Quarter Life Crisis

by / ⠀Startup Advice / August 3, 2009

My 28-year-old best friend from High School just left for Australia. He told his big-four-Accounting employer that he was going on sabbatical and that he didn’t care if he had his job when he got back. He broke up with his girlfriend, moved his stuff out of his apartment, bought one of those ‘I’m-backpacking-across-Europe’ travel bags, and located his first hostile down-under. His plan? Manuever his way onto a tour boat where he can assist in teaching scuba diving lessons… for the next 12 weeks.

I could not be more envious. Or so I thought.

Another buddy had recently been given an ultimatum at his six-figure job. This 27-year-old was told he could transfer to a different location to continue his booming-career path… or part ways with the company indefinitely. Without hesitation, he chose the route of collecting unemployment, and –receiving the maximum of $653 per week– has recently taken week-long road-trips to Chicago, Virginia Beach, and New York City. He showed me the photos of his recent African safari and taught me how he was able to maintain a level 9 tan in the midst of rainy New England weather. Unfortunately, he would have to soon get his act together because unemployment would only last for another 12 months.

Today, stories such as these are becoming more and more common. We’ve all heard about our friend’s fathers quitting their jobs, leaving their wife, dying their hair, and buying that corvette they’ve always wanted. But that’s something that happens to people in their MID-life. That’s something that happens to everybody ELSE… and certainly not to us… not in our twenties… not in the prime of our lives.

Think again.

According to Alexandra Robbins & Abby Wilner, authors of national best-seller Quarterlife CRISIS, these type of spontaneous life-overhauls are becoming increasingly more and more common. In fact anecdotes such as the ones above are prevalent all around us (feel free to share some of your own stories below).

What are the reasons for this crisis? The authors cite numerous causes, some of which are:

*Overly identifying one’s job-title with one’s sense-of-self

*Experiencing major failure on the roadway to a big dream

*The inevitable hearing of the less-talented ‘other guy’ who made it

*A longing for the way ‘things were’ in college or in childhood

*Extreme bouts of loneliness and disconnect from your new set-of-peers in the real world

Do you know somebody who is experiencing these things? Do you know this person INTIMATELY? This author does. Having been high school class-president, voted most-likely-to-succeed, the valedictorian (of his major) at a prestigious east-coast university, and raising to the top of a rapidly growing company only to leave suddenly with NO future plans in sight… he can only help but wonder:

What the hell is going on here???

The questions I leave you with today are the following:

*How do you find out EXACTLY who you are?
*How do you know if the career/friends/romance/family decisions you are making are right?
*If you WEREN’T you… what would you be doing right now?

Mike is a seasoned entrepreneur who grew his business from 200K to 2million in 5 years.

About The Author

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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