Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life That Matters


Have you ever known you needed to make a change, but felt unable to do anything about it? Have you ever felt like you aren't where you are supposed to be, and wondered how the people around you managed to find their purpose in life?

After realizing that his well-paying, impressive job with the Peace Corps was actually making him miserable, Adam "Smiley" Poswolsky started asking those big questions: How do you actually find meaning in the workplace? How do you find work that makes your heart sing, creates impact, and pays your rent?

THE QUARTER-LIFE BREAKTHROUGH provides fresh, honest, counterintuitive, and inspiring career advice for anyone stuck in a quarter-life crisis (or third-life crisis) figuring out what to do with their lives. It shares the stories of many twenty- and thirty- somethings who are discovering how to work with purpose (and still pay their rent). With practical exercises and resources, this book is essential reading for career changers and anyone passionate about getting unstuck, pursuing work that matters, and changing the world.


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27 Things You'll Learn From the Book



“Fresh and engaging, this book will inspire the next generation to lead with purpose.”

—Tony Hsieh, CEO of and New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness


"I wish this book landed on my desk when I hit my quarter life crisis! I could have saved years of frustration. Don't miss your own breakthrough, pick up this book!"

—Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Do Over


“Smiley’s words speak to the dreamer and doer in each of us by tapping into that true voice that calls from within.”

—Elle Luna, artist and author of The Crossroads of Should and Must


"With wit and candor, Poswolsky shares funny and odd things about himself while at the same time encouraging people who are unsatisfied with their career path to seek out their passion and pursue meaningful work."

—Publishers Weekly


"'The What Color Is Your Parachute? for the millennial generation."

—Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy and CEO of Imperative


“With his triumphant The Quarter-Life Breakthrough, Millennial Adam Smiley Poswolsky earns his place as a major voice of his generation. Pragmatic, philosophical, passionate, humble, delightfully funny, and infectiously inspiring, Poswolsky is a torchlight for those hungry to craft a more purposeful and rewarding adult life.”

—Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult


"Smart stuff. Smiley moves past simplistic slogans and offers instead practical and nuanced strategies for succeeding in the noble task of crafting a working life that matters."

-Cal Newport, author of Deep Work and So Good They Can't Ignore You


“This awesome book is chock full of smart, practical, relatable, and timely tips for meaning-makers. If you want to make a bigger impact in others’ lives, connect with a community you love, and find greater fulfillment even in an ever-changing career landscape, buy this book. And then re-read it whenever you need to turn a breakdown into a breakthrough.”

Jenny Blake, author of Pivot and Life After College


“With clear stepping stones, The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is an honest and actionable guide for young people who are eager to see and seize meaningful opportunities.”

—Tina Seelig, Professor of the Practice, Stanford University, and author of What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20


"Our generation never settles for careers they aren't passionate about. The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is the ultimate field guide to living life on your own terms and creating meaning in your work."

-Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0