Mid-Career Blas? Manage Your Talents Like Assets

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The best way for finance pros to manage their mid-life career problems is to view their talents as valuable assets that throw off income each year, reasons career coach Alan Kearns. Like other assets, he says, your talents can be managed in a way that produces more with time.

On its company blog, Kearn's Toronto-based firm CareerJoy cites statistics from Age Wave and the Concours Group showing that folks aged 35 to 54 work longer hours than their older and younger counterparts, with 30 percent saying they put in 50 or more hours per week.

Yet only 43 percent were passionate about their jobs, 36 percent felt that they were in dead-end jobs, and more than 40 percent reported feelings of burnout.

The dilemma is amplified in finance, where professionals tend to work harder and hit mid-career earlier with hopes of retiring sooner, observes CareerJoy's founder.

Clearly, he says, many mid-career finance professionals - aged 35 to 45 - are apt to be feeling burned out and in a quandary about what their next move should be. The good news: If you too are suffering such mid-career malaise, you can use the crisis to your advantage. Recently, Kearns helped a confused risk officer discover what his next step should be by suggesting the executive begin to view his talents as assets that can be managed a way that generated a bigger bang for the buck.

"Professionals earning $100,000 a year, lets say, should ask themselves what amount of money would throw off $100,000 at a 5 percent annual return," says Kearns. They'll come to realize the asset class that is "them" is worth $2 million.

In order to manage that asset, you need to take stock. Make sure you're building an individual brand - independent of whatever company you're working for - by doing more of your own blogging, speaking, and writing. Joining professional and community organizations is another way to build the value of your career asset, says Kearns.

Finally, make a list of the following:

- What are your core skill sets?

- What has worked for you in the past? What hasn't?

- What are your options?

- How do you see yourself moving on from here?

"Viewing at one's inventory of career skills and accomplishments as an asset requiring management is a very powerful way to help people understand their value very tangibly, as Kearns says. "When you talk to finance clients like that they suddenly it clicks with them," he says.

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