Career midlife crises point to an absence of purpose in lives of highflying professionals

In an article by Australian School of Business, the topic of career midlife crisis is discussed. It appears that we are now likely to have multiple crises as transitions between different career stages (e.g. learning the ropes, becoming established, making a difference, moving on) become less related to tenure, and more related to the accelerated delivery of organisational outcomes, achievement mindsets, leadership programs that encourage greater self awareness, and changing expectations.

While an interesting article in it’s own right, it lends direct/indirect weight to the following points:

  1. External motivators (money, possessions, external recognition) have limited sustained value in driving staff performance
  2. Being connected to some interest/purpose greater than yourself (your own needs/desires) is a key to personal fulfilment
  3. Taking time to reflect on a regular basis is likely to keep you on the right track
  4. Working with others in community/relationship will drive greater commitment/accountability

One of the challenges with cultural change work in organisations is that fostering greater self awareness can and does lead some nominated talent to select different paths to pursue outside their organisation. I believe this side effect can be mitigated by clearly articulating how an organisation’s vision/mission/strategy is helping address the needs of real customers/service recipients.

You can download a copy of the article at:  http://knowledge.asb.unsw.edu.au/article.cfm?articleid=1344

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