The "quarter-life crisis" is becoming more common as young people struggle to find full-time work.
Half of Australia's 25-year-olds are in full-time work, despite 60 per cent of them having post-school qualifications, a new report has revealed.
The Foundation of Young Australians has also found it's taking young people longer than their parents to find full-time jobs.
In 1986, it took 12 months to transition from school to work, but today that figure is more than four-and-a-half years.
Even allowing for gap years and those who continue their studies, the figure only drops to two-and-a-half years.
"At 25, young people are increasingly reporting they feel like they can't get anywhere and are struggling to navigate a career path in a rapidly changing world of work," a foundation report says.
"This has been termed by some as the quarter-life crisis with reported prevalence increasing."
The Mitchell Institute's director Megan O'Connell says unless schools focus on student capabilities like creativity, critical thinking and communications skills essential for jobs, Australia risks falling behind.
"We can't keep focusing on last century's education milestones - it is not enough anymore to get good high-school grades or even go on to further study or training," she said.
The FYA report suggests there are ways a young person can speed up their transition to work.
A course teaching problem-solving, teamwork and communications skills can put them 17 months ahead and 2000 hours of work in a relevant job can speed the transition by five months, while 5000 hours can put them a year ahead.
A positive mindset can reportedly give young people a two-month head start.