Older workers use career change to tackle mid life crisis

A new study of 2,000 UK adults over the age of 40 found that nearly forty per cent believe they have experienced some kind of mid-life crisis. However, six in 10 believe that a crisis can be a good thing, giving the opportunity to break away from scenarios that cause misery such as unhappiness with a career, and giving a chance to set new goals.

A third of respondents admitted to feeling “Sunday night dread”, where they fear what the working week ahead of them may hold. And, worryingly for managers who aim to retain staff, 22 per cent say they definitely won’t be working for the same company in 10 years.

The single most common way respondents who have had a crisis said they tackled it was a change of career, with a quarter switching employers after the age of 40.

Olivia Hill, Chief HR Officer at AAT, the organisation that commissioned the study, said:

“This study found that a huge proportion of the country has felt anxiety about the direction their life has taken and that one of the most common causes for a mid-life crisis is dissatisfaction in the workplace.”


“At AAT we often see that people who are studying with us have moved from a career they are not happy with, to make a positive change in their lives.”


“Perhaps more people should consider a change of career not just to enhance their earning potential or improve their work/life balance but to avoid the stresses and strains of a mid-life crisis. ”


The study found that the average mid-life crisis begins at the age of 43 years, one month and three weeks, and most respondents pinned the years between 31 and 40 as the best of their lives.

A third of respondents said that a lack of self-confidence has held them back from achieving their perfect life, while 15% cited not being able to find motivation.



  1. Changing jobs
  2. Noticed when politicians/policemen were younger than you
  3. Broke up with partner
  4. Had a one-night stand
  5. Started taking vitamins
  6. Went travelling
  7. Moved house
  8. Started flirting with people 20 years younger
  9. Divorced spouse
  10. Stopped celebrating my birthday
  11. Revisited holiday destinations from when you were younger
  12. Looked up an old partner on Facebook
  13. Joined Facebook
  14. Looked up ex-girlfriends/boyfriends on Facebook
  15. Took up a new hobby
  16. Joined a gym
  17. Bought a sports car
  18. Got a partner who was younger than the previous one
  19. Started wearing clothes you thought made you look younger
  20. Got a tattoo



Author: Editor

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