With time, one comes to appreciate that life is like the weather and no matter how much experience we have we will encounter unpredictable and unforeseen events. We’ve probably all been caught heading out on a clear sky, with weather forecast assurances that it’ll stay that way, only to be hit by a rainstorm but without an umbrella.
Time too is an interesting phenomenon. It can often take years into our adult life before we realize that it is a fixed commodity – we only have so much of it until it runs out – and sometimes this too, like the weather, without due warning. In our younger years we think we are immortal and invincible, but over time and experiences there comes a realization that we aren’t. This typically starts to hit home during life’s pivotal period referred to as midlife.
Midlife: a pivoting period of time
Midlife used to start at age 35 but thanks to medical advances and our extended life expectancy, the starting point is now closer to 40 and beyond. Whatever age it starts, it can be a pivoting period of time when we experience changes, both internal and external. Our body doesn’t move like it used to. The kids are more independent, maybe moving out, leaving us with more time to ourselves for the first time in a long time. It may be a time when we witness our parents losing autonomy and needing more support.
The Modern Elder Academy (MEA), a school dedicated to helping people navigate midlife and beyond, lists out the following 6 Ps of midlife transitions:
- Personal Transitions: moving, empty nesting, divorce, sense of pace
- Physical Transitions: changing hormones, diet, sensuality, physical or cognitive health
- Psychological Transitions: feeling anxious or depressed, inflexible, lonely, angry
- Pandemic/Passing Transitions: fear of death, facing mortality, uncertainty, loss
- Professional Transitions: retired, changed career, job loss, starting a new business
- Purpose Transitions: finding legacy, spiritual connection, new direction
This list, while it may seem overwhelming, raises an appreciation on ‘storms’ that may be circling directly overhead, or which may soon be up ahead! Either way, these life events can be opportunities for deliberation and reflection, and a deeper awareness that life is not finite.
Midlife can be a passage of time to assess making lifestyle adjustments, to let go of what is no longer serving us. It can bridge us to transform the way we think and act in the second half of life.
How Can La Passerelle Help You?
At La Passerelle, although our job search assistance program is primarily built to support our participants through professional transitions, we know there may be other midlife changes occurring simultaneously. During the process of going through the portal of transition through to transformation, there is a period of uncertainty, a period of not knowing. This is where La Passerelle’s program excels.
Our Montréal employment help centre includes workshops on growing self-awareness, identifying values and personality traits along with personalized career coaching, and creating best-in-class job search materials. It aims to meet the mature workers where they are to help them find their way and to lead them to where they want to go.
If you’re going through a professional midlife transition, reach out – let’s have a discussion to see how we might help you weather your second half of life by growing and cultivating your best self and finding your new job/career/vocation.