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6 Signs You’re Having A Quarter Life Crisis (And How to Overcome It)

6 Signs You’re Having A Quarter Life Crisis (And How to Overcome It)

It usually hits you in your late twenties and shakes you to the core putting undeniably in question the purpose of everything. You feel depressed and insecure with an ever-increasing desire to leave everything, run, and never look back. It is called a quarter life crisis, and it is as real and as tough as any other crisis. More often experienced by educated twenty and thirty-somethings with great aspirations and expectations that somehow didn’t came true, a quarter life crisis happens as they are trying to make a smooth transition into adulthood, resulting in them feeling stuck in between two worlds not quite belonging to either.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be stuck in this limbo forever. The most important thing is to take enough time to dig deep into your feelings so as to discover the signs so that you can work on overcoming them one by one.

1.You feel like being trapped by your job.

This one is a classic when it comes to the signs of a quarter life crisis. Whether you follow your career plan designed by your more enthusiastic and confident college-self, or you have awaken one day to realize that your temporary job solution isn’t so temporary four years later, you have that strong and unescapable feeling that you are stuck.

You disagree with anything your boss proposes, you can’t find the motivation to show up to work every day, let alone performing any demanding task, and the thought of yourself doing that work in the next ten years gives you a mild panic attack because it is not something you enjoy and feel passionate about.

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The sole reason this one is a classic is because so many people are experiencing it; so keep that in mind next time you feel like no one understands what you’re going through and try calling a friend. Talking and sharing with others can help you get closer, and at the same time you can get good and honest advice.

Yet, no one can make a decision for you. Even though you feel like quitting your current job, you should take some time to think and discover the real reasons for your unhappiness. In some cases, quitting is the only option possible, but try to find positive aspects of it before leaving it for good. Finding the right calling is a necessary, yet timely quest, so make sure you have some sort of safety net before you reach it eventually.

2.You don’t know what to say to your close friends.

All of a sudden you find yourself facing the world alone in a sense that the challenges and experiences you are having might not be the same as your friends’. You find your group drifting apart with no or little common ground, opinions, or values.

This doesn’t need to be the end of your friendship. Quite the contrary, you should share now more than ever, since it is by combining and comparing your different perspectives, that you get the most valuable lessons in life. You get the opportunity to relate on a deeper level now that you are not just friends by chance, but because you choose to.

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3.You realize it takes much effort to make your dream come true.

It is a harsh reality check when you see yourself still waiting for your life to take off and things to be the way they were supposed to before reaching the thirty milestone. We all make these scenarios by default without even stopping for a moment to question how much of it truly is our dream, and how much we have picked from our parents’ or society’s plans.

To overcome panic and disappointment that usually accompany this realization, you need to remind yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Try not to think of your road as full of mistakes, but see everything as a lesson and another step further to fulfilling your dreams. This way you won’t have to give up on your dreams, but you will be able to take the challenges one at a time feeling much more optimistic each step of the way.

4.You are worried about whether you make progress fast enough to be successful sometimes.

You give it all you’ve got, yet it still seems like you’re just getting by, constantly struggling with that panicky feeling of being too late for something. That something being your career goals. Your parents had their career figured out much sooner in their life, so it must mean that something is wrong with you.

We all get caught up in those dysfunctional thoughts when we start overthinking about the future and stop enjoying the now. The key is to stay calm and mindful so that you can take a better look at what you have achieved so far. By appreciating and giving yourself the credit for each accomplishment, you will start enjoying the process itself and the success will happen much faster.

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5.You can’t help comparing yourself with your friends.

And, somehow, they always win those “competitions”. You love your friends and want the best for them, but you cannot escape the feeling that their lives are perfect, their jobs much more fulfilling than yours, and their relationships more mature. Again, you feel helpless and alone in your struggles.

It is not easy not to compare yourself with others, especially your closest friends, whose lives you listen about so much. Yet, if you don’t want the comparing and analyzing to ruin your time together, you need to remind yourself that you are a unique human being with a unique life purpose and path.

You were never supposed to be like someone else, and that is the beauty of it. You can have similar experiences to share with your friends to help each other grow, but each of you has a unique standpoint and path to take. Let your friends’ journeys inspire and motivate you instead of making you feel less than.

6.You don’t feel happy even when everything goes smooth in your life.

If you still cannot decide if you are going through a quarter life crisis, this is an undeniable indicator. Everything has lined up for you – you are doing great at work, student loan is taken care of, you’ve got amazing group of friends, and your love life is surprisingly good and stable, yet you cannot help but wonder – is that all that is?

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Somehow, along the way, you have lost that thirst for life that you had in your early twenties, and you feel lost somewhere in-between, feeling not quite like your past careless self, and not yet like a fully-grown, responsible adult.

This is the trickiest one to tackle, but once you overcome it, you will feel more empowered and confident than ever. Going through a crisis this early in life helps you prepare for the next stage of adulthood and challenges it brings. You need to listen to your inner voice and find what it is that helps you relax and find gratitude. For some, it is spending time in nature with their pets, or re-discovering a hobby you enjoyed as a child, doing sports, doing anything that helps you disconnect from the usual busy routine and make you appreciate the little things in life.

Once you start setting aside some you time, you will transfer some of that appreciation into your “regular” routine and will find it much more enjoyable too. Finally, remember that you don’t need to have everything figured out all the time. It is perfectly normal to feel out of place at times, since that is the only way to find your true self.

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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