You’re 18 and graduating from high school. Your family, friends, teachers ask the age-old question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Fast forward: You’re 22, just landed your first, real “adult” job, and it’s in some marketing-adjacent field. Suddenly, you’re 30 and have crushed it at said job and now have three direct reports. You blink, and you’re 38(-ish) not exactly where you thought you’d be and have found yourself asking the same question from 20 years ago, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
Call it what you will—a quarter-life crisis or loss of purpose or losing your way altogether—this is an uncomfortable realization for many and something that’s often not discussed out loud.