quarter-life crisis
Image: Poprotskiy Alexey/Shutterstock

Are you aged 25-33? You could be experiencing a ‘quarter-life crisis’

1 Mar 2018

New research by LinkedIn indicates that 78pc of young Irish professionals aged 25-33 feel pressure to succeed in all avenues of life.

A while after your 26th birthday, you started to feel a deep-seated pressure to have your life figured out as soon as possible, ideally by the time you turn 30. Does that sound familiar? If so, you may be suffering from a ‘quarter-life crisis’.

LinkedIn carried out research of more than 1,000 young Irish professionals aged between 25-33 in advance of the launch of its new Career Advice section.

It found that 71pc of them are experiencing what has been dubbed a ‘quarter-life crisis’, which is defined as “dissatisfaction in life and a feeling that time was running out, potentially leading to a state of anxiety”.

The most common time for the onset of this affliction was found to be at 26-and-a-half years, and people’s primary concern was reported to be finding a career they feel passionate about (54pc). Young professionals also fretted about getting on the property ladder (48pc) and not being able to afford the lifestyle that they desired (45pc).

The research also revealed the pervasive issue of ‘status anxiety’ – the anxiety about how one compares to one’s peers, with 40pc of respondents admitting that they compare themselves to their more successful friends.

While the average duration of this quarter-life crisis came in at 12 months, around one-fifth of respondents reported that they had been experiencing this kind of overwhelming pressure for more than a year.

It seems that shifts in the job markets have affected the movements of young people through employment. About a third have changed their career entirely, while more than one-fifth have handed in their notice without having a new job to go to.

The survey also noted that women were more likely to express uncertainty about what to do next in their career (62pc), compared to men (44pc).

Career psychologist Sinéad Brady commented on the findings, saying: “The world in which we make choices about our careers has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Linear progression through your career is now the exception rather than the rule.

“It’s not their fault the rules of how we work have changed, and this research highlights the real impact that this is having on a full generation of our workforce.”

Though the rate of technological change is exciting, as we have often reported here in the Careers section, Brady astutely points out that the transformation of the jobs market and the nature of work itself is sure to make nailing down what to do in life a difficult task.

“In fact, 65pc of school children aged six will be doing jobs that have not yet been created. In this type of culture, it is all but impossible to choose one career for life,” Brady said.

“Changing career is not a sign of failure, rather, it is an opportunity to learn and build your transferable skills.”

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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