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My mid-career crisis.


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https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamceney/

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Adam, and I have spent much of my career in the public sector, specialising in healthcare and analytics. Throughout my professional journey, I have had the opportunity to work in diverse environments, ranging from the public sector itself to startups and large corporations, where I supplied consulting services.

At first glance, my career may appear successful on paper, and in many ways, it has been.

However, there is a deeper story to be told. You see, while I followed the conventional wisdom of career progression and seized new roles and opportunities, I felt trapped and disheartened when I reached the midpoint of my career. Despite doing everything “right” according to societal norms, I realised that I had been doing it all wrong for myself.

I found myself stuck, lost, and burnt out, with a pervasive feeling that I had no real options for changing my situation. It took me a long time to acknowledge I had a problem, but through counselling, coaching, and mentoring I began to make sense of my own situation and realised I really wasn’t alone

My Mid-Career Crisis:

Experiencing a period of professional uncertainty or dissatisfaction in the middle of your career is not uncommon. According to a LinkedIn survey, 75% of professionals have encountered a mid-career crisis. It is during this phase of life that we often face personal changes such as starting a family, getting married, or dealing with significant losses. For some, it may be a fleeting experience, but for others like me, it became an all-consuming challenge where shifting priorities led to a conflict within, questioning how I had reached this point. I had been working for years, achieved a level of success, and established routines and ways of working. I was fortunate, and I should have been grateful, and yet…

I was constantly plagued by questions:

  • Was I in the right career?
  • Did I have a healthy work-life balance?
  • Was I making a meaningful impact?
  • Did my work truly fulfil me?

Rather than acting, I bottled up these conflicting thoughts, allowing them to fester within me. Anxiety began to overshadow my thoughts, focusing on past experiences or worrying about events that hadn’t even occurred. What I thought soon became what I saw and what I spoke, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unfortunately, because I kept it all to myself, problems accumulated, and I spiralled into a cycle of cynicism and self-criticism. I lacked energy, struggled to concentrate, and undoubtedly became difficult to be around.

I lost the trust of those I worked with, lost faith in myself, and at that time, I lost a sense of who I was and what I was doing. To many, this might appear as failure (and indeed, it felt that way for me at the time).

What I Did:

The most crucial lesson I learned is that no matter what, you must be open and honest with yourself about what is happening in your life. While it is normal to experience highs and lows, there comes a point where constant negativity requires external support.

Listen to those nagging feeling, don’t ignore them, understand their origins, and avoid making career decisions solely based on societal expectations.

Our thoughts can deceive us, dwelling on worst-case scenarios and causing unnecessary anxiety so it is essential to develop self-awareness and recognise how our thoughts shape our feelings, so we can regain control over whether we choose to accept them.

With support I was able to get clarity on who I am, what I valued, what I believed and am trying each day to align myself to that. Does it always work…no. But I’ve created the daily habits and connections that I need to be who I really am.

I’ve been able to craft my work activities, relationships and how I think about our work. I can address the small problems before they become too big. I can be more open about what is and isn’t working.

The impact of these experiences led me to also become an accredited career coach to help others in the mid-points of their careers who feel lost in where they are and what they do to help them remove the mind static and find their unique value so that they can find the freedom to have a career compatible with the life they have or want on their terms.

So, if you feel like you are experiencing a mid-career crisis here are a few reflections to get you started:

  • Where you are with your career and what is important to you? Consider your mindset and beliefs about your career and what you want it to look and feel like in the future.
  • What are your values and strengths? This will help you to sense check your direction and assess opportunities that might come up for you.
  • Identify the skills and experiences you’ve amassed over the years that can be leveraged.


At the mid-point of your career the thing I want you to recognise is how uniquely positioned you are to make a significant impact by bringing your experience to all sorts of opportunities.

You don’t have to stick with the status quo, you don’t have to hold yourself back.

You really can look at making changes to what you are doing now or look at how you can explore new careers that are a better fit for you to unleash your full potential.

You just have to acknowledge it, find support where you need it and take the actions to make it happen for you.

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UNVAELD Professional Help

We do not provide professional help to individuals in urgent crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 999 immediately. For support with suicidal thoughts, consider contacting the Samaritans UK, a trusted organisation specialising in confidential assistance during emotional distress. Your safety is paramount and there are professionals available to provide the urgent help required in such critical situations.
We do not provide professional help to individuals in urgent crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 999 immediately. For support with suicidal thoughts, consider contacting the Samaritans UK, a trusted organisation specialising in confidential assistance during emotional distress. Your safety is paramount and there are professionals available to provide the urgent help required in such critical situations.