Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Mid Life Crossroads

Many people feel as if they have reached a crossroads at some point during their mid life. They can see two (or more) paths in front of them. One path is a continuation of their current life, the other(s) lead off in different directions. The relative size of the paths will dictate which path the Mid Lifer chooses to take. If the current life path looks like a motorway (freeway) and the alternatives look like country lanes, it is likely that our Mid Lifer will continue with their current life.

They might dally for a while down one of the country lanes (change their wardrobe, take an evening class) but their life won’t change dramatically. But if one of the alternatives looks like a motorway, and the current life path looks like a gravel track, then watch out – change is coming. For better or for worse.

It may be a change of career, a new relationship or a full blown mid life crisis.

Seeing the crossroads up ahead can seem quite daunting but it can also be quite liberating, It’s very easy to be ‘stuck in a rut’ and we all know people who are stuck in their own rut. They’re not happy, they moan about most aspects of their life but they are too frightened or lazy to do anything about it. They will be the people who get to the end of their lives and think ‘if only…’

Sometimes the crossroads appear out of nowhere, like driving in the fog. You might be made redundant or your partner might decide that their relationship with you just isn’t working any longer. These crossroads are much more difficult to manage as you don’t feel in control. You feel like ‘flotsam and jetsam’ tossed around by the tide and pitching up on the shore at some point but not the point where you’d like to be.

The important thing is to take the positive view – yes, it’s easier said than done but there is always a positive angle to every situation. If the crossroads is thrust upon you and you suddenly find yourself travelling down a strange road, stop, take stock and regroup.

Understand that you’re not alone. You won’t be the first person to travel down this road (or the last). You will have friends or relatives that can help you. If not, there are self help groups everywhere which you can tap into – the internet is a wonderful, life changing development! The Mid Life Opportunity ( has been set up for exactly this reason.