28 April 2021

The New York Times: “Welcome to the YOLO Economy”

If “languishing” is 2021’s dominant emotion, YOLOing may be the year’s defining work force trend. A recent Microsoft survey found that more than 40 percent of workers globally were considering leaving their jobs this year. Blind, an anonymous social network that is popular with tech workers, recently found that 49 percent of its users planned to get a new job this year.

We’ve all had a year to evaluate if the life we’re living is the one we want to be living, said Christina Wallace, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School. 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?

Raises and time off may persuade some employees to stay put. But for others, stasis is the problem, and the only solution is radical change.

It feels like we’ve been so locked into careers for the past decade, and this is our opportunity to switch it up, said Nate Moseley, 29, a buyer at a major clothing retailer.

Kevin Roose

I must admit I have felt a similar drive for change these past several months – and have even gone through a couple of jobs that left me more dissatisfied than before. I am unsure how my professional life will evolve, and I do not plan on going freelance or something similar for the time being. On the bright side, the job market seems filled with opportunities, I’ve had more interviews than usual, so at least there are alternatives out there when I inevitably get tired of my current position.

YOLO Economy illustration

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