How to help young adults deal with the quarter-life crisis

November 7th 2022 | Posted by Phil Scott

Young adults often experience a quarter-life crisis. This crisis happens when they discover their life is not how they imagined it would be.

This realisation comes with a feeling of uncertainty and insecurity and is often made worse by the fact that individuals may not be certain who and where they want to be.

When young people first start to be aware they are experiencing a crisis in their life, there are things that can be done to help. Top HR professionals understand the value of helping in this way and are also involved in helping to prevent quarter-life crises from happening. Let’s examine this subject in more detail.

People going through the quarter-life crisis from the current talent pool

The generation that is currently providing the talent pool from which leaders of the future will emerge is also the generation that is most likely to experience a quarter-life crisis. Top-performing HR professionals understand the benefits to the business of effectively managing these young individuals and making sure they are comfortable in their role and able to fulfil their potential.

Recognising the opportunities of what could be a difficult situation is a vital aspect of managing the quarter-life crisis in younger members of the workforce. One of the main opportunities is having a chance to examine actions and behaviours and learn how to make more intentional decisions.

There are several initiatives that are useful in making this happen including providing learning and career path opportunities, adopting horizontal rather than vertical management practices, and creating a framework that managers can use to stimulate and support younger members of their teams.

How HR professionals can help prevent the quarter-life crisis in employees

Further to implementing these initiatives, there are methods that the most experienced HR professionals and managers use to help prevent a quarter life crisis from occurring or ensure a crisis is resolved effectively if it happens.

These methods are:

  • Listening in a responsive manner.

Young people value the interactions they have in the workplace. Therefore, listening responsibly, being empathetic, and showing interest is essential. This type of listening culture should always include the opportunity to give and receive constructive feedback.

  • Understanding individuals

Top HR professionals and experienced managers understand that listening is only part of the story. There is also a need to look more closely at the individual and understand what is important to them. A one-to-one meeting can facilitate the start of this relationship which should be one of coaching rather than influencing.

  • Capitalising on individual strengths

Developing and utilising individual strengths is valuable to an organisation and helps individuals to understand how their abilities fit within the organisation. Having this understanding puts them into a state of flow and enhances their motivation levels. Recognising strengths in this way also helps individuals feel more connected with the goals of the organisation.

Combining these various initiatives and actions enhances the experience of younger members of the workforce. They feel happier and more valued and are less likely to experience problems with a quarter-life crisis.

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