Mid-Career Assessment

Steve Arterburn

A March 2006 a Harvard Business Review article reported its findings from surveying 7,700 American workers at mid-career. Only 43% said they were passionate about their jobs. Only 33% feel energized by their work. By way of contrast, 36% say they’re in dead-end jobs, and over 40% are suffering from career burnout.

The researchers went on to identify seven common sources of frustration in this demographic group. They are:

1)      Career Bottleneck: Too many people chasing too few upper-level jobs.

2)      Work/Life Tension: Caring for children and parents at the same time.

3)      Lengthening Horizon: Facing the prospect of working longer to fund retirement.

4)      Skills Obsolescence: Catching up with the information age.

5)      Disillusionment With Employer: Insecurity about downsizing; frustrating over the gap between executive and worker compensation.

6)      Burnout: Twenty years down and twenty to thirty more to go.

7)      Disappointment: Career fulfillment a far cry from what they’d imagined.

Perhaps you see a bit of yourself in these findings. I hope you’re among those passionate and energized by your career. But if you’re not, maybe these findings can help you better understand and respond to your situation.

A large percentage of American men in mid-career are considering a career change. This is a big decision. If you’re considering it, I’ll be raising some issues tomorrow that you should give prayerful attention before moving forward. Please join me!