Navigating through the quarter life crisis
So I recently read a news article that stated 6 in 10 millennial’s claim to go through a “quarter-life” crisis. As I took a moment to soak this statement in, I couldn’t resist to stop and think how likely true this is. Many of us are familiar with the definition of a mid-life crisis – a person in middle age who is feeling stuck in a rut, and who reacts by indulging in erratic behavior like making spontaneous career decisions or buying a motorbike.
Well…a quarter life crisis is very similar and affects 20 something year old’s regardless of who you are or where you come from.
Some of us have had the feeling that everything in our lives seems upside down. Probably you have not yet graduated and getting through Uni feels impossible. Maybe you’re un- (or under-) employed despite your magna cum laude degree, disheartened daily with the thought of clicking send on yet another CV and cover letter. Maybe, just maybe you have been one of the lucky ones who actually managed to get a job after Uni but the job you’re in is unfulfilling and you are constantly anxious as you frequently wonder where this career path will take you.
In short, you feel trapped by your life choices, your job, relationship, or both. You’re living on “autopilot.”
You find yourself wondering “Am I happy? Is this the life I thought I would have?, What’s the point of all this anyway?
Our generation has been bogged down by so many insecurities and disappointments both economically and socially which have aided greatly to this quarter life crisis. But the biggest culprit has been “COMPARISON” – a common practice of rating your progress against the lives, careers, and relationships of those around you.
Are there any easy solutions to figuring out your perfect life path? I think I’l have better luck finding a pink unicorn before finding any easy solution to life. But, there are some baby steps you can employ to ease your mind, try out a different direction, and start a (more calm) walk through your quarter life crisis.
3 Tips to get through this crisis
- Stop Comparing yourself to others
Looking through A’s profile, one of your high school mates who always copied your homework to make it worse, you realize A is in a great job, top company and driving the latest model. Its not rocket science but a sure-fire way to bolster the feelings of disappointment and underachievement is to compare your own career trajectory to your peers. Remember that everyone is at a different stage of their journey, so don’t compare yourself to others – whatever your definition of success is and whatever makes you happy is enough.
- Don’t let your degree define you
This one I can definitely speak from experience. I went from studying my passion (hospitality) to working in an industrial manufacturing company managing cables and connectors. Truly speaking, you don’t have to work in the same industry/role you studied for. Be open to new opportunities and you might be surprised where that small unexpected unplanned job can take you.
- Be kind to yourself
Going through a quarter-life crisis can be a difficult process and intensified by becoming your own worst critic. Remind yourself that it’s a positive experience that will hopefully enable you to make a change and progress, both with your career and with your life, eventually making you happier in the long-run. As you can see from the research, the crisis doesn’t last forever!
Do you have any more tips that can help get through this crisis? Please feel free to share below.