Last Updated on:

June 8, 2021

How to Overcome Midlife Crises: Career Change at 40

A midlife crisis is the sense of personal dissatisfaction you feel as you approach age 40. It’s a time when you’re likely to reassess your life — your relationships, your career, your financial situation and everything else that’s going on in your life.

You may even feel momentarily depressed as you contemplate where you are in life compared to where you think you should be.

As we reach the middle years of our lives, many of us experience a crisis of identity typically 45 to 65 years old— and this often coincides with the breakdown of relationships and careers.

what is mid career crisis?

Mid-career crisis is an identity crisis that many people face in their thirties or forties.

This can happen when life challenges, such as a health scare, job loss, or death of a loved one, distract you from your goals. It can also occur if you don't have the support to pursue your goals.

Great example from Everyday, Show that Georgia who works in the hair and beauty industry, but having seen her peers go further in their education has caused her to question her career path.

Original source from Everyday

" My quarter-life crisis was probably triggered by the majority of my school friends graduating university this year.

I have felt lost in my career path. On one hand I love my job, and couldn't think of a world where I wasn't doing it, but on the other hand I have always thought about being a nurse or midwife."

- Georgia Seymour-Smith

Simply put, it's a period of discontent that happens when people feel a disillusionment with their life and career. 

The reasons for the crisis can vary — overwork, lack of recognition, or even boredom — but it often leads to people looking for something new to bring more meaning to their lives.

Career change at 40

Is it too late to switch careers?  For some people, yes.  But for many others, it's the perfect time to change things up — especially if you've been in a high-powered corporate job for many years.

According to data from the Indeed, Nearly half, 49%, of people said they’ve made a dramatic career shift, like from marketing to engineering, or from teaching to finance. 

Baby boomer held an average of 12.3 jobs from ages 18 to 52, but the average person who switches careers is 39 years old, the report found.

This could indicate that workers begin to feel stagnant in their field by the time they reach a mid-career point.

Data from Payscale found pay growth for the average woman peaks at age 40; meanwhile, men’s salaries continue to grow until age 49.

things to do after quitting job

Moving on from your career can be a time of significant transition, of joy, and of sadness.

Regardless of whether you are planning to stay in the workforce or are planning to retire, leaving your job is a big deal.

As you move through this change, you should do so with a rock-solid financial plan in place to help ensure that you remain financially secure.

In many cases, you’re now at the age where you realize you need to start thinking about your long-term future — retirement. So now you’re faced with a crisis:

  • Do you keep working past age 65?
  • Do you retire and try to make it on your own?
  • Or do you take a career change?
  • Leaving a corporate job to start a business?

how to quit your job and survive

During your 20s and 30s, you have many responsibilities, which often carry you through the angst of midlife, but they also keep you from focusing on yourself.  

No matter what you have or don’t have, it’s still a period of change and transition.

You’re at the beginning of figuring out who you really are, what you want from life and what sort of life you want to lead

You also may feel stuck in many ways, like a midlife limbo. You have the power to change many things, here are best steps to take when change career at 40

Best steps to change career at 40

1. Find your new path

To begin with, knowing your interests and skills is the foundation on which a successful career change is built.

With this in mind, you'll want to consider your strengths as well as any personality traits that make you happier, more productive and better equipped to achieve your professional and personal goals. 

Take some time to reflect on these areas:

1. Motivation

Are you motivated by money or other benefits? 

2. Growth

Do you have a desire to grow personally and professionally? 

3. Job Skill

what your interests and skills are? 

Focus on your strengths and interests by being aware of what you enjoy about your current job. 

Once you know what you enjoy and don’t enjoy about your job, you can look for positions that match these criteria.

2. have the courage to quit job

You may fear that the risk of embarking on a new path will be a disaster. There’s no doubt that if the new path proves less satisfying than the old one, you could feel even more disgruntled.

However, there are several studies that suggest that people who take risks – even small ones – are far more satisfied with life than those who don’t.

If a midlife career change is the right path for you, take that leap of faith.

Instead, we need to identify a goal and have a plan to get there. Make your goal specific, and try to stick to it. 

3. Save enough to quit job

Once you identify the career you want to pursue and how you plan to support yourself, now is the time to start looking at your finances.

Do a financial audit and compare your current situation with the new lifestyle you want.

First, list your assets.

  • Do you own a home? 
  • Do you have an investment portfolio?
  • How much of that is allocated to retirement savings?
  • Do you have a retirement plan?
  • How much do you need to invest to get there?
  • Is your home paid off?
  • What about your investments? 

These are all issues to address if you are looking for a midlife career change.

Next, start addressing the big-ticket items like the house you live in. With home values in many urban areas today, the idea of retiring in your home may not be realistic.

4. Find your new skills

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that the Career Change at 40 isn’t just about finding a new job.

You also need to find ways to use your existing skills in a way that makes you more marketable to employers.

That’s why it’s important to spend some time outside your office getting involved in other activities and being introduced to new experiences.

Start by networking to find people who can help you advance your skills.

Pick up some new skills, use this as a time to learn new skills.

5. Leaving a corporate job to start a business

Starting a business is dangerous, but it's never as risky as staying in the wrong job.

If your current situation isn't making you happy — and isn't helping you reach your career goals — then it's time to go out on your own.

If you start working for yourself, you will still have the usual pains of setting up shop: balancing expenses and revenue, deciding on pricing, and marketing to the right audience.


Although a midlife career change may be scary, it doesn’t have to be disastrous.

In fact, the perfect place to start on your midlife career journey is to identify what skills you want to improve upon.

You may discover that you’ve always wanted to teach and are now finally ready to make it happen.

Whether you’re interested in starting your own business or working on an existing project, it’s time to invest in yourself. Don’t spend your life working for others, your family, or your community.

Work on finding a fulfilling career that you’re passionate about, and don’t let the minor details hold you back. You can do it! We’re here to help!

There are indeed several steps you can take to overcome your midlife crisis and overcome all the doubts, fears and anxieties that come with it. By following the above guidelines, you will be able to get back on track and start living the life you know you were meant to live.

About the author 

Income Junctions

Business Idea & Investing for Solopreneur Income Junctions helps you to find ways to make money online, get inspiration and advice to starting a business on your own, and investing tips for solopreneur.

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