Being a graduate in 2016 — are you having a quarter life crisis?

Did you go through university with an unfailing confidence that you would get a job you love soon after graduating?

Did you get a place on a coveted graduate scheme? Or did you struggle getting a job?

Do you feel unfulfilled with what you are doing or that your career prospects aren’t as you thought it would be?

I woke up this morning, having finished university almost three and a half years ago feeling as lost as I did the first day of my first job post uni. How is that possible?

How is it possible that confident, capable graduates end up lost and confused about their work lives and career goals?

When you think about it, it’s not all that complicated. We start in education at 4 years old and then get spat out at either 16, 18 or 21 into this structureless way of life that we have no experience of. It’s confusing and hard and makes you doubt yourself.

In a time when instant success is expected, the pressure to get an amazing job you love that pays well is huge. And the majority of us buckle. We get the job that sounds good, we don’t pursue our passions, and instead we follow the well trodden path that’s expected of us.

And when you get the job, the job which is the culmination of all those years of education and you realise it’s not what you thought it would be, or not how you imagined it. It’s terrifying. You’ve worked so hard towards this magical ending you were promised and it’s not what you want at all.

You’re in a job you don’t enjoy working away as you always have until you can’t. Until you just reach a point where it doesn’t work anymore. You can’t motivate yourself to do the job you don’t enjoy just to say you do it and the money doesn’t even motivate you as much as it did initially.

What do you do? Do you try and stick it out? Or quit?

At this point the most important thing to distinguish is whether you are experiencing a natural low after the initial excitment for the job, (and the realisation that life is hard, not always fun and is filled with things like council tax, joy), or whether you actually have no passion for what your doing and are doing it for the wrong reasons.

It takes courage to quit and pursue what you you want. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or whether it’s what anyone else thinks is a good idea. It’s what you need to do for you. There is no better time to make a change than now.

Don’t let yourself get stuck in a role for the sake of being in the role.

It’s not important what job you have, how much money you make or whether you think your a success in comparison to your peers. It’s whether you can look at yourself and know you are where you want to be or at least are on the way to where you want to be. If your graduate job isn’t on that path, get off and never look back.