The importance of joyful work

Sadly, most people did not learn at school about the importance of enjoying their work, unless a person was fortunate to have had a parent who taught how important it is. Most commonly, the notion of work to most people is the necessity for providing an income and a way to support one's self and family. Career theories and assessment tests focus on the right fit but rarely joyful work. As a result, many people find themselves in a career which they may be good at but are rarely passionate about.

After 40, priorities change

In the second half of life we suddenly become deeply aware of the unlived life, the opportunities not pursued, and the risks not taken. Many people find themselves chained to abusive relationships, lack of fulfillment at work, and a deep angst about their life.

Thrive in mid-life crisis

Despite what we may have read, the mid-life crisis is a wonderful and important passage of life. Although it can be the most frightening stage of one's life when all of a sudden what seemed important is no longer meaningful and new questions never asked before take front stage.

The questions we ignore

After 40, many questions suddenly emerge out of nowhere. We ask ourselves, "What is my life about? Who am I? What do I want? How Can I get there now?" Most people move these questions aside to deal with them another day. After all, they tell themselves, "I am busy. I have responsibilities. I don’t want to feel bad".

These questions don’t go away

As humans if we allow ourselves, we seek pleasure, meaning, and clarity about our lives. Too often, society pressures, family pressures, negative friends – all make it easy to stay on the safe path, the one where deeper self-awareness takes the back seat to reality television shows.

It is easier to avoid new change and just work

Many people tend to not make major change in their lives until a crisis hits. This may be a financial crisis, a relationship crisis, a health crises or just a day to day feeling of being stagnant like driftwood.

What we need after 40 is new inspiration

It is easy to get caught up in the economic crisis, world violence and the challenges which face us in our daily lives. But these cannot be excused if we want to live authentic lives. After 40, we have to create our own wake-up call to life. We need to be our own inspiration. Only then we can truly make a deeper difference in the world. What inspires you? What moves you from within? What unanswered questions remain for you? How can the quality of your life improve?

It starts with joyful work

After 40, life moves faster or at least it seems that way. Work takes up so much time in one’s life that in the second half of our life, the most important question to ask ourselves is what can provide the joy which is missing, the extra kick in our steps slowed long ago.

What is your Perfect Vocational Day?

I have been writing for ten years now on the importance of defining and designing the pattern of your own Perfect Vocational Day, which you can recreate in the second half of your life. Joyful work – this can be part of your day if you start to place your focus on what you want out of your work and your life.

Ask deeper questions

Who am I? What am I grateful for? How can I move toward more joy in my life?
It can start with a plan or a roadmap for the second half of life focused on joyful work. You will start to move towards it. Of course, there are many barriers, which is why most people just decide that it is too hard to change when the status quo seems safer.

What do I do now?

Change what is no longer working, discard what is no longer useful, and focus instead on new movement, movement in a direction of joy. Your work is a good first step. Each movement will start to build new energy, new hope, and new happiness in a renewed second half of your life.

I'll be cheering you on as you go

Craig Nathanson

Author's Bio: 

Craig Nathanson is the author of "How to find the RIGHT work during challenging times: A new approach to your life and work after 40" and is a coaching expert who works with people over forty. Visit The Vocational Coach and The Best Manager to know more about Craig's work.

Craig lives and works in Petaluma, California. His office is located at P.O Box 2823, Petaluma Ca, 94953. You can reach him at 707-775-4020 or at