Helping Your Millennial Employees Through Their Quarter-Life Crisis

When I was a kid, I would hear my parents and grandparents speak of a “midlife” crisis.

It might be about someone buying a Corvette convertible or getting a divorce and dating someone half their age, etc. In my mind I always considered the term “midlife” to be at the age of 50! Like I said, I was young!

As I got older, I realized I didn’t want to live to be 100! So, midlife took on a different definition, from high 30?s to low 40?s. Not to be outdone, Millennials have coined a new term — “Quarter-Life” Crisis. This is that extremely difficult and challenging time you have around the age of 25 years of age.

Tips for dealing with “quarter-life” crisis

Knowing how challenging it was for me to be 25-years-old and having no responsibilities, mortgage, kids, tons of free time, I wanted to give HR Pros some tips on helping your own employees through this most difficult part of their life. Here’s goes:

  • If you’ve been having this overwhelming feeling of, “Hey, I’m 25 and haven’t really accomplished anything in my life,” don’t be afraid, because you are not a freak. In fact. 22 percent of people your age haven’t accomplished anything either, and the other 78 percent of your friends who have accomplished “something” are lying about it on their Tumblr.
  • Feeling completely paralyzed by indecision? Again, completely normal. You feel this way because you have no real life experience on which to draw upon to make actual real meaningful decisions. This feeling will go away in about 10-15 years, after you have many failed decisions to learn from.
  • Getting bored with your friends? That’s all right – they’re bored with you as well. It’s because you have nothing to talk about, yet. Get married, have some kids, buy a house; now you can be boring with each other on all those topics! Nothing makes your friends less boring than to hear about baby bowel movements and having to replace your water heater!
  • Starting to feel differently about dating? You should! Statically speaking, by 27-years-old every good potential married mate is already taken and you start to get into the idiots that got married at 21 and 22-years-old who are now getting divorced. Yuck! Who wants a used partner? Not you. Here’s a Pro Tip: Lower your standards. If you’re 25 and no one has popped the question yet, you’ve got some issues.
  • Do you have sudden, intense fear of failure? You should know this will never go away. Well, it might go away if one of two things happen: A) You win a large lottery ($5 million plus – smaller ones will just be a tax headache and potentially still have to make you work at your young age); or, B)  You marry extremely rich (Which is called the Spouse Lottery, and they think it’s really for love and don’t make you sign a prenup).

And don’t believe all those crappy motivational sayings about “The only failure is to not try.” There are much bigger failures than not trying! Trying and being completely inept is a much bigger problem!

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The reality is if you do absolutely nothing, 99 percent of decisions will make themselves and you don’t have to take the blame! (Pro Tip #2)

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.


11 Comments on “Helping Your Millennial Employees Through Their Quarter-Life Crisis

  1. “If you’re 25 and no one has popped the question yet, you’ve got some issues.” is bullshit. Try 30.

      1. I think it depends on your outlook and even where you live. I’d hate to be married right now at 27 and living in washington dc. Too many adventures to go on to be tied down to a family…but perhaps I’m discounting how great it could be to share it with a spouse. I just don’t like the notion that “If you’re 25 and no one has popped the question yet, you’ve got some issue.” It’s a very one dimensional analysis of motivations behind getting married or remaining single that likely have everything to do only with your personal outlook.

  2. I’m going to assume this article was written completely in jest… thanks for wasting the time of a 28 year old determined HR professional with three kids and two mortgaged homes. My generation appreciates you making fun of us instead of sharing your insights and working with us

    1. That’s what middle-aged white guys do, Jenna – we make fun of the ‘kids’! Of course this was done in jest…if you want serious, boring HR articles go to SHRM. My insight – don’t be 28 years old and have 2 mortgaged homes – but that’s from a guy who says what everyone else is thinking, but won’t say.

      1. I don’t mind being made fun of, just help us too!! ;o)

        I also wouldn’t have two mortgaged homes if I could get rid of one of them. Wanna buy the one we left behind when we relocated?

        1. Jenna,

          I feel your relocation pain. I’ve done it 3 times – the first time I fell into your trap of having the 2 mortgages – times 2 and 3 I made sure they either bought my house or gave me a ton of cash and temp living to hold me over.

          Good luck,

  3. Absolutely hilarious! And you are right: Trying and being completely inept is a MUCH bigger problem!

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