4 ways to break out of your quarter-life crisis, from someone's who been there

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If you're in your 20s or early 30s and unhappy with your current job, worried about money or don't feel quite like an adult yet, you're probably having a quarter-life crisis.

It's a situation that's more common than you'd think. Some 75 percent of people age 25-33 say they've had or are currently going through their own quarter-life crisis, according to a LinkedIn survey of more than 6,000 people in the U.S. United Kingdom, India and Australia.

Among the many things that could stress a young person out, not having a fulfilling job or career is the biggest anxiety-inducer, the survey reveals.

But one young man who found himself broke and unemployed at 27 says this period of uncertainty can actually be an opportunity for incredible growth.

In his book "The Quarter-Life Breakthrough," Adam Poswolsky details how he turned his crisis into a valuable career as a writer, speaker and millennial career expert. Now, he gets paid to speak at Fortune 500 companies.

Here are four ways to figure out what to do next, from a guy who's been there:

1. Take a break from social media

Delete Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest from your phone, or at least turn off notifications. Comparing yourself to others can distract you from making positive changes in your own life, he says.

Instead, "try experimenting daily with a creative activity that you love to do, like writing in your journal, photography or drawing," Poswolsky writes.

This will give you the quiet time you need to get in touch with what you envision, and actually want, for yourself.

2. Shift the way you think about your career

Your career is like a smartphone, says a former Google career coach
Your career is like a smartphone, says a former Google career coach

There's a problem with defining your career as a ladder, Poswolsky says. That defines success in one very specific way, as a continuous climb in a single direction. What happens if you're no longer drawn to getting the next title bump or salary raise?

The career ladder metaphor seems safer, he writes, but it limits experimentation, which helps you figure out your passions.

Instead, think of your career like a series of jumps to different lily pads in a pond.

3. Call yourself what you want to be

If you don't have the courage to call yourself what you want to be, no one is going to hire you or pay you to be it.

When Poswolsky started calling himself a public speaker and writer, he was introduced to people in the same industries, and developed connections which led to job opportunities.

"Put yourself out there and call yourself what you are," he writes.

Put yourself out there and call yourself what you are.
Adam Poswolsky
author of "The Quarter-Life Breakthrough"

4. Talk to your peers

"Breakthroughs require personal hustle, but they also require outside help," Poswolsky writes.

If you don't currently have friends or acquaintances who you can discuss your plans with, find a network through social media or sites like, he suggests.

"When you share your plan with others, you increase your chances of finding supporters who can help you achieve your breakthrough," he writes.

This is an updated version of a previously published article.

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