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Along the Journey  |  

Janus: The Patron Saint of Mid-Career?

The Roman god Janus is depicted in a two-faced profile, symbolizing looking backward and forward simultaneously. He was the god of beginnings and endings, therefore, of transitions. That image rings true for those in mid-career, a time often perceived as stable, an epoch of feeling “settled.” Adventures are behind us; goals and dreams of the younger self have either been realized or deferred.

But as the Janus image represents, the stage of vocational mid-career is one of movement and change, even as one looks back while looking ahead. For those experiencing the years of mid-career, the poise and confidence that comes with experience and competence belies internal stirrings of the heart. 

Mid-career can bring confidence and accomplishment but also uncertainty, angst, restlessness, and new challenges. Some embrace feeling “settled,” while others may experience restlessness and dissatisfaction. Some need to reclaim a vocational calling; others need the courage to take on new challenges. At the same time, others can only hope to manage plodding in the face of pressures and limitations too complex to overcome. 

When asked what challenges they face in mid-career, here is what a group of clergy shared:




If you are in mid-career, can you relate to these sentiments and experiences? What are you doing to thrive in your mid-career years with its transitions and opportunities for discernment? The Center for Lifelong Learning provides avenues for self-discovery, discernment, and thriving in its Pastoral Excellence Programs.

We invite you to invest in yourself and your calling by joining us in a program that meets your needs. Click HERE to learn more.

Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Along the Journey Dr. G. & Friends