Career Crisis: Why Does It Happen and What to Do


In our career-centered society, the matter of professional growth and development is the top priority for many. A successful career presumes that you create a plan and then gradually learn new skills and gain extra responsibilities. However, in real life, the path to success is quite different.

These days, not only middle-aged professionals experience mid-career crisis. Anyone of any age and career level can face its typical symptoms. These symptoms include a drop in motivation, lower efficiency levels, a feeling of anxiety and uncertainty, and even a loss of meaning in life. What causes career crises and how to overcome it with minimal loss or even turn the down period to your advantage – below in the guidance of our certified professional resume writers.

The reasons behind midlife career crisis

  1. The crash of expectation
    This is what young professionals often face. Having spent a year or two in the job after graduation, they often notice that the nature of work is quite different from what they have imagined. Or, they notice that hard work doesn't often lead to rapid career growth and promotions. It's also typical that a young accountant or journalist realizes that their occupation isn't something they'd like to devote their life to. Thus, a mid life career crisis occurs.
  2. The glass ceiling
    After several years within the organization, a seasoned professional might realize that there isn't room for growth for him in this company or even the industry. These limitations can be dictated by the organizational structure (i.e. there are no positions for growth except for your boss) or the market. One way or another, a professional doesn't see opportunities for further professional development. In such a way, your unmet career ambitions are at the end of the career ladder and you find yourself at the career crossroads unsure about the next steps.
  3. The well-known middle-age crisis
    A middle-age crisis embraces all areas of life, and professional uncertainty is often the strongest negative aspect. A person can suddenly understand that the job makes them feel miserable and they want to make a cardinal career change, move house, etc. They can also face the loss of meaning, especially if they haven't achieved everything they've planned for this age. Half of life is left behind, which makes them reconsider everything that they've done professionally and make new choices. High paying jobs are not necessarily available and work commitments start to decrease. You feel stuck, your social circle remains the same, and you are not happy about your life.
  4. Change in personal values
    Our priorities in life change over time. Let's assume that at the beginning of your career path your biggest ambitions were the opportunity to travel and build a great career rapidly. Nevertheless, fifteen years after you got married, and have decided to devote more time to raising your children, which makes your previous values contradict your current goals and cause a discrepancy. Company culture is no longer relevant, senior manager is not supportive, or your managing partner becomes annoying.
  5. A major change in the industry
    The change in the model of economy caused by the global takeover of the Internet introduces significant changes to the world of work as well. Some industries face a recession or significant changes to survive. Thus, more and more people face unemployment in the traditional industry and start considering a big change of career. To succeed in your career transition, you need to have a really strong resume at hand – see what our resume writing company has to offer you.

The experts agree that career crisis is an aspect of modernity. Such a phenomenon barely existed over 50 years ago. People expect growth and promotion during their entire lives and that is absolutely natural today. These days, the generation of millennials is fascinated by the idea of perfection. We want the best, highest-paying careers, experience new countries and cultures, and live the fullest life possible. That's why we can hardly tolerate a career that doesn't bring us satisfaction and joy. Thus, if you've found yourself in a crisis state, it's time to take decisive and confident steps to make your career fit your new reality.

Career crisis: How to overcome

Despite the diversity of reasons behind the career crisis, the cure is pretty much the same. First of all, it requires brainstorming and strategic thinking to evaluate the current situation and analyze the prospective solution. Without a thorough assessment of the situation, you'll likely get stuck in it and won't source possible ways out.

  1. Distinguish career crisis from tough times
    Dissatisfaction, anxiety, depression, and feeling that your current job is the worst fit ever are definitely the warning signs. However, don't hurry up to diagnose a career crisis. There's a simple test – if you don't feel well about your current career situation, take a vacation for a week or two and give yourself a good rest. Don't book exotic tours– it's better to go somewhere in the country or seaside and relax, turning away from the routine of your life. If after a week and something you'll find yourself missing your boss and work, then you've just had an overwork. However, if the sole thought of getting back into office petrifies you, it's high time that you plan the way out.
  2. Get mentally prepared for the change
    If you are certain that it's the crisis that is happening, keep in mind that the change is inevitable, and you need to make it. The longer you are going to wait, the more miserable you're going to feel. So, get prepared that your life is going to change, and this change might be significant. Mental toughness is a must to undergo the change caused by professional crisis.
  3. Talk to your boss
    Sometimes it's necessary (and helpful!) to talk to your boss directly. If you need more responsibility, lack some sort of training, or even if you are stuck in a position and don't see a way up – don't hurry up to resign and discuss this issue. Talk about your aspirations and what doesn't let you realize them. Maybe, your boss will manage to help you learn new skills or will find a way for you to earn more in your current position even if there's no way up the corporate ladder. Mid career professionals can be a truly valuable asset for their companies! Talk about your unmet expectations with a senior director, take a moment to reflect on your aspirations, do market research, and regain your confidence.
  4. Have realistic expectations
    If you've decided to make a change eventually, make sure your expectations about career change are realistic. In other words, if you've decided to leave the job to start a new career or establish a small business, get ready that the routine of your life is going to change. You might need to study a lot in your spare time, which won't let you spend much time with family or friends. Moreover, your income is going to suffer – keep in mind that it might take months or even 1-2 years to get the paycheck you are used to in the old and safe job. Consulting a career coach an be a good idea as well. Mid carer employees are highly demanded on the market.
  5. Choose the right type of job rather than a profession
    When facing a career crisis, most of us focus on choosing the industry or the profession. The truth is, there are lots of jobs that are good possible fits for you. Focusing on the character of the job that you really enjoy is more effective and can prevent you from making ungrounded decisions. Do you prefer working on short-term, discrete tasks or issues where there are no clear answers? Do you need little oversight or ongoing guidance/collaboration? Do you need simple tasks or do you thrive in complex and fast-paced environments? Defining the right type of job and focusing on what you enjoy doing most is an effective cure for career crisis.
  6. Review your list of goals
    If you have a list of long-term goals at hand, read them to find out whether your current career helps with achieving them or, in the contrary, pulls you back. These can be not only career goals – all of your lifetime purposes should not contradict with your career path. For instance, if you plan on getting married and having kids, and your finance consulting job takes you over 10 hours a day, you are definitely in the wrong career. Thus, when choosing a new one, make sure you've taken your long-term plans into account to avoid similar disappointment in the future.
  7. Prepare thoroughly for a job search
    If your career crisis has led you to a decision of career change, you need to get 100% prepared for every aspect of job hunting, as you'll have to compete with experienced professionals in this area. So, you need to get serious about writing your resume and preparing for an interview. It's a good idea to find a professional resume writing service and receive professional assistance during the career change period. Mid life crisis does not necessarily imply the end of your professional growth It can be an inspiring new beginning!
  8. Get financially secure before pursuing the change
    If you've decided to realize the major change, make sure that your finances support the smooth transition. It can take up to a year or even more before you get hired to a new job, learn the necessary skills, and advance your knowledge. And, until you do so, get ready for a much lower paycheck than you are used to. If you support the family, you need to be even more considerate. Cutting down the expenses, making savings, and searching for extra methods of income while you're job hunting won't do you any harm.
  9. Do something new
    Career change seems less stressful for those who are aware of the path they'd like to pursue and the life they are willing to live. What if you don't want to continue your current career but aren't sure of what to do next? If your goals aren't clear, you will need some brainstorming before you get started.
    • Write out the list of things you are really good at and the things you enjoy doing.
    • Think of life you'd like to live ten or fifteen years away from now.
    • Monitor the labor market to find out which professions are in demand and how else your skills can be applied.
    • Put the previous findings together to understand the future career path (or maybe, you'll decide to start your own business or become a freelancer?).
  10. Decide on whether radical change is a must
    Sometimes, when a job looks like a constant source of stress, it's an obvious desire to quit this job and start doing something else. Still, there are many more possible (and flexible!) solutions than a radical change of career. If the current rhythm of life, professional responsibilities, or work-life balance frustrates you, it's a surefire sign that the change is inevitable. Nevertheless, burning the bridges and starting a new chapter of your life isn't always the best solution. Here are a few hints on finding a way out:
    • Change of industry –if you worked as a chemical distributor, there's no reason to downgrade this experience as it's transferrable to multiple fields;
    • Independent consulting –have you reached professional heights as a teacher, finance director, or auditor? You can work independently and choose the amount and type of work, thus managing your life style.
    • Start a business –those with previous administrative/management experience already know a lot about running a business; so, starting your own one won't require learning from scratch and can become much more profitable.
  11. Don't be ashamed of yourself
    In our career-centered society, success at work tends to be seen as the constant way up. You are expected to move up through the ranks, earn a bigger salary year after year, or even start a new business at some point in this way. Nevertheless, our lives are seldom linear.  When you've achieved certain professional success, professional resume writers state that you'll feel the social pressure when you face a career change. Your friends or coworkers might think it's silly to leave a well-paying, established career to move to another state and try to pursue your dream of youth. Moreover, you can feel frustrated by seeing someone truly happy in their one and only career for over 20 years, while you're making the radical change – but you shouldn't.
  12. Focus on doing meaningful things rather than just paying the bills
    Financial stability matters a lot for your career satisfaction. However, having faced a career crisis, you have probably realized that money isn't everything. So, avoid making this mistake during the career change period. Don't just chase the highest-paying career paths and opportunities. Work can give you a strong feeling of satisfaction and meaning, so focus on finding what will make your life meaningful. By the way, our company can provide you with affordable resume help.

A career crisis may look like a slight depression or can come strong and keep you down for months. Despite everything that you feel now, good times will come soon if you take appropriate action. So, it's time to plan and realize the change – it will help you overcome the crisis and make your life happier and more meaningful. Take good care of yourself and stay positive to make the change successfully.

Crisis isn't the only reason why people quit, though. Here are some common reasons for a job leaving you might be curious to know.

How a new resume can help you overcome a career crisis?

  • If you are looking for a job in a new field, a good resume can take you plenty of time during job hunting and ensure more interview calls. Thus, you will have more time to devote to networking, browsing new jobs, and making money.
  • A professional writer will help you handle an interviewwith brilliance, as you can purchase a list of interview tips along with your resume. Learn which questions to ask at the end of the interview to get remembered for sure.
  • A resume is not only an application documentbut also an opportunity to recollect and reconsider all your past strengths and achievements. When considering what to include in a questionnaire for resume writing, you recollect the forgotten information and prioritize what's important for a new career.

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