A quarter life crisis is when a 20-something year old realises that they have literally no idea what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. It turns out no one cares about your degree, and unless you have 30-years of work experience, or are willing / available to work for free, you kind of freeze.
So here are 15 practical things to do to get out of your quarter life crisis, from someone currently going through their own.
Don’t hide what’s going on
You’ll be surprised with who you are going to connect with, and who is going on the same journey. Simply by talking about it, joking about it, you won’t feel as alone, and you might even be able to support each other (read: they get you a job).
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Whether it is asking your friends to drop your name in to their boss, calling your mum for words of advice, or getting drunk with your housemates, no one got anywhere in this world completely by themselves. I mean even Donald Trump had to start off with basically nothing, just ‘a small load of a million dollars’…
Identify your strengths
Are you organised? Are you creative? Can you argue the wings off a pigeon? Simply by figuring out what you are good at, you can already start highlighting some things to consider.
Or the area you want to get into
Do you love food? Books? Dogs?
(basically my tinder profile right there).
If you can turn to something you love, there is a very good chance that you will find something in that field to aim for. If you’re being pulled in multiple directions however, just try to find a way to express them, and see which one’s stick. You could start a blog, try and become friends with people already in the industry, go to conventions etc.
As well as knowing your weaknesses
Start crossing out some of the stuff on your list. There is no point going for a pHd if you hate writing academically. Be honest with yourself- because others will be perfectly happy to tell you soon enough.
Try to create your own opportunities
When you know your skill set or your passion, you can start to stick your big toe in to the icy depths of adulthood. If you are obsessed with coffee, start going to the conventions, comment on blogs, and talk to the owners of independent coffee shops. If people can know your name, they will be instantly be more willing to read your application. Plus, they will already have an indication for your dedication, which is instantly attractive.
Then mass produce (and individualise) your CV
I know this seems contradictory, but you need to be sending out CV’s and emailing applications everyday, whilst making it seem that every single job/internship/shadowing is the only one you want.
It is going to be a long slog and it will go quicker if you keep your chin up and stay busy.
But sometimes, it is also okay to feel sorry for yourself
You are not a robot, and even if you only receive one rejection (heres hoping!), you are allowed to feel bad about it. Let yourself have those few minutes, and then pick your self up (hint: this may be where you need num 10!).
Make time for your friends
See number 9.
As well for your self
Whatever you need to do to recharge for tomorrow. Eat, pray, love – you do you
Fake it until you make it
When meeting people in the industry, during interviews, or when writing and sending out articles, hide those insecurities. You can do it, and even if you don’t believe that, at least make them believe it. At LFW, the name of the game was to seem to be Someone-with-a-capital-S. The number of people who snuck their way onto the FROW just by keeping hold of that confidence was honestly staggering, and, although they were hilarious, they were also kind of inspirational.
(Maybe prepare a Plan B)
So you want to be the next great actor / CEO of Google / a fashion designer? That is brilliant, and there is absolutely no reason why you can’t do it. Just know that they are particularly hard gigs to get into, and it could take a couple of years. If you need a Plan B to pay the bills, just keep that in the back of your mind so you don’t get in trouble later on.
Even if thats means going back a few steps
I have so many friends who, after finishing their degree, decided they wanted to do something completely different. And many times, it required an entirely different qualification. For example, jobs like nursing and teachers need you to go back to class. If that is the case, think about the practicalities. For example, can you afford to go back to school? Can you do it part time? Do you even need to go through the traditional mediums?
And most importantly- just say yes to every opportunity, and learn to go with it.
Some of the best opportunities come out of left field, and it may not be part of your plan. Go with your gut for this one. Only you know what to do… (what a cop out answer – sorry!).