[CAREER NEWS] Quarter-life crisis: there is not only one path for professional success!

You've probably heard of the midlife crisis... But have you heard of the quarter-life crisis? Considered an existential crisis, it strikes a majority of young adults between the ages of 25 and 35. From a strictly "career" perspective, why does this crisis emerge? What are the first signs and how can it be overcome? IÉSEG Network's Career Center provides answers to these questions and offers valuable support to its young graduates in this delicate "crossing".

In this career newsletter, to simplify, the quarter-life crisis refers to a crisis that happens in the late 20s or early 30s, while the mid-life crisis refers to a crisis that happened in the early or mid 40s. This topic is studied here from a career development perspective but non psychological.

Why this shift happens?

Until their 20s, the role of the young people was not to think about their path but to succeed on the path they have been placed on, based on the criteria of success have been defined for them most of the time by their parents or their family circle. But a well-defined life no longer meets their expectations... 
This is how the quarter-life crisis comes about: it coincides with the emerging of responsibilities and the projection into their adult life. 

What are the main common symptoms?

Most of the times, the 25 - 35’s feel at a crossroads, out of place, often demotivated and with a lack of purpose on their day to day work...
Some of them, feel completely lost, not knowing which path to take... They know they don't want to do what they're doing but they don't know exactly what they really want… Everything is jostling in their head or, for some, it's the other way around, they face the blank page syndrome...

In this context of uncertainty, accelerated with this pandemic, they have one certainty: they have a profound desire to overturn the model of their elders centered exclusively on work. They know that their career will no longer be linear and rather than having one job for life, that they will even have several careers in the same life in line with their desires.

In fact, they are seeking their true professional identity.

What do they expect ?

It is a generation that is caring a lot of itself. It gives an important place to their work but seeking an alignment with whom they are and a balance with other parts of their lives: family, work, friends, leisure. They, then, link strictly their personal identity with their job...
Among their desires and their needs, there is this inescapable common base:

- purpose (is a priority),
- self-alignment 
- being useful to others, having a measurable impact in the short term,
- change regularly, take on new challenges and advancement,
- benefit from continuous skills development,
- evolve in an enjoyable environment,
- have freedom, a high level of flexibility (where, when and how they work),
- have work-life balance,
- be rewarded for their efforts,
- attractive compensation and benefits package,
- security 

Beware, this base of desires and needs is only apparently common. Indeed, the underlying reasons are not identical for everyone. It is precisely in this ability to discern, on the one hand, the motivations that lead to this observation, on the other hand, that the challenge lies!

How to overcome this crisis?

Most of these young adults are undecided... They know they want to change their professional life or find a path that better fulfills them, but how do they do it the right way? Is it even the right time? How can they be sure that they are not going down the wrong path? The mere mention of these questions sometimes terrorizes them... as for the attempts to find the answers, it also puts them in a state of anxiety!

However, it is true that, whether one is a young adult or not, embarking alone on an exercise of self-reflection is far from being easy. Indeed, being alone, one will lack the necessary distance and the mirror effect for this phase of introspection to be a success. It is at this precise moment that the help of a coach will be precious to guide them to find the solutions to their own questions. Of course, the coach assumes that each person has all the necessary resources to access their own answers.

The coach will therefore consider this moment of uncertainty that these young adults are going through as raw material to be shaped in order to draw the contours of their next professional move. He will allow them to identify their professional identity by creating the conditions favorable to a departure from their frame of reference and their comfort zone so that an opening of possibilities arises that they are not able to envisage alone...

The key factors of success to support this generation are: listening, benevolence, individualization and non-judgment.

Because a crisis always contains a hidden gift... like the oyster that, after a long process, transforms a grain of sand into a magnificent pearl, in the end, the quarter-life crisis is a gestation period necessary for the potential 25-35 years old to find solutions to their own needs, as an essential prelude to their personal and professional development.

Elizabeth TOUCAS - Executive Strengths Coach & Career Manager - IÉSEG Network

To face this existential and emotional crisis (because that's what it's all about!), I propose a proven method of accompaniment, different from those existing on the market (e.g.: skills assessment or other assessments...), which focuses on the essence of the being and each person personal behavior.

This tailor-made accompaniment of the coachee, carried out in a predefined and secure framework, is based on his strengths and his heart. It is intended for young adults from 25-35 years old who are facing this crisis but also for anyone who is questioning their professional orientation, regardless of their age

For any coaching request or information about this above personalized coaching or Career Services, please contact me: e.toucas@ieseg.fr or

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