Midlife Career Transition – Blessing or Curse?

“Midway on our life’s journey I found myself in a dark wood.”  Thus begins Dante’s famous story, Divine Comedy.  Literature, art, and Hollywood movies are full of the theme that life is a journey, a personal pilgrimage, and we’re all at some unknown point between the beginning and the end of it.  Remember the 2005 movie with Nicholas Cage titled The Weather Man? 

In his early 40s the lead character realizes he gets paid too much for waving his arms around at swirling storm clouds that he cannot actually see and doesn’t understand anyway.  He fears he hasn’t been much of a husband or a father to his children and he is confronted with the fact that his life is not turning out the way he expected.  Massive changes are needed.

Today’s downsizings, layoffs, lost of pension plans, outsourcing of jobs, or just the sense of being off track are forcing many of you to make midlife caminocorrections in your career path.  I am seeing increased numbers of physicians, dentists, attorneys, pastors, marketing and sales people, teachers, IT professionals, and others who are looking at the options for midlife re-alignment.

Where are you on your life’s journey?  Dante was 35 when he wrote Divine Comedy; exactly at what turned out to be the halfway point on the way to the end of his life at 70.  He wasn’t exactly optimistic about the options for midlife as he wrote, “Abandon all hope, you who enter.”

I take a different approach in looking at this process.  Midlife can be an exciting time of redirection, clarity of purpose, and a new sense of meaning and accomplishment.  Companies are looking for people who have great work habits and a clear sense of abilities.  And there are new opportunities for doing “work you love” as contract work, project assignment, or simply designing your own work.  I have spent the last month taking a fresh look at 48Days – our core message, our best customers, our upcoming products and services, our website and how we communicate with the world.  I’ve never been more excited about the beginning of a New Year and what it can offer.

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” ― Frederick Buechner

Have you taken a fresh look at your life’s journey?  Are you clear on

Who am I ?

Why am I here?

And sometimes the search for the best fit brings us right back to where we are now.  Here’s a link to one of my favorite little books of all time – Acres of Diamonds.

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