with your coach however.

I’d love to hear from you; I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.