Five Golden Rules for a Thriving Mid-Career Change


But then you wake up one day and realize…

  • You’re sick of dragging yourself out of bed…

  • There has to be more to work than what you’re doing…

  • You spend more time on politics at work and that’s getting on your nerves…

  • Or… You no longer have a job.

You could be facing a MID-CAREER CRISIS! But FEAR NOT! Here are the 5 GOLDEN RULES to help you find your JOY and design a THRIVING MID-CAREER CHANGE!



What do you say, without thinking, when someone asks you what you do?

If you’re like most executives, you’d mention your role or title, company name or industry. Fair enough. That IS what you do.

However, when you want or need to make a career shift mid-career, our identity that’s so strongly tied to those words become an impediment to what could be. So what could you say?

If you were to stop right now and ask yourself a question: Who Am I? What would you say? The many, many people I’ve asked this to usually do one of two things:

  1. Stare blankly at me, mouth open mid-word and then go “Errrr…” realising that no one has actually ever asked them that before; OR

  2. Come up with a smart statement that doesn’t REALLY answer the question, but which buys them some time.

A mid-career change is a time for you to really take stock and reflect.

Just like in a mid-life crisis, your identity is being put under the microscope for the first time in a long time. And the reactions to this could range from avoidance or distraction (the proverbial sports car/younger-model girl/boy friend/Harley Davidson) to deep introspection.

The mid-career crisis is no different. You could just go on doing what you’re doing. You could fantasize about the green grass out there but never do anything about it. You could jump headlong into the first “exciting opportunity” you see. Or you could just stop before deciding on what to do.

TAKE A BREATH. Allow yourself to PAUSE and REFLECT on what’s brought you to where you are, and REGROUP before you plunge into the next phase of your career.

It’s the people who do this that get the most JOY, SATISFACTION, and FULFILMENT.





Sometimes we are so focused on our work and life goals that we forget that life is more than our 9-5 (or 7 to midnight). So when we’re faced with a road bump in our career, our tires screech to a halt!

Now’s the perfect time for some deep soul searching and run a “face the facts” evaluation of your life, and how you want to feel and be as you move ahead.

Some questions you could ask as part of this exercise are:

  • How is my health (Physical, Emotional & Mental)?

  • How are my relationships?

  • How am I financially?

By taking stock of these aspects, you can start to build a more holistic picture of your life, so that as you move forward you are taking care of business in ALL these areas.




While doing those exercises in Golden Rules 1 & 2, it’s time to evaluate what you need to discard and what you bring into your future career. My #1 tip for clients is to look at their WHY, as inspired by Simon Sinek. The WHY requires you to know your deepest needs. The basic drivers behind everything you say, think and do.

Once you can figure this out, things become clearer and you can analyse your past with 20-20 vision, as well as make some predictions about what will support your success in the future.

Personal development titan, Tony Robbins developed a simple model that breaks down human needs into six categories:

1.    Certainty

2.    Variety

3.    Love and Connection

4.    Significance

5.    Growth

6.    Contribution

Your top two needs are what will shape your life, so knowing them can help you make better decisions and also shape your personal brand to attract new opportunities to you. And sooner than you might think!




Another critical factor is your Values, which shape how you will think, feel and act.

These seemingly obvious traits are absolutely crucial to building out your brand and vision for your career and job change. I can’t stress enough how important knowing what these are, AND tapping on them effectively, can make such a huge difference in how you view yourself, and consequently, how others view you.

Questions to ask yourself are:

  • At my core, what personal values are important to me – what do I stand for?

  • What values influence how I show up in the professional world?

  • How do I want to make an impact on society, and the professional or personal lives of others?

  • What am I good at?

  • What brings me the most joy that I could do over and over again?

To give you a “worked example”, three of my core values are Fun, Flexibility, and Freedom.

Before I got clear on this, I worked for money, variety and the challenge of seeking out and solving seemingly unsolvable problems. But this took a huge toll on my energy – it fulfilled me to some degree, but it also drained me.

By recognising my Values, I now ensure that what I do feeds me with doses of Fun, Flexibility (time, location) and Freedom (to choose who and what I work on).




After you’ve gone through the exercises above, take what you’ve rediscovered about yourself and define or refresh your ‘PERSONAL BRAND’. By putting together your Needs, Values, you’ll have a clearer view of what will give you that extra JOY in your career as you move forward.

Then, start applying it to your practical daily life, by looking at what you can do now to DESIGN your life & career from this perspective.

This could mean any of the following:

  • STAYING IN YOUR JOB, but feeling completely refreshed. Looking at and doing things with a new sense of purpose, mindset and energy!

  • CHANGING CAREERS by moving into a new industry or role.

  • Developing a PORTFOLIO CAREER.

Staying in your job is the easiest path because you’ve already done the work (if you’ve done the exercises) to find NEW OOMPH in your current job and career. You’ll also find that this mindset will propel your career much more quickly because of your new, positive energy.

Changing industry or role, moving into a start-up environment for example, or creating a portfolio career, will take a bit more work. Here, you get to design a new path for yourself based on your interests, strengths, values, AND your network.

And here’s the deal. Even introverts and ambiverts who dislike networking can do this, but you have to have laser-like focus, taking your new “Personal Brand” and making sure it gets communicated to the right people in the right context through STRATEGIC NETWORKING.

Building a Personal Brand and Strategic Networking are entire topics in themselves, so if this is something that you’re interested in, look out for articles and videos.

Even better, SIGN UP to get notified when my ONLINE COURSE – “THE MID-CAREER ROADMAP” opens OCTOBER 2019!

Well done for reading all the way through! Phew!

I’d love to know how this article has helped you.

  • What have you learnt about yourself?

  • How could you begin refreshing your brand?

  • What skills would you like to develop to kick-start your journey?

  • Who or what can support you on this path?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this! Meanwhile, stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or check back in on the Career Adventurist Blog.


To schedule a complimentary 30 minute call with me to find out more about coaching & programs, click here!