How to help a friend stuck for decades?
November 28, 2012 9:31 AM Subscribe
Friend stuck in a deep rut. Increasingly concerned he may never escape. Anything I can do to help?
posted by u2604ab to Human Relations (23 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
A close friend of 25+ years who is categorically one of the most intelligent and talented people I know has a life that seems stuck. He's done little to advance a career since finishing law school almost 3 years ago at a middling state school that gave him a full scholarship. Before going to law school he spent the better part of a decade living in his parent's house working the same 'entry level service industry / minimum wage' job he did in high school. Before that 'lost decade' he completed a bachelor's degree at a university you'd recognize as a Top-10 elite school. Before that, he spent a year living in his parents house, working the same job he worked after college. That initial year living at home and working the entry-level job was because he didn't apply to any elite colleges while in high school, and decided he was nonplussed about going to the local middling state school that had given him a full scholarship and was the default option.
In this time of 'under-acheiveing' he makes lots of 'false-starts.' Such as finding an apartment in a city with a booming economy where he should be able to get a good job, moving furniture in, and then never moving himself in. In the run-up to law school was a time when it became apparent to me that he has crippling perfectionism. He took the LSAT several times, but kept cancelling his scores without viewing them (so that the LSAT attempt didn't 'count').
He's not dated seriously since breaking up with a serious girlfriend after college. He's gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of hair.
He says he has conventional goals in life- wants a good job, wife, kids. But he doesn't take 'the next step.' He's got at least 3 very-long-time, close friends who are exceptionally well connected in the legal industry and offer to help him get a foot in the door, but he declines these networking offers.
The 'extended adolesence' -- postponing of getting a job commensurate with training, etc, looks like it's gone on for too long when you're just 2 or 3 years shy of 40 years old.
It pains me to watch him idling for so long. Is there anything else I can do to help him?