Millennials Throw in the Towel

The traditional concept of employment is the latest thing that the ever-contrarian millennial generation is reinventing. They’re quitting their jobs, without worrying about what they’ll do next. According to a 2018 Millennial Survey by Deloitte, 43 percent of millennials expect to leave their job within two years.

Reader Antonia sends me an article from the New York Post that describing the decisions of young people who have given up their stressful, lucrative jobs in favour of travel and generally idle loveliness.

“Nothing was wrong with the job – it was a great company, good money, six figures. I was 26 and I said, ‘Why am I going to spend my 20s sitting at a desk?'” says Mason, now 29. “We’re waiting for retirement at 67, and they keep bumping it up — who knows what age it will be for me — 70s? I thought it was foolish not to [leave].”

There’s lots of the usual inspiring material about how their good but stressful and sedentary jobs were getting them down before they decided to downsize, quit, sell up and travel. But there’s also some useful-to-read reality checks about the anxiety that can come when you quit with no plan in mind.

“I was at the point of, like, stay and wish I was dead — or leave and be full of anxiety. But at least have some sort of hope that change was a-brewing,” says Jessica.

As you know, I believe you can quit with scant planning if you’re willing to throw caution to the wind and you want an adventure, but it certainly helps to build an escape fund first and make yourself re-employable should you ever need to come back to the grind.

The article is refreshingly full of young Escapologist types and it’s worth a read if you’re having a bad time at an office desk somewhere and need a little push.

“The future is unknown and sometimes that feels scary in the West,” she muses. But “life is so short, and the world is so big … living an alternative life is possible — our narrow version of success is just that: narrow.”

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Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

2 Responses to “Millennials Throw in the Towel”

  1. chris says:

    Yeah i thought this at 26-29 also but what becomes a few years of self employment etc becomes a closed door back into the workplace, like a black hole in which a life of constant re-invention, rent shares and no holidays awaits.

  2. It’s a risk but hopefully a calculated one. I’ve always said that we should build failure and re-employability into our escape plans. It’s also a risk that is yours to take; one life and all that. Some of the kids in the article, by the way, were on six-figure incomes apparently, which is a ludicrously comfortable safety net. If I had that kind of income, I’d work for a year or two and then pack it in forever.

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