Friday, June 08, 2007

Midlife Crisis, 21st Century Style

My friends and I have been working for 20-odd years now, and midlife crisis is starting to take hold of us.

I don't mean Porsches and trophy wives; instead our midlife crises involve trying to find meaning in our work. None of us is rich, but we can handle next month's mortgage or rent payment without undue stress. We're trying to find a better balance between work and family time. Each of us has accomplished a great deal, but none of us will be CEO of IBM--the goal we might have had coming out of college. If we have to work for twenty more years, it better be something we care about. Here's a sample:

  • Tom has been with three different companies that have been sold or restructured, and is looking for something where he has some control of the direction of the company.
  • Michael has left high-tech to become president of a small company that installs advanced wiring systems in new homes.
  • Ross has left management consulting to become a teacher in New York City (go, Ross!).
  • Dan is contemplating leaving the defense contractor he works for to be one of the initial team at a high-tech startup.
  • And I've become a lone wolf, doing independent consulting and researching areas I've had a long-term passion for. And some fun things, like this blog.
So, if you see me driving around town in the car pictured above, that's my answer to the Porsche. Our generation's midlife-crisis car is an 11-year-old Isuzu. What does that say?