• The International

Quarterlife in Transition



As a young adult – or "Quarterlifer"– in a new country, you are embarking on a journey

which will change you forever. If things go your way, nothing will ever be the same. If

things don't go your way, you guessed it - nothing will ever be the same. So buckle up,

enjoy the ride, and read on to find out how to remain in the driver's seat!


Photographs: iStock

Text: Anita Ehrhardt


Quarterlife is defined as the period of young adulthood roughly between ages 20-35. It's an exciting time when you're physically and mentally at your peak and well placed to take chances and try new things. It can also be a period of tremendous insecurity, self-doubt and lack of direction. If moving to Denmark to study, pursue a love interest, or start a new job is part of your Quarterlife journey, below are some steps you might want to consider taking to make your transition smoother and more meaningful.


The Quarterlife IDEA Based on the challenges and opportunities that Quarterlife offers, the following four-step process will strengthen your ability to make confident choices which speak to your strengths and needs, and highlight how essential your skills are for Denmark.

"The only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you." - unknown

Step 1: Identify 

This step starts with identifying past positives and considering what was present for you in those experiences. When you think back to your life before coming to Denmark, in which circumstances can you recall performing at your best? Was it on a sports team, at work or when you were studying? What were the contexts and circumstances that consistently gave you energy or triggered excitement? Was it the people, the environment, the activity or the subject which made you feel that you were at your best?

The second part of this step is to identify what elements of those positive experiences you want to duplicate in your current circumstance. Are there specific values that are important for you to uphold? Or particular personal strengths you want to utilise?


Step 2: Determine Denmark is filled with possibilities. So how do you decide what to pursue? In this step, you should determine what strengths you already possess and what the society around you is asking for. Is the country experiencing a shortage of expertise in specific business sectors? Is your local municipality lacking experienced personnel in areas related, for example to healthcare, psychology or teaching? Once you have identified the gaps, you can focus on the strengths you possess which can be ramped up to support the needs of your community.


Step 3: Enable Once you have identified what stimulates you and determined how to use your abilities to support the needs around you, an essential next step is to identify a "success network." This is different from a regular network of friends, family or professional contacts. A success network is comprised of a carefully curated set of "true believers" or people that are your undying advocates when it comes to your vision for yourself and the objectives you have set out to achieve. For them, your success is a foregone conclusion, and they will be your enablers as you push forward through the ups and downs of your Quarterlife journey. Who is part of your success network? Find them and ask them to join the ride.


Step 4: Activate 

How will you describe yourself as you are today? The more work you have done in steps 1-3, the better equipped you will be when it comes to activating your story and describing to others who you are and what you have to offer Denmark. But make no mistake, this process takes work and requires that you lift yourself from your failures, move past your fears and make meaningful strides towards your vision for yourself and your objectives for the future. It's not just enough to know, you have to activate – you have to plan.

Making a plan based on well thought out possibilities and realistic objectives can be a powerful way to hold yourself accountable to your vision for yourself and to make meaningful progress in securing your place and contribution within a community.


The Quarterlife IDEA will help you to determine what you want to do, what you don't want to do and most importantly, to recognise how you are uniquely positioned and qualified to contribute something truly remarkable in your new home. This is your Quarterlife opportunity – don't waste it!