Australia's millennials are having a 'quarter life crisis' as they worry about being successful

Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ambitious Australian millennials worry they haven’t been successful.
  • A quarter life crisis. They’re having a mid life crisis a little early, in their mid 20s.
  • Almost a third (29%) feel like they have wasted too many years in the wrong job and are unsure what to do next.

Australian millennials are having their mid, or more like quarter, life crisis earlier because they worry about whether or not they’ve been successful in their careers.

According to research by LinkedIn, nearly two thirds of 25 to 33 year old says are more anxious about their careers than personal relationships.

And as many as 80% of Australian millennials say they feel the pressure to succeed before they reach 30.

“Young Australians are ambitious and driven, always on the lookout for more opportunities for growth,” says Jason Laufer, Senior Director of Talent and Learning Solutions at LinkedIn Asia Pacific.

“That’s why it’s more important than ever that organisations establish a positive and progressive workplace culture that understand millennials’ anxieties.

“Offering opportunities for mentorship, training and travel are just some of the ways companies can support young Aussies in building a fulfilling and successful career.”

The survey of 1001 Australians found that the number one trigger for a quarter life crisis is anxiety over finding a job or career path that they are passionate about (64%) compared with finding a life partner (44%), having children (38%) or getting on the property ladder (49%).

More than half (51%) of millennials say “too much choice” can leave them frustrated, with almost a third (29%) feeling like they have wasted too many years in the wrong job and over a quarter (26%) don’t know what their “dream job” is.

A high 58% of millennials are unsure what to do next in their career.

Another 37% of those surveyed said they had already changed their career by 25, with a quarter (25%) taking a career break or handing in their notice without having a job to go to.

The Australian results of the survey are similar to global statistics for millennials.

Globally, nearly 80% of those aged 25 to 33 have felt under pressure to succeed in relationships, career or finances before hitting 30.

Finding a job or career that they’re passionate is also the top reason they feel anxious, even more so than about finding a life partner.

LinkedIn’s Tips for getting over a quarter-life crisis:

    Talk to a mentor

    Australians between 25-33 are more likely to talk to family (58%), friends (56%) and partner (54%) rather than their work colleagues (28%) and boss (14%) about their career. LinkedIn says: “While millennials are looking for advice, they often don’t know where to go for answers and feel like they aren’t getting enough support at their workplace to help them progress.”

    Upskill, upskill and upskill

    Almost a third (28%) of Australian millennials feel stuck in their current role. LinkedIn says: “Proactively seek out training opportunities, either from your company or from online platforms such as LinkedIn Learning, to ensure you are constantly upskilling and gaining transferable skills.”

    Work-life balance

    More than half (58%) of millennials work for a company that does not offer flexible working. “LinkedIn says: “As a millennial, you are more attuned to the concept of work-life balance, and aware of the advantages that technology provides in being able to work remotely. If the everyday grind isn’t your style, find a job or a career that gives you the benefit of exploring while working.”

    Secondment opportunities to international offices

    While almost half (47%) of Australians between 28-29 have traveled and taken extended holidays, another half (44%) aged 25-33 feel like they haven’t travelled enough. LinkedIn says: “If you work in an international firm, why not satisfy your wanderlust and hit those career goals at the same time by asking about the possibility of an international secondment. Currently only 6% of companies offer secondments to international offices, but it couldn’t hurt to ask, right?”

    Secondment opportunities to other departments/offices

    If you don’t have luck with the international secondment, why not try something a bit smaller a temporary shift to other departments or local offices. LinkedIn says: “A quarter (21%) of companies offer this opportunity, and it is a great way to stay engaged in your work, experience the other facets of the company, and expose yourself to different job roles.”

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