Five signs an employee could be stuck in a mid-career crisis – they seem uninspired and disengaged, are suspiciously always ‘down with a cold’, mooch around the office till lunch, snob new starters and come to think of it, all work activities. Sound familiar?
The mid-career malaise typically occurs between 10 and 25 years in the same. Economists have found those in mid-life suffer a parallel dip in mid-career. But it can hit anyone who objectively has the most fulfilling jobs. And when it does, it inflicts pain on the individual suffering it and causes productivity losses for employers.
The person may not have climbed the career ladder as quickly as they wished. Or they did, only to find that prestige and high income wasn’t as satisfying as they expected it to be. Maybe they’ve lost interest in their career and are yearning for something more fulfilling. Or maybe they’re simply asking “is this as good as it gets?”.
So how can those who are stuck in the grips of a mid-career crisis shake themselves loose?
Here at Mentorloop, our findings have shown mentoring can turn this around.
Many companies struggle to develop plans for the swath of employees who are in the middle of their career, but may not see many opportunities left at their existing company. Feeling overlooked or forgotten can be the nail in the coffin for someone who feels they’ve given their best to the company, and now is disengaged and grappling with a deep desire to change roles, or even career.
Converting disengaged employees through mentoring can be the most effective strategy that any organisation can implement to increase engagement, retention and personal growth.
Whether formed as a traditional mentoring pair (junior with senior executive), peer-to-peer or through less formal, organic connections, effective mentoring boosts retention rates for mentors (69%) and mentees (72%).
And for employees, mentoring can offer what a person needs most to thrive in the years ahead, a new challenge, a new purpose and a fresh perspective.
The catalyst for a new career
Whether they want to change careers or they are dissatisfied with their job, a mentoring partnership that openly addresses mid-career discontent could help mentees understand how to navigate their organisation, and explore new opportunities from within. A lateral career change can bring fresh purpose and a new challenge to employees.
Copenhagen’s Happiness Research Institute surveyed 2,600 Danish workers, from every sector and type of job, about the sources of professional contentment. The winner, by a sizable margin, was a sense of purpose, which contributed twice as much to an individual’s job satisfaction.
A new perspective
Not surprisingly, many people stuck in a mid-career rut fantasise about making the leap to a new field in another organisation, going back to study, or even starting their own business.
Mentoring can bring a new perspective to those who might be feeling stagnant. A structured program, which leverages the wisdom and experience of mid-level managers, while ensuring they too benefit from mentors of their own, can breathe life back into a person’s role within the organisation. This kind of mentoring program effectively reap the personal rewards of paying forward skills and expertise whilst enabling mentees to feel empowered.
Whatever lens you apply to mentoring, facilitating life-changing connections across your organisation only serve to strengthen its culture, place value on professional and personal wellbeing and importantly retain those valuable employees who may otherwise desert you to find greener pastures.
If you would like to start a culture of mentoring in your organisation, why not have a chat with one of our friendly mentoring specialists, today: