Life is full of transitions; through education – starting infant school, moving up to junior and then senior school, starting and leaving university.

We then have life transitions – getting married, birth of our first child, the ‘mid life crisis’ perhaps, and transitions as we hit a ‘big birthday’ which often encourages us to reflect. These are often considered to be turning points.

At a transition, or turning point we are faced with choices, to try and stay where we are, to cling on to a life that was, or to embrace this and see it as an important life stage and rethink our direction. It’s a time to stop, think about what we want to keep and what we can now move on from. We can take time to think about where to go next. Things around doing and things around being.

The Vision Quest I did was a wonderful four days out of my normal life and time to think and reflect.  I’d love to support you to do something similar, and I’m training to be a Vision Quest guide and to offer Rites of Passage Facilitation. This will be to use the natural environment to support people through a transition.

We can also  use more conventional methods, such as the Highlands Ability Battery.  A review of your natural abilities can help you understand more about this life stage and use the results to help you to make small adjustments to your current job or to make a more significant change.

Let’s look at key transition times

School to University or First Job

This is the first time when the Highlands Ability Battery can help. Working out what to study or what to choose as a first job.

First Job

For those who have gone on to further study, this transition is to make a first career choice. It can also include whether to stay living at home or to become more independent. This is not to make a choice for the rest of your life, but for now. If you aren’t sure of a career direction the Highlands assessment will give you ideas to match your ability pattern.

Age 30 Transition

This can be around the age of 28-33 when people want to reassess if they have made the right choice. This is the time I’ve worked with a high number of lawyers who have done the job for a few years and realise it is not the path they want to do, often the choice was influenced by family members or because of the high salary. To a lesser extent Doctors and Accountants also question if this is the right option too, alongside engineers, HR professionals, mechanics …

Just because other people see this as a ‘good job’ it doesn’t mean that it is the right option for you. You may now be on a managerial path but not everyone makes a good manager, and you may want to consider if the promotion is right for you. How does it fit in with the rest of your life?

Age 40 – 45 The Midlife Transition

You have been working for about 20 years, probably seen as successful. But you aren’t happy. Perhaps you are now remembering a dream from earlier times, and wonder how your life would have been if you had followed the path, you wanted instead? Or you may still be finding your niche, and have no idea what you want, but you know this isn’t it.   Time to take stock and decide; the Highlands Ability Battery will provide useful information to make a choice.

Age 50 Transition

If you didn’t take time to reflect and change a few years back, this ‘big birthday’ may remind you that time is passing, and you may think ‘it is now or never’. Whilst you are likely to still have financial responsibility for your children, any decision can take this into account.  Have your priorities changed? Maybe you now want to focus more on the authentic you and to live in line with your values. Time to take charge of your career direction.

Pre-Retirement Transition

Having worked for up to 40 years, you are thinking of what next. Will you opt for a full retirement or to work part-time, if so, is it more of the same or is now a chance to do something new, something for you, where income is not the main driver. With probably 20 years of active life ahead of you, this is a time to focus on what gives you meaning in life.

I’m in this stage of life, and this led me to start my doctorate with my thesis focused on meaningful ageing.

If this prompts you to ask questions, why not arrange an initial consultation with me?

Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay

Published On: June 26th, 2021 / Categories: Career Management, Retirement /


  1. Elisa Rasmussen June 27, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    I had no idea how predictable I was! At 35, I moved from an academic career to one in childcare, and now at 53 I’m looking toward a two-year transition out of that (when the triplets I take care of start school) into professional organizing, which I’ve wanted to do for 20 years. I’m slightly behind schedule, but otherwise a textbook case. Thank you, as always, for your insight.

    • Denise Taylor June 27, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      it’s interesting how many of us follow similar paths. All the best for your new career path, may it bring you joy and happiness

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