The recession, loss of jobs, collapse of what was a stable economy, bailouts, stimulus packages, mortgage crisis…sigh. Oh, did I mention healthcare? No wonder twenty-somethings are full of anxiety; watching their student loan payments arrive in the mail month after month with no prospect of the quality of life that was promised to await them post-graduation. If we thought young professionals were experiencing Quarter Life Crisis (QLC) before – what’s going to happen now?
QLC is the realization of becoming a – gasp – grown up! It’s the anxiety and fear associated with the coming of age post-graduation. All of their lives young professionals are told they are perfect and can be whatever they want as long as they dream it! Reach for the stars! And then reality hits. Being an adult doesn’t seem so appealing when you look at all of the responsibilities associated with it.
Young professionals graduate with degrees, certifications and an unrealistic understanding of what awaits them. For a generation of winners, the introduction of real life can send them into a depressive downward spiral. Having to take a less than stellar hourly job, moving back home, or worse – moving back in with the parents – is common.
Here’s where Young Professional Organizations (YPO) fit in. First, YPO’s prove to the young professional (YP) that they aren’t alone. YPs were promised that they could have any job they wanted due to the baby boomers’ retiring. However with the loss of retirement funds, upside down mortgages and rising health care they simply can’t. More and more educated and intelligent YPs are finding themselves far from their dreams and expectations.
YP groups are often affiliated with Chambers of Commerce. Networking opportunities and avenues to meet established professionals are abundant in Chambers. Recent graduates can begin networking and building relationships by being active in YP organizations and their affiliations. Numerous YP organizations also offer internship opportunities; which if taken advantage of can lead to exposure and experience for the newbie.
Quarter Life Crises are on the rise, but the cure could be as simple as a membership into your local YPO.