Mid-Career Crisis by Partha Sarathi Basu
Mid-Career Crisis – a real or perceived condition that most professionals face in their career sooner or later. Author Partha Sarathi Basu says some professionals sail through mid-career crisis while others don’t. I would say some sail through and remain on the path they were on, while others end up discovering new paths for themselves. Also, I am myself a case of a mid-career crisis that led to a change in profession. A change allowing me to explore areas that I never thought would be my careers. I was keen to know how a seasoned professional would handle a subject like the mid-career crisis when I picked up this book.
What I liked a lot about the book is its storytelling format. For every nugget that the author has for people facing the mid-career crisis, he tells a story. A fictional account of how to identify and handle the crisis. If you have worked in the corporate world, you would find a lot of resonance with these stories. You would probably be able to put names and faces to each of those characters going through the mid-career crisis. You would be able to see their bosses, their subordinates, and their families. All dealing with this stage of their career. Author has avoided a whole lot of preaching by choosing this format to convey his message to his intended audience.
He has defined the stages of mid-career crisis and then gone on to bust a lot of myths. And highlight typical behaviors associated with this stage. Now, where I got confused was among these various sub-heads of myths. They were just too many – each with a story. I think the author and probably the editor could have done a job of making these sections crisp and to the point.
While I would still like to read each and every story mentioned in the book, I think I would have wanted more precise messages that I could have taken back. Or something that mind could retain easily. Everything kind of overlaps and to me, the key message is that after a few years in corporate world people tend to become complacent. They are not willing to look at the changes in the environment or accept the fact that they need to constantly change.
Author has also completely missed any reference to mid-life crisis of which mid-career crisis is a part. There are people who hit the mid-life crisis and ask themselves life-changing questions. Sometimes they decide to continue on the path they are on. Sometimes they change tracks based on the answers they get for themselves. Is there one way everyone needs to go? Another assumption author made is that anyone who has entered the corporate world would like to continue till they retire. The last section has 10 industry leaders talking about their story. And can be skipped as they talk general “gyan” and nothing really related to the mid-career crisis.
Read it if you think you are going through Mid-Career Crisis and some knowledge sharing might help you out.