Early Career

Facing a Quarter-Century Crisis? Strategize Your Way to a Better Career.

Are you an early-career woman feeling stuck in a job that’s not right for you? If you faced a career setback, you’re feeling burned out at work, or you’re starting to wonder if you chose the wrong career, don’t panic. Feeling anxious about your life choices is totally normal. In fact, this is such a common experience for people in their mid-twenties to early thirties that there’s a name for it — the quarter-century crisis.

If your career isn’t where you want it to be, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on your dreams and ambitions altogether. Instead, take a step back, reassess the situation, and strategize your next move. Here’s how to get your career on the right track.

  1. Don’t make any sudden moves. If you’re feeling unappreciated by your manager, fed up with your bully of a boss, or struggling to stay afloat in a high-pressure work environment, your emotions could be clouding your judgment. Be patient with yourself and with the situation. Even if you are desperate for a change, you’ll make better choices if you give yourself time to think things through before you take action.
  2. Explore your options. Talk to people who share your interests, especially people who are further along in their careers, and ask them what they love about their jobs. Ask them about their career journeys. Are there key steps that could help you follow a similar trajectory? If you like your company, but not your current role, how could you build new skills that might make it easier to transition into a different position? Note: If you’re chatting with friends and former classmates, resist the urge to compare yourself with them. Everyone’s journey is different — and successful people aren’t your enemies. In fact, they could be valuable contacts as you move ahead in your career.

If your career isn’t where you want it to be, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on your dreams and ambitions altogether.”

  1. Face your fears. Change is scary. As you consider your next steps, you may hear all sorts of questions running through your head. “What if I can’t find another job?” “What if I get another job and it’s worse than this one?” “What if my boss gets mad at me for leaving?” Instead of worrying about what might go wrong, accept that moving to a different company — or pivoting to an entirely new career — will be challenging. If you want to move on from a place where you feel frustrated and unhappy, you can’t let your fears hold you back. Yes, job and career changes can be stressful, but they’re also opportunities to start building your dream career. Be brave and take action.
  2. Know that you have what it takes to succeed. The scariest thing about “adulting” is that you’re the one in charge of your life, but that’s also the most exciting thing about it. Trust that the decisions you’re making are the right ones for you. If even small choices fill you with self-doubt and you start second-guessing yourself, remember that nothing is set in stone. Your life has countless paths and possibilities, and you may choose to explore something else entirely down the line, from an entrepreneurial side hustle to a full-time role in a different industry. For now, focus on where you are now and where you’d like to go next.

“Trust that the decisions you’re making are the right ones for you.

  1. Use the tools available to you. When you’re experiencing a quarter-century crisis, it’s often hard to see the big picture. You may be overwhelmed by all of the different options available to you, or you may feel like you don’t have any options. If you’re confused about what to do next, and you’re not sure where to turn, there are people and organizations that want to help you. Forté is one of them.

Forté has partnered with FranklinCovey to launch Career Strategist, a 12-week program for early-career women. Our next cohort is forming now. Join leadership experts for a series of live, interactive webinars, and get access to readings, videos, and specific exercises designed to help you make your mark and grow as a leader. This program will guide you through the process of strategically mapping out your next steps so that you can thrive in a meaningful career.

Related posts

Get newsletters and events relevant
to your career by joining Forté.

our partners