So you’re awake one day, and you realize something: you’re 25 years old, and not growing any younger. Suddenly, your accomplishments so far feel paltry compared to expectations. You feel like you’ve underachieved, you feel like you don’t belong in your current industry anyway… and worst of all, you feel powerless. It’s like you’re stuck in a rut no matter what you do. Welcome to the quarter life crisis.
Take a deep breath, and don’t panic: You are not alone. Quarter life crises aren’t necessarily signs that you’re failing horribly in the areas of career and life. It just means that the things that really matter – perhaps previously hidden or ignored – are rising the surface. Up until now, you’ve maybe been concerned about the trivial things – getting your first job or maybe dazzling your first couple of bosses. But now the important things with long-term consequences are making themselves known.
This can happen to pretty much anybody. But what you have to know, is….
You know Things At 25 That You Don’t At 20
One cause of your quarter life crisis may be the feeling that you are exactly still the same person at 25 that you were at 20. As if you have made no progress. But that way of thinking is utterly fallacious when you examine your real life. You know things at 25 that you didn’t before. You have new skills, new experiences – both in success and failures – and new perspectives that compose you.
It’s because of these new perspectives that you may feel discontent. Being unsure of yourself is a call to right your ship. With a quarter life crisis comes the opportunity to better yourself.
For Wendy Sachs, in an article for Fast Company, those early twenties were precisely the age for letting those important things rise to her recognition. She spent the early days of her career as a press secretary, pitching news. When recognized she’d rather be covering news, she switched out into a different – and more appropriate – line of work.
You’re More Valuable Than You Think
And just as your experiences and knowledge have grown between 20 and 25, so has your value as a worker. You might think your skills or experience don’t quite match up to the new industry you’d like to transfer to.
But skills can be translated in different ways; you just need to spot the overlap. If you had investigative skills as a reporter, you could use that as a researcher for a business conglomerate. Those with creative skills in design or writing will notice tech firms need such talents. The point is, there’s something valuable about your experience and skills.
Now, according to recruiters, job-hopping no longer has the huge negative stigma that it used to. So if you’re confident you could be a better fit elsewhere you may want to consider it. The twenties were always meant to be a messy zone in your life, where you’re finding the right track.
So what if you haven’t figured everything out? That’s the way it’s meant to be.