I’ve recently met a few people who also seem to be a little bit lost in terms of where their lives/careers are going. Thought I’d share their stories just to emphasise the fact that there are a lot of people in this particular ‘quarter-life crisis’ boat.
Firstly, let’s call her Katy, is in her late twenties and desperately keen to find a meaningful job in the environmental sector. She left school and worked as a shepherd in the Mendips (now that’s a pretty unusual and interesting job!) before getting a job with the National Geographic Society in London. Discovering that she really liked geography she then took an undergraduate degree in it in London. Since graduating she’s done countless unpaid internships, and even worked abroad for a while, yet still she’s really struggling to get a job.
Katy says she finds it hard to sell herself, and just feels really indecisive and unsure about what she wants to do (which, from experience, can make it even harder to sell yourself). All she knows is she doesn’t want to be stuck in an office from 9 to 5 everyday. She wonders whether she should just take a low paid job and be done with searching for something meaningful and enjoyable. She’s also considering teaching but knows she’d have to be sure she was going into it for the right reasons. She’s currently planning to go back to London to find temp work and continue searching.
Then there’s, let’s call her Nicola, who I met while working in a restaurant. She moved to New York for three years to study acting and says she even managed to find some work out there as an actress. However now she’s back in the UK and questioning all that she wanted to do since she was little – is an unstable acting career really what she wants? She also doesn’t want to be stuck in an office, hence waitressing for some money while she plans her next move.
Nicola is currently thinking about a big move back to New York, either to continue pursuing acting or to try to get into writing and directing. When talking to her she even used the term ‘quarter-life crisis’ to describe her situation. And she told me she’s worked as a waitress in quite a few different restaurants, often working alongside others in just the same position as us.
So we’re all in the same boat, we just have to try to enjoy the journey until we finally find the right place to step back on to dry land!