Jobs as a stress factor during middle life and a potential cause of middle life crisis
Statistics from various sources show that most stress in life is work related, in most cultures anyway. It is know that being underpaid, being bullied, work consuming time and energy are known to most and today very people get to work jobs they love. Besides something that you loved doing 15 years ago might be a bore by now and that is stress in it's own right.
According to research out of the things most likely to be a symptom of middle life crisis is dissatisfaction with a job one has. It is important to recognize this early and to deal with it. Often the best solution or even the only path is to seek a new job or to seek a new place whilst working the same job. Luckily today, the world is full of opportunities.
Why are you considering quitting?
The fact that you've clicked on this link is already an indicator that you've already considered quitting and you are looking something that suits you better. Changing a job or a career could result in disaster however it is more likely that it will be a success. But if you had thoughts of changing a job for a while - it is also likely that you've made your decision already, you're just uncomfortable admitting it. After all, it is a massive change. Often if you are hindered by something, it can lead to stress and in other ways contribute to crisis of personality, personal dissapointment, depression and ultimately you may end up thinking, if unhappy, that you are going through a middle life crisis, and your job is to blame.
The reasons why you're considering job change
1. You are underpaid
2. Your colleagues are not your equals
3. The job you're doing is a dead-end job, there are no growth prospects
4. The job you have is becoming obsolete
5. You are not challenged enough, the work you do does not test you
6. You cannot fulfil your ambitions there (and feel like the job is draining your life force)
7. The job no longer suits your skills (you can find something much better)
8. Your boss is a dick/bitch (and you are not paid enough to tolerate that)
9. You are not enjoying what you do
10. Work is negatively affecting your mental or physical health
11. You need a change in life and your job is the first thing you'd change
12. You dread Mondays, feel depressed on Tuesday, anticipate weekend on Wednesday etc
13. The time you spend on working and getting to work is unreasonable with little prospect of changing it for better
If you ticked most of those then you've pretty much made your decision, at least to admit that you need a change in career or a change of job. So why haven't you yet gone ahead with it?
The reasons why you have not quit yet
1. You have not yet found a position with another company
2. You are unsure if it will be easy to find a new job if you just quit
3. You feel that your colleagues depend on you
4. You feel that you've not proven yourself at your work
5. You feel that things might change for better
6. You feel that things might still work out
7. You've not worked at the current job for too long
As you've noticed most of these are to do with feelings, expectations and personal issues. Before making a final decision it is worth considering solving these issues. Expectations and feelings would be best tested in a formal discussion with manager or boss. The questions should be formed in a practical manner, so not "Am I likely to get a pay rise?" but instead "Will I get a pay rise by summer?".
If not and you can't see the company being in business in 5 years or perhaps you expect it to be overtaken by competitors or if there are whispers of merger and etc, - seek assurances. The more you know about your position the better the position is.
You should look into opportunities at other companies, perhaps best to find then through friends and even business contacts. They know you well and they may be able to find you something suitable and better. Internet offers plenty of opportunities as do recruitment companies, but when looking for a job it is best searched through means in the following order but talk with your significant others first, ask for their honest opinion.
Where to look for opportunities
1. Friend and family, networking contacts
2. Direct contact with HR of companies you're interested working for
3. Recruitment pages on websites of these companies
4. Internet recruitment sites
5. Recruitment agencies
A middle life crisis and opportunities test: Are you ready to quit?
Would you be happier if you worked at a different company doing a similar job for a similar salary?
Would you be better paid there?
Would you have more potential for growth?
Would you have to commute less to?
Would quitting at this time significantly affect your chances of getting a job elsewhere?
If you find yourself responding to this questions comfortably then go for it? If not then ask yourself what would it take for you to answer these questions comfortably?
Weighing your options
Are you prepared for a pay cut or longer working hours or perhaps a job less stable than the one you currently have? With so many things to weigh, people forget what makes them unhappy in the current job. Sometimes they go for something very similar or something that doesn't solve the issues that they had. Longer commute for a better pay or a duller job. Today there are also opportunities to work as a freelancer.
If you are able to weigh things the right way and if you are able to prioritize toward what makes you happy and what is the most likely to relief you of your middle life crisis, whether it be through more free time, better pay or just a general higher level of job satisfaction then you should by all means attempt to do so.