Avoiding a quarterlife crisis

October 01, 2014

This past week a senior student mentioned to me that she thought she was having a "quarterlife crisis". She described feeling stressed and anxious about her future.

By Peggy Grace

stressHer career decision making process was filled with starts and stops; she thought she had come to a decision but now she was feeling uncertain and second guessing herself. At the same time, she knew she needed to get started on a job search.

This soon-to-be-grad is not alone. Choosing a career path and finding a job are major sources of stress for students. And after watching friends experience periods of unemployment or underemployment post-college, students know a job search can be challenging.

The term quarterlife crisis was coined by author Abby Wilner in 1997, after she graduated from college, moved back home, and couldn't figure out what to do with her life. While much has changed since 1997, it's not unusual for seniors to begin to feel some of those QLC symptoms as they contemplate life after Simmons. Even students whose career direction is clear, may have questions about the job search, such as when to begin or what job search strategies to employ.

How do you begin to alleviate that anxiety? First, take a deep breath and, as discussed in an earlier blog, recognize that there is no one right career for you.

Second, remember that career decision-making is a process over time that involves many stages and is actually a series of many small decisions. And when it comes to job search, having good information leads to better results.

Third, it's always easier if you have an action plan.

With that in mind, The Career Education Center has created a Senior Job Search Timeline to help you use our website resources to set goals and manage your job search. It can serve as an action plan for seniors, no matter where you are in the process.

If you are in a career path decision mode, it directs you to resources you can use and coaching advice to help you put a career plan in place.

If you know what job or career you want to pursue but are wondering what to do and when, there's a month by month timeline of job search tasks to guide you, as well as links to resources to help you accomplish them.

Get started today! Download the Senior Job Search Timeline and avoid a quarterlife crisis.

Photo: Courtesy of Girl's Guide to Uni