Surviving Your Quarter Life Crisis: Step 12

Step 12: Commit to Staying on Your Career Change Path

All of the soul-searching, planning and executing you’ve been doing over the last few months is paying off.

You’re on your way to a gratifying, fulfilling new career—and annihilating that annoying quarter-life crisis in the process.

There’s one final step in this transformation, however: committing to staying on this career change path.

This should be a no-brainer, right? After putting in so much hard work, tossing it all away doesn’t make sense—even if you stumble slightly or don’t feel like these changes have made a difference.

Having patience can be tough especially when the forward motion is incremental.

That’s why it’s better to look at these changes from a long-term view, as we talked about in step #9: “If things don’t start happening as quickly as you’d like (or think they should), that’s okay—results don’t happen overnight.”

Revisit your path every few months—maybe every three months initially, and then every six months or so after that. Progress might not be visible from week to week, but you should be able to see positive momentum over time.

To keep perspective, it also helps if you have a support system in place. Call it a network of accountability: a core group of friends, family, past co-workers and/or mentors you can count on to keep you focused and motivated.

Not only can this network verify that yes, you are going in the right direction—but it can also be your sounding board when times are tough.

And where big life changes are concerned, the best advice comes from people who know you best.

They won’t sugarcoat things or simply tell you what you want to hear; in fact, they’ll challenge you to live up to your potential and not give up when times are tough.

No matter what happens, keep in mind that you’re not alone. Everyone is either currently going through or has previously dealt with a quarter-life crisis.

And career changes—even drastic ones—are way more common than you think. You’ll navigate this period of your life and triumphantly emerge as a happier, more successful person.

If you’ve found these quarter-life crisis survival tips helpful, we’d love to hear from you. Shoot us a note on Twitter or email us to let us know your thoughts. If you want to review the steps again, start with step 1. And share the hell out of anything that you think could help others. Thanks for reading.

Surviving Your Quarter Life Crisis: Step 11

Step #11: Realize it’s Okay to be Unsure at this Point in Your Life

As you get deeper into the career change process, you still might not be 100% sold that your life is going in the right direction, or that you’re making the right decisions.

That’s completely normal. Until you’re actually in a better, happier place, you’ll likely be plagued by self-doubt and questions.

What if I’m making a huge mistake?

What if my new career isn’t going to be better than my last one?

What if I should’ve given my old job more of a chance?

What if I won’t be good at my new job?

What if I won’t be as successful in my new career?

What if going into debt wasn’t worth it?

What if I’m not going to be happier with this change?

All of this uncertainty is totally okay. It takes time to get to where you need—and want—to be, and that road isn’t always a straight shot or easy terrain.

Successful people are constantly evaluating if they’re doing the right thing. This article, “5 Simple Questions Successful People Ask Themselves Every Day,” offers some great guiding questions to keep you grounded.

Plus, the reassuring news is that you’ve already made it over the biggest, most difficult hurdle: being aware that you need a change. Reaching that level of self-awareness is something many people never achieve.

And the dirty secret is, nobody has life figured out—even your friends posting perfect-looking Instagram photos or flawless Snapchat videos.

Offline, even these seemingly put-together people have just as much self-doubt as you do. Everybody thinks that the grass is always greener somewhere else.

In fact, the phrase “fake it ‘til you make it"—e.g., pretending outwardly you have self-confidence, even if you feel anything but inside—was invented just for these situations.

Above all, remember that all of this is a completely healthy process you’re going through. Hitting a rough patch here and there now will lead to smoother sailing later.

Now that you’re realizing that it’s okay to be unsure at this juncture in your life, what comes next with this decision? How can you make this your best year yet? Follow us for quarter-life crisis survival tips and guidance, including the final step, published in a few weeks.

Surviving Your Quarter Life Crisis: Step 10

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Step #10: Come to Terms that Life Might Suck (for a while)

As you dig into your career change plan of attack, you might have discovered an unpleasant side effect of this transformation: Life has started to suck.

You might be anxious about whether you made the right decision, or frustrated that you aren’t seeing positive results fast enough.

You could be miserable about your lack of a social life, or afraid that you don’t have what it takes to actually set out what you want to do.

You could also be really tired from burning the candle at both ends.

This is all understandable. Life’s hard, as the old saying goes. And the road to change is often filled with potholes.

Once you realize and accept this fact, you’ll have one less thing to worry about—especially because this is something completely out of your hands.

In fact, you’re not alone in feeling that this time of your life is the worst. Google the phrase “quarter-life crisis sucks,” and you’ll get well over 100,000 hits, featuring not-so-reassuring articles such as “Your Quarter Life Crisis After College Is Going To Suck A Lot.”

It’s important to remember that your twenties are for learning. Nobody has life figured out the second they get a diploma.

In fact, leaving the college bubble and navigating adulthood is like freshman year all over again—only the growing pains (hopefully) involve less RA interference and a nicer apartment.

And it’s all about perspective, too: This whole struggle is only temporary. It will get better, and you will get through it. Life will not suck forever.

Plus, the dirty little secret that’s worth keeping in mind the entire time? Even if you make a mistake—or find that things aren’t working—that isn’t the same as failure.

As the Huffington Post helpfully spells out in a 2015 piece, “How to Get Over Your Quarter-Life Crisis,” whatever direction you’re attempting is fail-proof.

“You might not like it, or it might not come together all at once, but that’s not failing,” author Kali Rogers writes. “If you give it enough shots to know that something really isn’t clicking with you, no big deal.”

In short, rather than blaming yourself for things not working, simply chalk it up to quarter-life crisis turbulence and forge on ahead.

Now that you’re coming to terms with the fact that life is temporarily going to suck, what comes next with this decision? How can you make this your best year yet? Follow us for quarter-life crisis survival tips and guidance, including step #11, published in a few weeks.