© Carole Kanchier, PhD
Where Are You in the Career and Life Cycles?
Do you feel restless? Are you wondering what to do with the rest of your life?
My research on occupational change, described in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, suggest growing adults experience cycles of discontent every five to ten years with the average cycle occurring every 7.5 years. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
Although we all have our own rhythms of change, we generally proceed through alternating developmental and transition periods. Transitions, which generally begin during late adolescence and occur every decade following are times for questioning who we are and where we want to go. During developmental periods we make commitments to and work toward desired goals.
Simultaneously, we experience the career cycle of entry, mastery, and disengagement. During entry, we enthusiastically learn new tasks. In mastery, we’re confident and productive. If our work is no longer challenging, we lose enthusiasm, productivity, and confidence. This disengagement stage of the occupational cycle tends to parallel life cycle transitions.
Individuals, who feel they’re no longer deriving desired rewards, may change jobs. Al, 40, was bored with his systems analyst job. Few job perks, parenthood, and the death of his mother, precipitated reevaluation of goals. Al decided to pursue his passion, farming.
Some adults stay with the same job, but create new challenges. Eva, a retail manager, always finds new ways of improving productivity.
Traumatic experiences such as illness tend to precipitate reevaluation. When Mark, a fast track executive, was 30, a series of jolts including political hassles and serious illness forced him to reassess goals. He decided to establish his business.
With an average life expectancy of about 83-85 and growing older, it’s possible to change positions or create new challenges at 40, 70, or older, and still have years of happiness. Recently widowed, Elva started her first full-time bookkeeping position, at 88.
Are you experiencing a transition?
Answer yes or no. I: 1) don’t have a sense of purpose; 2) am often bored; 3) don’t feel productive; 4) don’t have an relationship; 5) often think of quitting; 6) have few growth opportunities at work; 7) can’t attain desired goals with current employer; 8) am not in good physical shape; 9) don’t have a healthy lifestyle; 10) have a birthday within two or three years of 0.
Six or more yes responses suggest you may in a disengagement stage of your career cycle, and a life cycle transition stage.
Take advantage of growth opportunities your transition provides. Reassess goals and make needed modifications or take time out. You’ll emerge a more mature, satisfied, integrated adult.
Having realistic expectations about impending crises and transitions can help you ease the stress and pain of their arrival. The following provides an overview of the career and life stages and the major challenges growing people experience throughout life.
Career and Life Stages
The Beginning Career
Late adolescence, which usually occurs from ages 18 to 24 or older, is a critical period. Many decisions we make about career and life goals will affect our growth potential during adulthood. Trying on different roles, adolescents struggle to assess appropriate.
The Beginning Career Advances during the Age-20 Developmental Period, when a person’s first full-time job is assumed. Needs for expansion, career mastery and self-motivation prevail. Little self-evaluation occurs. Lifelong patterns may be established.
The Developing Career
The Age-30 Transition (approximately ages 28–33) marks the beginning of the developing career. Values, priorities, and goals shift; a more balanced life is valued. Short- and long-range goals are pursued. Productivity, fulfillment, excitement and creativity are enjoyed. Occupational and/or job changes may occur.
The Maturing Career
Age-40 Transition (approximately ages 37–45) marks the beginning of the Age-40 Developmental Period. Need for job satisfaction heightens. Creative leadership peaks, and interest in guiding the young blossoms.
The Strengthening Career
The Age-50 Transition (approximately ages 48–53 is the beginning fp this stage),During the Age–50 Developmental Period needs for job satisfaction and a balanced life deepen. Innovative leadership and mentoring activities continue.
The Continuing Career
After The Age-60 Transition (approximately ages 58-63), The Continuing Career flourishes (Age 60 Developmental Period) Career options (including retirement) are explored and evaluated. Continuing opportunities for purpose, meaning, direction, and growth are identified and pursued. Another occupational cycle is completed.
The Flourishing Career
Age-70 Transition (approximately ages 68–73) marks the beginning of the Age-70 Developmental Period.
Decisions to continue paid employment, engage in volunteer activities, or pursue a more leisurely lifestyle are contemplated.
Choices are made and plans implemented to pursue activities that offer opportunities for continuing purpose, meaning, and growth.
The Enriching Career
Age-80 Transition proceeds the Age-80 Developmental Period. Numerous inspiring stories of Questers in their 80’s continue to learn and grow cognitively, emotionally and physically. They advance their life careers by making contributions to humankind. Barbara McLintock won the Nobel Prize at 81, continuing her research until her death at 90. Decisions to continue paid employment, engage in volunteer activities, or pursue a more leisurely lifestyle are contemplated. Choices are made and plans implemented to pursue activities that offer opportunities for continuing purpose, meaning, and growth.
The Enduring Career
Many outstanding people did not reach their prime until long after their 80s. Age-90 Developmental Period marks the initiation of the Age-90 Transition. After retiring retired from his university teaching position, Peter continues to focus on additional research, writing and serving as a Rotarian.
Questers who have weathered the Age-90 and earlier transitions are adaptive, authentic, whole and possess most other Quester traits. Their wealth of experience, knowledge and practical skills can teach younger generations a great deal about life if they take the time to watch, listen, ask, and respect. Dr Helen Flanders Dunbar, psychoanalyst, and pioneer in psychosomatic medicine at Columbia University called people in their 90’s “nimble nonagenarians” They have a strong survival instinct and terrific sense of humor
During The Age-100 Transition and the Age- 100 Developmental Period the Centenarians flourish. Quester centenarians, who are in the developmental period of their actualizing career, continue to be involved and productive. They are creative, authentic, healthy and wise. They are in control of their life careers.
The Centenarians continue to bloom during the Age-100 Transition and The Age-100 Developmental Period. Decisions to continue paid employment, engage in volunteer activities, or pursue a more leisurely lifestyle are contemplated. Choices are made and plans implemented to pursue activities that offer opportunities for continuing purpose, meaning, and growth.
Constance Isherwood, British Columbia’s oldest practicing lawyer just celebrated her 100th birthday. “Keep working, you’ve got to keep at it… and keep smiling. You’ve got to have a positive attitude. Don’t let things get you down. Dr. Euphgraim P. Englemn, University of California San Francisco’s longest tenured professor was going strong at 103. Jean Calment, the French actress, according to Guinness World Records she is oldest person who has lived. She survived two world wars, took fencing at age 85 was riding her bike at100. She died at 122.
Would you like to make any changes in your attitudes and lifestyle to increase the chances you will live a long, healthy, productive life? Is there something you have always felt drawn to but have not yet pursued? Remember contemporary career development is a continuing quest to improve the fit between your evolving personality and developing career. Only you can establish your own rhythm of change. It is not too late!
Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life provides information and guidelines that show how to realize your desired life. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
Check audible edition: htps://www.audible.com/pd/Questers-Dare-to-Change-Your-Job-and-Life-Audiobook/B07VZNKGJF?asin=B07VZNKGJF&ipRedirectOverride=true&overrideBaseCountry=true&pf_rd_p=34883c04-32e5-4474-a65d-0ba68f4635d3&pf_rd_r=TN801GRP49AWQSSYMDYC1
Check your Quester traits: http://www.questersdaretochange.com/services-2/quester-quiz/
Please review sample book chapters: http://www.questersdaretochange.com/book/excerpts, and Carole’s blogs: http://www.questersdaretochange.com/blog
I would be delighted to send a pdf version for review, and be available for a consultation. Sample interview questions are available.
Many thanks for sharing ways by which friends may change their lives for the better.
Carole Kanchier, PhD
Author Bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist, coach and author of award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, University of Alberta, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; www.questersdaretochange.com