Help! I’m a 40-year-old professional male stuck in an employment rut! Which way do I turn?
The Career Doctor responds:
First realize that the situation you are facing is becoming more and more
common so you are certainly not alone in how you are feeling. People of
all ages are facing the discovery of being in a job they no longer value or
enjoy but folks and their 40s and 50s are probably the most prevalent.
The key analysis you must make before doing anything else is whether
you are sick of your specific job or whether you are sick of your career.
For example you may love accounting but over the years as you have
been promoted away from the day-to-day accounting and into management
taking you away from the numbers. In this case you still love accounting
so you probably want to find a way to move back toward your accounting
roots. On the other hand if you have been doing accounting for 20 years
and are simply tired of doing the numbers then perhaps a change of
careers is best.
So take some time to decide whether you are going to simply make a job change or a career change. A job change is much easier of course. You
already have the skills accomplishments experience and network to make
a change within your profession. Start researching jobs that will challenge
you and put you back in touch with the part of your profession that you love
If you decide a change of careers is necessary the first step should be
deciding the career field. Take a weekend (or longer) and conduct self-assessment
exercises and capture the activities that fuel your passion and energy. The next
step is then researching careers that use those skills and activities. The final
step is developing a plan to break into that new career field — and may include
obtaining more education getting new work experience (though temping volunteering consulting) and developing/expanding your network.
To help in your decision you could also take this quiz:
Time to Change Jobs…or Careers?
A Quintessential Careers Quiz.