What Is Considered “Mid-Career”?
Navigating any professional career can be a hard and lengthy process. During this journey, it is important to recognize and understand where you currently reside on your professional pathway. Knowing what stage of your career you’re in can help you assess where to go next. Mid-career is typically about 5-15 years in for most professionals.
Reasons for Varying Lengths of Mid-Career
Individuals undertake a range of responsibilities over the course of their career, and the amount of time it takes to reach mid-career can differ for many reasons.
- People may take extended sabbaticals or take a break from their current position.
- The company the individual is working for may have slower promotion models in the early years of professional development.
- Others may have multiple career paths and might switch over outside of their original industry.
All of these occurrences can alter the length of time between early and mid-career stages.
What Should Someone Aim to Achieve Before Reaching Mid-Career?
Ideally, before achieving a mid-career stage, individuals should have a few key accomplishments under their belt:
- Developing and honing hard skills applicable to the industry they’re in.
- Learning and mastering the necessary soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace, such as communication, collaboration, problem-solving, etc.
- Unlocking a promotion or two and taking on more responsibility.
- Writing up a strong resume, with emphasis on projects and accomplishments.
Having a deeper sense of the culture of the workplace and appreciating what motivates people can prove to be invaluable. This understanding can be best acquired during the early to mid-career stages of a professional journey.
Being Self-Aware During Mid-Career
Entering your mid-career period is no small success. You have likely been able to tailor and enhance your skills and abilities, while being able to adapt to new environments and responsibilities. However, now is the time to be self-aware and evaluate not only your accomplishments but also long-term goals.
Analyzing and understanding what it will take to reach senior management is key. During this period, it is important to constantly aim for new achievements and glance ahead at the future. Mid-career marks the transition from intermediate to senior level, so now is the time to plan for the next step.
Overall, mid-career is fully dependent on the individual’s drive, ambition and direction in their chosen career. While the definition of mid-career can differ from person to person, many professionals can consider themselves to be in their mid-career after 5-15 years in their respective industry. With the right attitude mid-career can be the perfect opportunity to assess where to go next in the remainder of one’s professional journey.