In the middle age (approx. from the age of 40 to early 50), there is often a phase of change. As many studies show, happiness is the lowest at this age. Such a phenomenon is called the “U-curve” of happiness, which describes that happiness decreases steadily from a young age and increases again after the age of 50.

But what are the reasons for this? Middle age is often a particularly stressful and challenging period. On the one hand, one has achieved a lot in life and is at the peak of the professional career that entails increasing demands.

On the other hand, the risk of dismissal is the greatest among the 40- to 50-year-olds as the latest labor market barometer by Rundstedt & Partner shows (Zürichsee-Zeitung from 09.01.2020, information from 1524 employees who have been dismissed in 192 companies). Furthermore, according to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the rate of health-related absences (illness and accident) in Switzerland rose from 2.8% to 3.1% in the period from 2010 to 2018, which indicates additional stress.

Yet, what is this additional stress? On the one hand, the children are often in a demanding age. On the other hand, there may exist challenges in the partnership and the parents might also require more care, which can lead to tension and overload.

If one particular or several areas of life start to falter, this often shows up as increased stress, which can lead to psychological stress, burnout or depression. A Personal and Career Assessment according to the following four steps can help to become aware of the challenges and promptly define a vision, as well as its associated goals for the transformation process:

Four Steps of a Personal and Career Assessment

  1.  Analyzing the personal and professional situation
    What is my current personal and professional situation; What are the challenges?
  2. Exploring one’s own values, strengths, and passion
    This helps to strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as to become aware of one’s own values, strengths, and passion.
  3. Defining vision and goals for the next phase of life
    Actively thinking about the next stages of life and taking into consideration changing circumstances.
  4. Determining professional options (employment, self-employment, business partnership, board mandates)
    Due to the mentioned risks, it is valuable to reflect upon whether one is satisfied with the current job and this still holds for the next phase of life. Together with a competent coach, it is possible to determine solutions on how to successfully continue working in the current job and how to develop oneself in time for new demands at work. A possibility can also be to follow new ways, either with the current employer or externally.

A Personal and Career Assessment fosters happiness and success in middle age due to the following positive consequences:

Getting active before changes come from outside
A proactive approach helps to develop oneself and one’s own goals before changes come from outside. Taking one’s own life in hand increases resilience and satisfaction.

Reflecting with a qualified coach
A Personal and Career Assessment accompanied by a qualified coach can support reflections, in which one’s behavioral pattern is questioned based on a solution-focused questioning approach. This does not only foster one’s well-being and resilience but also positively impacts interactions with other people in a business and private context.

Sending a positive signal
Besides, one sets a positive sign with a Personal and Career Assessment. This also shows the environment, be it the employer or partner, that one consciously reflects upon oneself and one’s personal development as well as actively engages with the next stage of life. This promptness can open doors and improve the partnership.

In summary, the four efficient steps of a Personal and Career Assessment, accompanied by a qualified coach, support people in becoming happy and successful during their middle age. One does not only make proactive decisions about one’s own life before changes come from outside, but also reflects upon one’s satisfaction and performance. Finally, one sets a sign that may bring positive consequences, such as new business opportunities and a strengthened partnership.

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