Most careers go through the stages shown in Exhibit 3-1. Keep the stages in mind. Don’t be misled by the publicity that has been given to a few extremely successful executives and entrepreneurs. When you graduated and started working, your goal may have been to “make it to the top” however you visualized your dream objective. That is a common goal at this stage of life. Now that you are well established in your career, you have recognized that “making to the top” is no longer likely. Nevertheless, you’ve had a successful career and, most recently, a good job. At mid career, your goals for the rest of your work life can take several directions, for example:
To find another job like your last one but with better prospects
To do something very different via an alternative career
By the early forties, most people’s careers approach a plateau. You may still advance, but your advancement will be slower than it was earlier in your career. Instead of moving up the corporate pyramid, you may advance by broadening your responsibilities in your current role. Your best chance for immediate advancement is with another
company at a riskier job, a job you may be leery of. At this stage, without the promise of rapid advancement, you may have thought about doing something quite different but not considered it seriously because giving up your existing job seemed too drastic. In your mid forties and beyond, your financial demands probably seem more achievable: assuming you have your children’s educational expenses and your mortgage on a manageable plan. Your spouse or partner may be paying a major share of the household expenses. Your main concern now is providing for a comfortable retirement.At this stage, if you’ve been considering a career change, don’t rule it out.