The new 4-letter reason for millennial turnover


It stands for "you only live once," and it's fueling a new brand of employee exit.

Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The New York Times, writes that the anxiety experienced throughout the pandemic's first year is motivating a growing number of people with financial cushions and in-demand skills to act on a fresh kind of "professional fearlessness."

The trend is especially prevalent in remote-friendly occupations, such as those in technology and finance. And it's not always closely tied to the workload or workplace: Many YOLO-fueled resignations "seem related to a deeper, generational disillusionment, and a feeling that the economy is changing in ways that reward the crazy and punish the cautious," writes Mr. Roose. 

"We've all had a year to evaluate if the life we're living is the one we want to be living," Christina Wallace, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, told the Times. "Especially for younger people who have been told to work hard, pay off your loans and someday you'll get to enjoy your life, a lot of them are questioning that equation. What if they want to be happy right now?"

Not every worker seeking a big change will quit. Extended vacations or flexible work weeks could convince some employees to stay, while others might actually find a return to an office helpful to get a sense of work-life balance back. But overall, workforce changes are likely underway. U.S. job openings hit a two-year high in February, and economists expect higher turnover in the months ahead as employees who stayed put during the pandemic start to return to life as normal. 

Read Mr. Roose's column in the Times here.

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