Make the most of a mid-career crisis

Dr John Demartini offers six steps on how to change your career halfway through your life.

Do you feel unfulfilled in your current job? Are you daydreaming about a career you’d rather be doing? Do you dread Mondays? The honest answer to these questions might very well lead you to the conclusion that you are, indeed, in the midst of a mid-career crisis and it may be time for a change.

Staying in an unfulfilling job until you retire may not be the wisest path. Retirement from an unfulfilling job itself is a man-made social projection and the value of spending your life – doing what you love and loving what you do – is priceless.

Many people believe that youth is a ‘heavenly’ time of optimism and energy before the ‘hellish’ decline into old age and death. That’s only true if you make it so, and you really do have the power to choose such a perceptual path at any time along your career.

This pernicious retirement myth has little to do with the reality of life and human potential. I know many people in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s who are still doing what they love and loving what they do and still going strong. Chronological age is certainly not the only determining factor.


Know when you are ready for change. While it sometimes takes a crisis for the most stubborn of us to make a change in our lives, a good indication that you are no longer fulfilled in your job is a lack of energy and enthusiasm on a daily basis. When the pain of desperation overrides the pain of action, you’ll move into your new career.

Interview yourself. The quality of your life is based upon the quality of the questions you ask yourself. Think about what you would truly love to do as a career and ask yourself what your most inspiring job would ultimately look like.

Expand your mind. Take the time to read, research and study this area or areas of interest. Look for mentors and people in your desired profession or skill area to speak with.

Make a plan. Once you have evaluated your options, take the time to set out a plan and give yourself permission to create your own business if that is what you wish. Some entrepreneurs began their inspiring careers in their 60s or even later.

Reinvent the role you have. As an alternative to a completely new career path, it may pay to simply make a few changes to the role you currently have and/or look within the organisation you are currently in to see where you feel you are able to serve the most and what serves you the most – at least temporarily.

Appreciate what your current job offers. While you are envisioning, planning and gradually initiating and executing your new career pathway, it is wise to link how your current job is actually helping you step into your new career and how it is offering you the necessary skills, contacts, insights, leads and opportunities along the way.

See the solution. You are never too old or too entrenched in any given profession to make a change. Focus on the experience that you’ve gained and the skills you have acquired rather than possible excuses for not moving forward.

Ask yourself these questions

What would I absolutely love to do in life? This question helps bring clearly into your conscious mind one of your heartfelt and meaningful dreams or objectives.

How do I become handsomely paid to do it? This question helps you make your vacation your vocation. Why not get financially rewarded for doing whatever you love?

What are the seven highest priority actions steps I could complete today that would enable me to do it? This question helps you organise your actions.

What obstacles might I run into and how do I solve them in advance? This question will help you act rather than react along your journey.

What worked and what didn’t work in my search for employment? This question will help you refine your actions and keep them on priority.

How do I do what I would love more effectively and efficiently?

How did whatever I experienced today – whether positive or negative – serve me? This question helps you realise that all great endeavours come with supportive and challenging consequences that act as feedback mechanisms.

Dr. John Demartini is a human behaviour specialist, educator, international best-selling author and the founder of the Demartini Institute. For more of his teachings, visit