Are we in a quarter-life burnout era?

As most of you reading this blog may be in working life, you may agree with this post. How do we want to lead our lives after we complete our education? Like any other professional, I’d reflexively reply: Work-life balance. Sure we her about great people on LinkedIn advocating work life balance, how to spend quality time with family, how to have a stable financial life, how to have a great retirement life.

We’d wholeheartedly agree that these are indeed noble intentions on the personal front.But I wondered how many of us actually manage to fulfill any of these lofty (improbable?) goals in our lives. For me it’s so darn difficult to achieve these things practically. Everyday we get up brush, wash,bathe and rush to office either in cramped metros,or local trains or any transport. Our job lives routinely involve sucking upto (aka being a servant to) our superiors, who we believe rather unanimously, are completely inept for their roles, This proves Peter principle correct that ” managers rise to their level of incompetence”.
Said my mind:” Do we have to be morons like the people we report to?”. “Will we also become hated like them by juniors when we arrive at that point in life?”.These are very troubling questions for people whose conscience is alive and kicking (Kicking too much?). And there are people who only believe in sticking around in companies just to pay-off EMIs of house they can’t afford, to impress the people they don’t like and satisfy the collective conscience of the people they never socialize with.Life indeed is full of contradictions. And some painful, at that.
So is the motto of working only to pay EMI’s and constantly job hopping? People just get carried away by their relatives about building the so called ideal lives. According to them an ideal life involves the following , non-negotiable steps
1. Get into a decent engineering/medical/technical college
2.Slog hard to learn irrelevant subjects for 3/4/5
3.Fight for jobs we aren’t suitable for during campus placements
4.Ruin the rest of our lives by paying off home-loans, car loans, credit card dues and some such sundry items,
5. at retirement lament in solitude that we’ve wasted all our lives.
People are quite uni-dimensional in their thinking that only 3-4 careers are worth respecting in life. The egg on their children to study subjects they have no interest in, waste years of their productive life learning irrelevant topics and the spoil the remaining of their lives paying off home-loan, car loan, credit card EMIs . They go on killing their inner wants to satisfy people’s collective conscience.

So much so for gaining life skills. By the result of such misguided enthusiasm is a term which I observed very recently (shockingly actually), known as as the quarter-life crises. Burnout, in HR parlance leads to diluting of ones own qualities in the guise of acceptability and approval. People are frustrated , livid and utterly depressed in their lives. They have suicidal thoughts, get cut-off from friends and family, precisely the same who are in the best position to pull them out of this self-inflicted morass.

There’s a way out of this. See, we live in an era that forces us to do mundane things for a living, for we have our family to support and EMIs to pay. However we can devote time to things which relax our minds, somethings we want to do at the back of the mind. For example, in my case I wanted to learn driving, but due to very hectic work-life (also mental laziness), I kept on postponing. Then I just took a decision to join a driving school to get the ball rolling.

This was just one example. I’m sure you will have more examples and great ideas to share.Just find out what your areas of interest is and make it a point to have some people around yourself, like close friends, spouse, parents, anyone supportive and who feels for you. That way, your motivation won’t falter. So get moving and and on your feet!!


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