How to Deal with Career-Related Quarter Life Crisis

Posted by Guthrie-Jensen Consultants

Are you at that stage when you’re anxious to find out where and who you want to be so that by the middle of your 20s, you have your life together—a good and stable career, a healthy and fun lifestyle, and a great social life?

For many, all is well until reality kicks in, and you’re hit with an awful quarter life crisis. Welcome to the most exciting and nerve-racking turning point in your life so far. Here, you’re letting go of classrooms and professors to work with life’s corporate jungle and bosses.

At this stage in life, full of frustrations and endless questions, how do young professionals deal with quarter life crisis? The first step lies on how you handle time and stress management with regard to your career.



Let’s face it, job security is a false concept, and fewer jobs are available for young professionals to grasp.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), global youth unemployment rate is expected to reach 13.1% in 2016 and will remain until 2017. In developing countries with emerging economies,156 million (37.7%) of the working youth is also living in extreme or moderate poverty.

Unemployment is always at hand, and while you can’t do anything about this reality, you can always counter the crisis.


  • List your doubts

List your doubts but take note of the possibilities as well. Unemployment is not an easy issue to manage. It may be hard, but you should face your doubts to discover alternate career possibilities you can pursue.

List all of your doubts such as lack of degree and being financially incapable of working in certain industries although some companies offer training for license and even pay your exam fees.


  • Take little steps

When you’re already in the middle of your career ladder, what do you do when you feel stuck, and promotion and salary increases are too far to reach? This always happens at the peak of your career and can lead to being dangerously (and sadly) content with the situation you’re currently in.

Instead of choosing one ladder, think of short term and entry level experiences to experiment on other branches related to your purpose and the career direction you want to follow. Recognize hopelessness and start overcoming it by exploring what you’re interested in. Take little steps instead of ladders.



According to Chris Phillips, Research Director at GTI Media, 50% of students are influenced by family and friends when choosing a career path.

While parents and friends have significant perceptions to help you pick a career path, it can make you question the objectivity and accuracy of the offered advice. Only you can know what you really want to aspire in life, and your family and friends must be your strong foothold when choosing the path you want and not pressure you into one.

If you feel like you’ve dived into the wrong job, know that it’s still not too late to change career paths.


  • Know yourself

Take a step back and move on to know yourself. At this point, you’ve probably been through a lot of failed and unsuitable jobs, and you’ll be asking yourself several questions. Where did I go wrong? What now? Before questioning the situation, take time to know yourself first.

It’s now time to focus on what you really want to do, as you’re no longer getting any younger. You can take multiple personality tests to have scientific and personality insights in terms of your strengths, weaknesses, and the perfect career for you to open doors with.

You can also look back on the moments that shaped your life. What do you love doing? What kind of jobs are you drawn into? Don’t be stuck with career concerns. Instead, change yourself by defining yourself.


  • Manage your expectations, be realistic

Upon starting your first job, you probably set expectations on life that by the age of 30, you’re as successful as you can be. Life is not best viewed through a rose-colored lens but by realistic frames.

This point in life is your transition period, so you have to keep yourself in check and on track with what’s really happening. Be patient and set goals that you can actually reach and don’t give up on what you want. However, you must also know to adjust when life gets a little awry.



Changing careers happens more often than you think, as the working class continues to search for fulfillment, compensation, and security when business conditions and life changes. 87% of ages 25 to 29 had an average employment duration of less than five years, compared to 83% of ages 30 to 34.

With the changing times, gone are the times when you’re supposed to take one dream job and live through it until the end.


  • Leave

When you’re unhappy, and you know it, leave your job and have an action plan to make a career change. It’s perfectly okay to have several attempted jobs in your lifetime, especially if you’re still adjusting to life’s realities. Make a plan that will give you the best working experience in terms of training, growth, and network building.

Jobs come and go, but you will remain. Don’t settle for less because you deserve more.


  • Take your time

Take time off social media and life by taking vacations to rediscover your passions. Spend your alone time evaluating the current state of things in your life. As you age, a lot will change, and this will help you grow into what and who you want to be.


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Take a look beyond your cubicle. A lot of diverse jobs can now be taken up—freelancing, remote work, creating your own startup. It’s as if you’re living life in the fast lane, but you’re really lagging behind. The workforce is changing, and so does talents, companies, and leadership.

If you feel left behind your colleagues and friends, just think that you’re living life at your own pace and reasons—no rush, no hassles.


  • Stop comparing

After talking to friends and logging into social media, you’ll find yourself surrounded with various definitions of people’s success. After a few scrolls and a few discussions, you’ll feed the thoughts inside your head with comparisons and obsess over impressive achievements.

Instead of focusing on other people’s life, focus on what life means for you. Comparing yourself with others will only hold you back and leave you in the toxic swirl of feelings. You’re meant to live your own life to the fullest, so don’t let others lead you astray from doing so.


  • Find your own positive success

Let go of the trapped materialistic definition of success. Cars, riches, and luxury are things money can buy, but won’t truly make you happy.

In this era, success means getting satisfaction and happiness. Cultivate a positive meaning of success for you, and you’ll never go wrong with it.


Having a quarter life crisis happens to many people, and sometimes, it can even get the best of you. No need to worry because somewhere in the world, you share, fight, and survive in the same rocking boat with people who are stressed and confused to undergo a full transition to adulthood.

You’re not alone in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. Each one of us has been there and done that. If they can do it, so can you!

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