Does Midlife Crisis Begin At 30 In India? 5 Millennials Weigh In

The age of 35 is much dreaded in China—so much so that it’s called a curse. People in China fear their employment status as soon as they near the age of 35 because many companies don’t prefer to work with them, according to a New York Times report.

Kalyani Ganesan
New Update
Women founders/ Shutterstock, Entrepreneur

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While people across the globe start finding stability in life in their mid-30s, the age of 35 is much dreaded in China—so much so that it's called a curse. People in China fear their employment status as soon as they near the age of 35 because many companies don't prefer to work with them, according to a New York Times report.

This age discrimination not only affects an individual's professional life but also takes a huge hit on their personal life decisions such as marriage, children, and buying a house among others. 

According to the news outlet, the reason for the phenomenon famously called the "Curse of 35" is something that occurred after the COVID-19 pandemic economic crisis. It's unclear as to how it started or how legit it is, but the job market seems weak as age discrimination is prevalent in the country, and this isn't against the law. Many older employees in their mid-30s face a challenging situation for the first time during this phase.

The financial statements of China's three biggest businesses, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, report that approximately 9% fewer people have been hired in the first three months of 2023 compared to the hiring rate during the pandemic. The number of marriages has also fallen from 10.5% in 2022, the lowest in China since the publication of data started in 1986.

Millennials On Midlife Crisis

Talking to five millennials in their late 20s and early 30s in India about this phenomenon in China and if and how they could relate to it in India, Deepika Angannan, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, realised that the age when one could afford to make hasty decisions and experiment is suddenly reducing after 30. "People around you now discuss finances, shares, kids, buying a house, a car, etc. A casual meeting with friends is never casual anymore because of commitments. There is so much happening with mental and physical health. You clearly understand that making money is a priority because, in no time, you can be replaced. With ageing parents, marriage, family type, kids, and responsibilities, you feel you need to clone yourself to take on so many roles at a time. As much as we talk about healing, living the moment, etc., you clearly know the rush is the reality."

Viji Balachander, a 28-year-old IT professional, noted that the midlife crisis in India is very real. "Personally, I've already started feeling the pressure. I need to work, whether or not I'm passionate about it, because I cannot afford to pause and chase my passion due to my umpteen commitments. There's a constant need to keep updating your skills to sustain yourself because, more than qualifications, skills matter. The pressure is heavier on women, as maternity leave often takes a huge hit on our careers. I think planning better and not giving into societal pressure will help," she added.


"I think companies should get over this thought soon. It's really tough on folks in their mid-30s as is, and to top it off, if employers are going to be biased, it'd add to their pressure. And they'll lose out on experienced people who will add value to their company. I feel there should be more avenues to connect with mental health experts for people to express themselves," said Deeptha Sreedhar, an MNC professional.

Niveditha Sreenivasan, a corporate professional, opined that in India, our typical lifestyle requires women to get married in their mid-20s, balance work and life, have children, and by the time they are around 35, there's a social pressure to be "well-settled" with a house, a car, and two kids. There are a few couples who are trying to deviate from this "conventional setup," but it's surely an existential crisis for them because there's a lot of communication and planning that goes on in the backend. The craze for going abroad is also high in India so that just adds to the pressure.

"I feel like I've been going through a midlife crisis since I turned 25. My parents talked about my marriage while I was aware that I wasn't anywhere near ready to start a family of my own, plus the fact that I don't make much money to support myself, let alone kids in the future, just started messing with my head long ago. I think there's a lot of pressure in India from everyone around you. Society has deadlines for everything, and we are expected to get married, have children, have a house, and have a car—but the reality is that many of us are still trying to figure things out.

Suggested Reading: Bringing Back Women Into Workforce: Enabling Flexible Working

Views expressed by the author are their own

Midlife Crisis In China Millennials On Midlife Crisis Curse Of 35 China