Quarter-Life Tales: Turning Questions into Answers

Welcome to our ongoing series about career development. Stay tuned as we roll out more personal stories from Team JUST and how they grew through their own career development.

According to LinkedIn research, 75% of millennials experience a “quarter-life crisis” in their lives.  

This is defined as a time of questioning the decisions you’ve made and what faces you as you move forward. It’s a good sign if you’re concerned. That means that you care and have invested in your career decisions. You’ve made strides and are making it in on your own. Where is it getting you though? Your ambition might be stretching you too thin.  

You’re not alone either. Most Americans by age 31 have already held nearly 8 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compound that with increasing freelance work and folks nowadays have a lot of options swirling around.  

Here are some productive tactics to turn this turbulence into opportunities:  

Get Reflective on Your Anxiety 

Don’t judge yourself for feeling this way. Use this time to recognize how you react to situations and what triggers you. Observing your thoughts and actions builds your emotional intelligence which is highly valuable.

Identify What Exactly is Stressing 

The pressure could be societal, personal and/or professional. When you know what to address, you can build an action plan and appropriate timelines and goals.

Managing Expectations

No, you don’t have to be a YouTube influencer, married or own a home by the time you’re 30. Just because some of your peers have reached particular achievements doesn’t’ mean it’s reflective of everyone. 

Once you’ve identified the source(s) of your crisis, then you can scout new career and life paths that align with the vision for yourself.  

Here are some hard-earned tips from our team at JUST Media around how they dealt with (or are dealing with) career realignments:  

“Search internally for personal values and align them to an organization to find a proper fit

Careers are a constant journey where you should take a constant evaluation of personal interests, visions, and values. I feel a career crisis stems from not having these constant self-evaluations. Always explore the different things that interest you and don’t be afraid to try something new. JUST Media is great at allowing people to explore interests by providing opportunities.”

Kris VanSpeybroeck | Manager, Media

“You’re always contributing something, so when looking at how you can be successful, look at what you’re contributing.  

Are you putting forth solutions, friendship, and new ideas? Or are you contributing silence, apathy, and negative comments? If you want to succeed and grow in an organization, contribute positively. Everyone will notice. At JUST Media, everyone wants to do a great job. When you find an environment with passionate, motivated people – never leave. Ever. I found my passion by looking at what aspects of my life I’d been enjoying the most. Then I looked for a job where I could have those everyday – at JUST Media I get to learn, participate actively, and see my personal contribution in our client work.”

Kathryn Nassar | Manager, Campaign Strategy

“Knowing that I am able to grow as a person outside of work usually puts me at ease whenever I’m feeling ambivalent about my path in life

We all know it’s important to keep learning new things about your industry and pushing your professional boundaries, as it will undoubtedly open doors for your career. More importantly, however, I’ve found that my career in digital marketing has allowed me the time and freedom to explore new hobbies and master old ones.”

Walter Septien | Manager, Search

“You are not alone and there are people around you going through the same experience.  

You are still early in your journey of a career while figuring out how a align your life in a harmony, everyone is running their own race. Everything happens for a reason and you are exactly where you are suppose to be. Taking care of yourself first will lead you to where you want to go.”

Dominique Stewart | Integrate Demand Specialist

“Keep in mind that growth is not possible without failure! 

I was brand new to the paid social media space when I first started my career at JUST Media. I had to remind myself that it’s okay to fail forward and that it’s normal to make mistakes. We’re humans, and the best way to learn and grow is by trial and error.”

Madisen Joseph | Coordinator, Social

“JUST Media was my first job after college and the advertising world was brand new to me, so I told myself to make the most of this opportunity and give my best to what even seemed like small jobs.  

In return, I did not focus on the time it took me to finish but the quality of work I provided, and most importantly the knowledge I was gaining. I truly believe the saying ‘if you work hard, you will succeed.’ Everything will fall into place, but you have to keep moving. I’m reminded of the quote from author Zig Ziglar, “Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”

Amy Yos | Manager, Programmatic & Media

“You will never regret gaining additional skills! 

I am in the middle of navigating my quarter-life crisis and I am on the downhill side of it. I came into JUST Media not sure about continuing my career in media, even though it is what I have been working toward for the past 10 years through school and previous jobs. I have considered so many possibilities for my future and, while those are still options, I am choosing to focus my energy on furthering my career and widening my skillset in media.  

Leadership at JUST Media has been extremely helpful and willing to work with the ebbs and flows of my crisis. ‘People First’ isn’t just an enticing expression, it’s something that is acted out every day. JUST Media leadership is interested in growing me and my career, wherever it may take me. I have been encouraged to figure out what I really love doing and build a career that reflects it, even if it is unconventional. Currently, I am working in media strategy, account management, event planning, and looking to take on a hybrid role with a platform team. I feel very lucky to work for a company that cares so much about my development and happiness.” 

Ellen Keim | Manager, Media Account Team

“Remember that everyone is human.

Sometimes we get lost in the title and years of experience game, or we communicate via technology and online tools so much that we lose sight of establishing actual human interactions. One of my favorite thing about JUST Media is that everyone here is extremely friendly, endearing, and is a genuine pleasure to work with. We work, we have fun, we laugh, we hang out outside of work. When you make an effort to establish these human interactions with your co-workers, you build bonds that will help you in and out of work.”

MyMy Nguyen | Manager, Search & Social

Hopefully, you’re feeling a little better about your situation and have some tools to achieve your goals. Remember, there’s no deadline for your accomplishments.  

Looking for more career opportunities? JUST Media is hiring for a wide variety of exciting marketing roles. See what’s available and contact us here: justmedia.com/careers

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Posted on March 18, 2020 in Career Development, Just Media, Quarter-Life Tales

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