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career coaching: make perfect midlife transition decisions

 Career Freedom Coaching


"Midlife crisis? Don't hit the panic button."

















 

 

The Three Big Panic Buttons

When you're midlife and mid-career, your crisis may come from outside events, such as layoffs or illness. Other times you've outgrown your life and want to move on.

Either way, you have no idea what to do next and, most likely, no mentor for the journey. Nearly every midlife client, caught in a crisis following many years of success, hits one of these three panic buttons.

Button 1: Looking for a replacement for what you lost -- immediately. Just moved to a new city? Grab some friends. Lost a job? Find another! I've met several people who signed up for a service that promised to send out a thousand resumes. They're a little embarrassed -- after all, they are successful achievers, often prominent in their own fields.

Button 2: Looking for immediate answers to the question, "What should I do?" Several clients tell me they've spent hundreds of dollars on tests and assessments. At midlife, the tests invariably demonstrate that you're very, very good at what you are doing. Many assessments lack scientific validity -- they're not much more than a quiz you'd take in a magazine.

Button 3: Choosing the first coach or counselor you come across. If you feel like you've been traveling alone in the wilderness, a sympathetic ear can be very powerful. And when you're hesitating to take even a small step, a booming voice of encouragement -- "Of course you can do it! You'll be great!" -- can be a siren call. In her book, Finding Your Own North Star, Martha Beck warns us to guard against cheery promises of fast answers. The best counselors often come across as cool and distant, she says.

Hitting the panic button can cost more than the fees you pay in fees. My client Griselda reported a backlash from her thousand-points-of-paper campaign: "People thought I was desperate. One company thought someone had sent my resume as a joke -- I was too prominent in my field."

Reginald regretted not only the money spent for assessments, but also the feedback he received. "They told me I would make a good engineer, which I am," he said. "But they also suggested I pick an outdoor career. I'm not ready to be a forest ranger!"

Clarissa had been fantasizing about quitting her job to start a freelance publicity career. When her coach urged, "Go for it! You can always return to the corporate world," she jumped. Six months later, she was broke and far removed from her old world. She couldn't afford to hire a coach to get her out of this disaster. "Next time someone urges me to take a financial risk," she said, "they'd better promise to pay my mortgage if they're wrong."

Bottom Line: Don't beat yourself up if you hit the panic button. We've all been there. Take time to investigate your options. What seems to be a straight-line highway can turn into a bumpy back road that damages your vehicle and leads you on a hundred-mile detour.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*
http://www.movinglady.com
cathy@movinglady.com 505-534-4294

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Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*
http://www.movinglady.com
cathy@movinglady.com 505-534-4294

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