General
28 Apr 2016

Almost half of us experience a ‘life crisis’

Almost half (44%) of the British public have either had or are going through a ‘life crisis’, a poll recently commissioned by The Open University reveals today. To help people restore their personal balance, The Open University is urging people to discover their ‘Plan P - their ‘Passion Plan’ - and realise their unfulfilled ambitions.

However, it’s not just those midway through their lives who have suffered a ‘life crisis’ and need to re-ignite their passions. Almost a third of those surveyed (29%) have been through a ‘life crisis’ between the ages of 18 and 30, suggesting millennials are particularly susceptible.

When asked what factors caused their ‘life crisis’, a lack of career fulfilment and unfulfilled dreams topped the list. To combat this, 39% said embarking on a new career would help solve their issues and 24% said learning something new would have the same effect.

Whilst over two thirds of those surveyed wish they spent more time pursuing their personal passions, 27% don’t think they have time to do so, with long hours of work and social pressures swallowing up free time. One in ten of those surveyed do not have any personal passions or interests outside of their career, however 41% said that taking up a new interest or hobby would help address their ‘life crisis’.

As a result, The Open University is today urging people to explore their interests by learning something new or pursuing further study in order to address the issues associated with their ‘life crises’, start realising their ambitions and to discover their ‘Plan P’.

Clare Riding, Head of Careers and Employability Services at The Open University said: “Almost two fifths (39%) of people cited embarking on a new career as a solution to their ‘life crisis’ so whilst finding a career you love can be challenging, it is also deeply rewarding. Taking time to explore your interests, both in and out of work, will help you to realise your career ambitions and will support you in finding the role that’s right for you.”

“Hockey is a real passion of mine,” Helen Richardson-Walsh, Olympic hockey player and OU student commented, “But it’s not my only interest in life. I love psychology and wanted to pursue my passions outside of my sporting career so couldn’t wait to begin my BSc with The Open University. I know I won’t be playing hockey for Britain forever so when the time is right I wanted to be ready to activate my ‘Plan P’ – and I now am, thanks to my OU degree.”

Alan Campbell, Olympic rower and Open University student said, “As an athlete there will come a time that you can no longer compete at international standard, so there has to be something beyond sport. Not only this but in a high pressure, competitive career such as elite sport, you need to have other passions that keep your mind alert and focused outside of work. Rio 2016 will be my last Olympics but this isn’t a year of endings for me, it’s a year of beginnings too. I will complete my BA (Hons) in Leadership and Management with The Open University this year and can’t wait to see what new journey this will take me on.”

“The Open University changed my life,” Victoria Ann Trull, trainee teacher and OU graduate said, "I didn't choose the right degree when I left school but having some more time, and getting more life experience, helped me to better understand what I wanted to do. Thanks to The Open University, I was able to study something I'm really passionate about - physics - and I can't wait to start teaching this full time."

back to All News stories

back to previous page

back to top