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Commentary Detail

Lift Mid-Career Doldrums by Changing in Place
Commentary by: Anna Navarro
Aired May 26, 2008


People who are in the middle stage of their work lives often find themselves in a bind. Today’s flattened organizations offer few promotional opportunities, but doing the same job for many years can lead to burnout. The logical solution might be to change careers, but heavy family and financial demands at mid-life can sometimes make career change impractical.

Another solution to this mid-career dilemma is to change functions within your organization. Most employers, however, offer limited help with this maneuver.

George had been in sales for 21 years. He was burned out, especially with the travel. But with two kids approaching college, he was reluctant to leave a secure job. He’d talked to Human Resources. They’d asked what else he wanted to do. When he said he wasn't sure, the discussions dead-ended.

He realized then he needed to figure out what else interested him. So he analyzed his skills, passions, life priorities and other issues. That pointed to the possibility of the financial arena.

He talked to people in various financial departments. Credit management intrigued him. He also discovered his knowledge of the company's customers and products would be an asset. And the work didn't require travel.

George returned to Human Resources and told them he wanted to go into credit management. They were then able to help him make the move.

George took the initiative to figure out what else he could do for his employer. That can be a great solution to the mid-career doldrums, especially if you work for a large organization you like.


(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

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Anna Navarro

Anna Navarro

Commentator

Anna Navarro is the founder of Work Transitions, a nationwide organization dedicated to helping individuals find satisfaction and fulfillment in their work.

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