Here's Why Your 'True Mid-Life Crisis' Will Start In Your 30s


Photo: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr

Instead of expecting to live a full, normal life until everything goes haywire in your 50s, you can now start expecting the most stressful time of your life to hit a couple of decades earlier.Why is that?

By the time you’re in your late 30s, you’ll become a “victim of two colliding trends. Life is slowing down and speeding up at the same time: families arrive later, even as careers are accelerating,” according to a recent article in The Economist.

The Economist says that people are running companies at much younger ages and it’s not just in the digital industries. Recruitment consultant firm Egon Zehnder International (EZI) reports that the number of CEOs in their 40s have doubled in the last 15 years. 

In order to become CEO by the time you’re in your 40s, you’d have to “position [yourself] for supremacy a decade earlier.” This means taking on leadership roles in a division or region that will take up most of your time. By the time you’re 38, you need to be a level right below the top. 

This means that, in your 30s, you’ll be in the most intense years of your careers while also trying to raise a family, if you should choose to have one. 

For example, look at Marissa Mayer: 37 years old, soon-to-be first-time mother and new CEO of Yahoo. That’s a lot of new changes and responsibilities.

The article cites a survey released by Relate, a relationship-support charity, that reports top concerns for those between the ages of 35 and 44 are loneliness and work-life balance. These people also tend to have the fewest friends because they don’t have time to cultivate them. 

The charity called this time the “true mid-life crisis.”

NOW SEE: Why you can’t afford to waste your twenties >

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