We’ve all heard of the mid-life crisis, but now a new crisis has been defined, most widely affecting educated professionals in their mid 20’s to mid 30’s. Sound familiar? Then read on to find out more about quarter-life crisis and how clarity of personal purpose can help in overcoming it.
The mid-life crisis is a well known phenomenon, typically associated on an almost comical level with sports-car purchases, sudden fitness obsessions, haircuts or image overhauls. But now a new crisis has been defined: the quarter-life crisis. According to leading British psychologists, this is a crisis experienced by those in the 25 to 35 year age range when people are roughly a quarter of the way through adulthood, with educated professionals at highest risk. The route through it all is knowing your purpose and staying true to it.
What is the quarter-life crisis?
The quarter-life crisis is best defined as a period of insecurity and doubt surrounding three main areas, the first being career. Young professionals are under intense pressure to succeed professionally in an aggressive job market where they are competing against thousands of other graduates with very similar skill sets. There is a need to have a clear career path and to be meeting certain landmark goals centred around turning 30, a pivotal age in plotting progress against an often self-imposed life plan. There’s the fear that if you haven’t made it by 30, you perhaps never will. Or that by 30 you need to have a solid career plan for the rest of your life.
The job worries, and subsequent earning potential, flow into the second area of concern; financial insecurities. Today’s graduates are often saddled with debt from their studies, which they begin to pay off in monthly chunks as their earnings grow. With the rising cost of living and a stagnant wage base, this can make saving an impossible task. Small wonder then that many young adults live in their family home with their parents well into their thirties, unable to save the necessary deposit to get on the housing ladder, and not willing to fork out on high rents which may put them even further behind on their property goals.
Added to this is pressure point number three; relationships. It’s not enough to be dating or even in a relationship anymore, by late twenties there is often an intense pressure to have identified a partner for life and be moving towards settling down with ‘the one’ and having children. This leads young adults to face some tough questions in their relationships, perhaps prematurely: Is this the person I want to marry? Do I want to have children with them?
Young adults in the 25-35 year bracket are transitioning through the passage of time into adulthood but there are social and economic barriers now that didn’t exist for previous generations. Rather than a decade of excitement and adventure, many young adults are now catapulted into a period of doubt, frustration and depression. Is this the life they envisioned and trained for? Is it all worth it?
Social media only exacerbates these feelings, providing a carousel of images of other people’s success, whether it be promotion news, baby joy, wedding bliss, a new house or exotic travels. The success of others is paraded publicly for all to see, and this can leave you feeling deflated and depressed because everyone else is doing so well. Of course we all know that people only share their best bits on social media and that it’s not a true reflection of everyday life. Yet it is natural to draw parallels with people you know, particularly with peers and former classmates. In the past you may not even have known about these achievements if you hadn’t kept in touch with these people but now, thanks to social media, here they are, popping up on your smartphone.
As with all new phenomena, it will take time before the quarter-life crisis is truly understood – and it is a concept that may well evolve again. It will also take time before proper resources and support networks are developed to support young adults through this period.
Overcoming the pressures of a quarter-life crisis
For now, there is something that we can offer in the form of a psychological selfie, an opportunity to explore what makes you unique and a vehicle to detail all your strengths and assets so that you can build confidence in yourself and your own abilities. FindMyWhy has been developed by our expert team of psychologists, and it’s completely free with no hidden caveats. Its basis in thorough psychometric testing produces a series of detailed reports that are tailor made specifically for you, identifying your own unique motivators and drivers, helping you to talk confidently about your strengths and positively articulate not only your purpose and goals, but also your value as an individual.
FindMyWhy will talk you through various scenarios, offering practical guidance on how to make the best of your abilities, taking you a step closer to creating the life you love, both personally and professionally. We understand that the feeling of being dropped off a cliff can be overwhelming at the early stages of your career, or in any period of considerable change, and we also know that it’s totally normal. If you’re in any way experiencing that sense of being lost or disillusioned, FindMyWhy can get you back on track by pinpointing your unique value systems, helping you to identify priorities in your work and personal life, so that you can channel your efforts and discover purpose in your endeavours. And, because wellbeing plays an equally important part in crafting and living a life you love, our website will also point you to an array of recommended resources to support you as you face up to any of the questions, choices or decisions that quarter-life puts in front of you.
FindMyWhy is the free of charge career coach. It costs nothing to complete the Psychological Selfie, or to receive the tailored reports that are yours to keep forever, so you can come back to them as and when you need them further down the line. You can do the whole thing on your laptop, tablet or smartphone, so it’s quick and convenient. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can visit our website for more information, including testimonials from others who’ve tried it and loved it.