Your 20s are supposed to be the best decade of your life. Your education is wrapping up, you’re starting your dream job and your plans for your future are all in place. However, this period can also be a time of confusion, stress and uncertainty, ushering in the inevitable quarter life crisis. Occurring about a year or two after you graduate from college, you may be well into the second year of that 9-to-5 and find yourself asking, “Is this it?”
“Being twenty-something now is scary—fighting millions of other graduates for your first job, struggling to raise a mortgage deposit and finding time to juggle all your relationships,” says Damian Barr, author of Get It Together: A Guide To Surviving Your Quarter-Life Crisis.
Experts indicate that after years of learning how to succeed in school, college grads are thrown into the world of work with no real understanding of how to succeed in it, thus provoking a profound come-to-Jesus moment. Others cite the warped way pop culture has portrays the concept of work, leading to unrealistic expectations among young professionals. Either way, the struggle is real. Here’s how to beat the post-graduate blues:
Develop realistic expectations. Unless you’re extremely fortunate, odds are, you aren’t likely to land the corner office and a 6 figure salary straight out of college. While some of us dream of being the next Oprah or Tyler Perry, working at an entry-level job is where you have to pay your dues in order to move up. It will help to develop a mentoring relationship with someone in your same profession and learn the steps it takes to make the kind of progression you hope to make.
Discover your passions. Spend some alone time to conduct some serious self-assessment. What are your passions? What are your favorite activities? What do you dislike? What first inspired you about your college major(s)? This time should allow you to begin getting clarity about your next steps in terms of career and education. Keep in mind that your passions may change as you experience more things and grow as a person.
Cultivate your own definition of success. Be comfortable in your own shoes. The only person you need to impress is yourself. Don’t measure your success by somebody’s success. Comparisons will only lead to criticisms and lower your self-confidence in return. Set your goals and work towards accomplishing it.
Have you faced a quarter life crisis? How did you handle it? #SoundOff and follow me on Twitter @JayNHarrison.