Jason Laufer Combatting the Quarter-Life Crisis Interview

Jason Laufer Combatting the Quarter-Life Crisis Interview

Young Aussies Feel More Anxious About Their Careers than Personal Relationships

New research released by LinkedIn, reveals that one-third (33%) of Australians between 25-33 have experienced what has been termed in recent years as a 'quarter life crisis.'

Often described as a period of doubt and confusion over one's identity and purpose, the study found that the number one trigger was 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%).

Despite job opportunities being more diverse and abundant than ever before, over 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. Moreover, a strikingly high 58 per cent are unsure what to do next in their career.

It's perhaps no surprise then that 37 per cent of those surveyed said they had already changed their career entirely by 25, with a quarter (25%) of millennials taking a career break or handing in their notice without having a job to go to.

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

LinkedIn's Tips for Combatting the Quarter-Life Crisis:

Talk to a mentor:
Australians between 25-33 are more likely to talk to their family (58%), friends (56%) and partner (54%) rather than their work colleagues (28%) and boss (14%) about their career. 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. LinkedIn's Career Advice tool connects members with one another for lightweight mentorship opportunities - whether you need advice on your career path, switching to a new industry or best practices for a project you're working on.

Upskill, upskill and upskill:
Almost a third (28%) of Australians between 25-33 feel stuck in their current role with no transferrable skills. 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 transferrable skills.

Regain your work-life balance :
Currently, over half (58%) of millennials work for a company that does not offer flexible working. 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.

Look for secondment opportunities to international offices:
With travel being more accessible and affordable than ever before, and the property market being less so, the -generation of wanderers' also battle over their hunger to travel and explore the world while still saving for a property, establishing a career trajectory and seeking approval from their peers.

While almost half (47%) of Australians between 28-29 have travelled and taken extended holidays in their twenties, another half of young Australians (44%) aged 25-33 feel like they haven't travelled enough, when it is likely that they have travelled more than their older counterparts ever did in their early twenties.

Moreover, a quarter (19%) of Australians between 25-33 have already lived or worked abroad for an extended period of time.

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 per cent of companies offer secondments to international offices, but it couldn't hurt to ask, right?

Look for secondment opportunities to other departments/offices :
If you don't have any luck with the international secondment, why not try something a bit smaller like a secondment to other departments or local offices. 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.


Interview with Jason Laufer, Senior Director of Talent and Learning Solutions at LinkedIn Asia Pacific

Question: Are you surprised that one-third (33%) of Australians between 25-33 have experienced what has been termed in recent years as a quarter life crisis?

Jason Laufer: When you consider that young Australians are ambitious and driven and always on the lookout for more opportunities for growth then it's perhaps not surprising that they can feel a sense of doubt and confusion. That's why it's more important than ever that organisations establish a positive and progressive workplace culture that understand millennials' anxieties.


Question: How would you define a quarter-life crisis?

Jason Laufer: Often described as a period of doubt and confusion over one's identity and purpose, the study found that the number one trigger was 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%).


Question: Why are young Australians uncertain and therefore stressed about their careers?

Jason Laufer: Despite job opportunities being more diverse and abundant than ever before, over 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. Moreover, a strikingly high 58 per cent are unsure what to do next in their career.

In addition to this, most millennials aspire to explore the world extensively, with 44% of Australians between 25-33 having felt like they haven't travelled enough. However, millennials struggle to balance this desire with conflicting needs to establish a career trajectory, save for a property, and achieve approval from their peers. This has resulted in millennials pivoting between roles more often than their older counterparts, with almost a quarter (19%) having lived or worked abroad as a solution to this internal battle.


Question: Where is the pressure, on young Australians, to be successful (and in term earn good money) from?

Jason Laufer: One of the factors contributing to the pressure on young Australians to be successful seems to stem from the way in which today's millennials compare their success with that of their peers. Almost half (47%) of Australians between 25 and 33 say they feel a sense of anxiousness when comparing themselves to friends they believe to be more successful.


Question: How can young Australians find a career they are passionate about?

Jason Laufer: With so much uncertainty around whether they have picked the -right' career, it's perhaps no surprise that 37 per cent of those surveyed said they had already changed their career entirely by 25, with a quarter (25%) of millennials taking a career break or handing in their notice without having a job to go to. Finding a career you are passionate about isn't so much about picking the -right' career path, but instead exploring options that interest you and taking opportunities as they come. Developing supportive relationships in which to seek advice can help young Australians feel more secure in their career's trajectory.


Question: What advice do you have for combating anxiety in regards to our work-life?

Jason Laufer: Some tips for combatting the quarter life crisis include: talking to a mentor for career advice, upskilling to gain transferrable skills, evaluating whether flexible working is important to you and finding a role that suits, and looking for secondment opportunities in international offices or even other departments to expose yourself to new environments and opportunities.


Question: Can you share your advice for finding a mentor?

Jason Laufer: Australians between 25-33 are more likely to talk to their family (58%), friends (56%) and partner (54%) rather than their work colleagues (28%) and boss (14%) about their career. 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. LinkedIn's Career Advice tool connects members with one another for lightweight mentorship opportunities - whether you need advice on your career path, switching to a new industry or best practices for a project you're working on.


Interview by Brooke Hunter




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