Mid-Career: 40s-50s

midlife transition, work-life balance


In a meteoric career, Carol moved from a position in consumer education, to a management position with a power company. She went on to become a Vice President and, ultimately, Chief Communications Officer. Unfortunately, each step up in Karen’s career came at a cost to her. With each promotion, Carol moved farther from her core values– her family, her husband, her community and her true inner self.

She had lost the balance that would lead to fulfillment and satisfaction. She admitted, “Although I embraced each promotion, I realized that it took me further and further from the customer interaction that I enjoyed so much.” At the same time, her responsibilities provided her with fewer opportunities to use her creative abilities and her finely tuned entrepreneurial skills.

Carol participated in the Highlands “Whole Person” process to reassess her own career development. As a result of the program and much soul searching, Carol left her company. She redirected her life and career and is now the CEO of a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help develop the next generation of leaders in her metropolitan area. This position allows Carol to incorporate many of the values and abilities that had been lost to her–- community service, direct contact with people, and a new opportunity to be creative and instrumental in development of an organization.

Equally important, Carol has been able to structure her new role to allow more time for her husband and children. She also has made time for outside activities important to her. The combination allowed her to re-establish a balance in the priorities in her life.

“I took the Highlands Ability Battery to learn more about myself, to become a more well-rounded individual, to be more productive at work, to be a better wife, to be a better mother, and to be a better friend.”



John, a marketing manager, wondered about his career and why he felt like moving in a different direction. Relatively satisfied people can find themselves thinking about change– sometimes major change.

John was at what we call the Mid-Life Transition–probably the best known Turning Point in popular culture. John decided to take a proactive approach rather than just hunker down and endure. The Highlands ‘Whole Person” approach helped him make sense of it all.

“I realized that I have a number of very powerful abilities that allow me to solve problems quickly and intuitively. It means that I need a very fast-paced environment that involves a lot of quick problem solving. In fact, when it’s not very stable– what a lot of people would call chaotic-– that’s when my real talents absolutely shine.”

John was able to focus on exactly that part of his career that needed to change and reposition himself within his company. In the end, mid-life wasn’t a crisis but an opportunity for new challenges.

“I have taken a lot of assessments, which are all good for different things. The Highlands is the most comprehensive and speaks to a lot of different areas of leadership and teamwork.”