Navigating the Quarter-Life Crisis & How to Make Smart Career Choices

If you are in your 20s and you find yourself feeling hopeless, depressed, frustrated and in a way clueless about what you should be doing with your life, you might be going through a quarter-life crisis.

According to The Guardian, around 86% of millennials feel insecure, disappointed, and lonely. This is why the feeling you’re having is – unfortunately – nothing unusual. However, there are things you could do that might help you deal with the crisis, especially with the part about your career. So, if you feel like you could use some help getting through this period, here are a couple of things you should know.

Navigating the Quarter-Life Crisis & How to Make Smart Career Choices

The causes

First things first, in order to successfully overcome the crisis, you need to understand why you are going through it, and you need to know that you are not alone even though it feels like you are.

For starters, you are dealing with money issues that are greater than anything your parents or your parents’ parents had ever had to deal with. The infamous student loans are putting you in debt that will take you years, even decades, to pay off. That debt alone can make things such as owning your own car and home, or traveling around the world, nothing but a dream that seems unlikely to ever come true.

All of this is reflected in your career choices as well. You don’t have time to think about your career-related wishes when you need to think about how you’re going to pay off your college loans. So, you change jobs because you’re unhappy – but again, you don’t have time to think about what kind of job would make you happy, so you settle for any because you need the money. Or maybe you woke up one day, thinking about your “should-have-been-just-a-part-time” job at McDonald’s that had been lasting for three years, and you found yourself thinking whether it was okay to be the kind of person you had become. You are not alone.

The solutions

There are no guaranteed ways to get out of this kind of crisis, as it all depends on the kind of person you are and the things you need in order to be happy. However, there are a couple of things you could do to improve your professional life.

In order to succeed in today’s market, you need to understand how what you can offer fits into what people are looking for. In other words, try to build skills that you can actually use – yes, knowing how to draw or play an instrument is something amazing that you should be proud of, but there are very few business fields that would appreciate those skills.

Instead, focus on improving yourself in ways that can actually help you move forward in life. For example, if you love working with people, you can take up one of many business courses and learn how to work in the customer engagement sector. You can turn this skill into an enjoyable career, or it can one day help you keep your personal life in order while you focus on some other career choice. Similarly, you should work on your tech skills since we do live in the digital age after all, and you could always work on your communication skills so you can impress your future potential employer with more than just your resume.

Finally, most people make decisions that seem the safest, but you shouldn’t be afraid of taking risks. Pick a couple of things that you could see yourself doing, and try them. Yes, you might fail, but failures are a normal part of the learning process, and as long as you never give up, have no doubts that you’re on the right path. Plus, if you feel like you have no idea what you should be doing in life, sometimes the best thing to do is to pick a few things you’re good at and focus on them until you find the one that fits you most.

In the end, the quarter-life crisis doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world if you look at it from a different perspective; take It as a sign that something needs to be changed, and do whatever you can to improve your lifestyle. Yes, there are many things to worry about, but there are even more things to look forward to – as long as you’re not afraid to take some risks and keep striving towards something better, which you definitely deserve.

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Claire Adams
Claire Adams is personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about lifestyle and development as a regular contributor at highstylife.com. Stay in touch with Claire via Facebook and Twitter.  
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