At Mind The Gap Coaching we’ve had our own personal experience of a quarter-life crisis.
Fiona’s came in her early 30’s during the aftermath of the end of a 3 year relationship and a feeling of being locked into a recruitment career.
Laura’s in her mid 20’s felt stuck on a corporate career track.
During this uncertain time we both decided to hire a life coach and with that support managed to navigate our way through our respective quarter-life crises.
We subsequently trained as coaches ourselves so that we could help others the same way we had been supported.
We received great insight about what the Quarter-life Crisis is from some smart sources:
Dr Oliver Robinson is a pioneering researcher from Greenwich University, an expert in adult development.
He explains: “Quarterlife crises don’t happen literally a quarter way through your life. They occur a quarter of your way through adulthood, in the period between 25 and 35, although they cluster around 30.”
Dr Oliver Robinson interviewed 50 people aged between 25 and 35.
Themes from the interviews were identified and developed into a model of ‘quarter life crisis’ which follows a four phase structure similar to those described in literature on mid-life crises, but occurring much earlier.
- Phase 1. Feeling “locked in” to a job or relationship, or both.
“It’s an illusory sense of being trapped” said Dr Robinson, “you can leave but you feel you can’t.”
- Phase 2. A growing sense that change is possible.
Dr Robinson continued: “This leads to all sorts of emotional upheavals. It allows exploration of new possibilities with a closer link to interests, preferences and sense of self. Up until then you may be driving fast down a road you don’t want to be going down. A minority of participants described getting caught in a loop, but the majority reflected on a difficult time which was a catalyst for important positive change.”
- Phase 3. A period of rebuilding a new life.
- Phase 4. The cementing of fresh commitments that reflect the young person’s new interests, aspirations and values.
The research suggested that once the four phases are resolved the crisis can be positive.
According to the study 80 per cent of the interviewees looked back on their crises positively.
Although the crisis lasts on average for two years, Dr Robinson maintains that it can be a positive experience, a catalyst for constructive change and eventually laying the foundations for a new life.
We believe at MTG that it’s our mission to play a supporting role to help navigate individuals through this potentially problematic period of their life.
The Depression Alliance estimates that one third of twentysomethings feel depressed. We want to reach these people before they turn to pills by empowering them to take steps towards creating a better life for themselves.