Google Says People Love Searching “Why Do Millennials Quit Easily?” Well, Let Me Explain
Millennials are often depicted as a demographic that quits easily, but that's just not true.
Soul-sucking corporate jobs. Incompatible marriages. The idea that you should “travel while you’re young” because apparently you can’t go anywhere or do anything once you buy a house, start a family, and become regional manager of your soul-sucking job.
As a millennial, these were all messages I received while growing up, from movies, TV shows, and people I knew in real life. I always wondered why these figures didn’t just “leave” and move on to something better. Sure, it wouldn’t be easy to transition into something new — but it had to be better than their current reality, right?
Google’s Year in Search reveals a whole host of things internet users searched for in 2022. And it looks like millennial behavior was top of mind for many, who wanted to know, “why do millennials quit so easily?”
I don’t have the exact data on who is doing these silly goose searches, but as a tech-savvy millennial, I have a hunch. In my opinion, it’s coming from older folks who feel like they got tricked by strict social norms that were never fully explained to them.
Every time I’d ask an older person, who complained about their life, why they didn’t do something to change it, I’d get the same answer: “Because everyone else deals with it, so you have to also.”
I took those messages to heart and made it a point to put my comfort, safety, and happiness above all else.
People thought I was crazy when I quit two jobs in less than a year. They didn’t care that both workplaces were extremely toxic, that I worked ridiculously long hours at said toxic workplaces, or that I endured multiple moments of verbal and emotional abuse from my higher-ups.
“No one is going to hire you if you’ve been at your previous jobs for less than two years,” a man over 40 told me. “You’ve just gotta tough it out.”
The reality is though, that “toughing it out” really does a number on your mental health.
I was a complete zombie for months, waking up before the sun rose, commuting an hour to work, being constantly questioned by my manager as to why I wasn’t at my desk (I have to pee sometimes…), and being gaslit into thinking my well-thought-out strategies were garbage.
The time I knew I needed to move on was when I softly explained to my boss during a company meeting that one of her big strategy pushes for a campaign was outdated, that I had data to share as to why it wouldn’t work, and that I’d be happy to present a solution I’d developed that would be effective, save money for our company, and generate new revenue as well.
“You’re not allowed to make me look stupid in front of everyone else,” she told me in her office. “Stop acting like a petulant child.”
I sat in that office and cried after she left, and everyone saw me crying, because the office was made entirely of glass. I didn’t have anywhere else to go though, so I just stayed there wondering what I had done wrong, while others passed by and gave me strange looks.
Once I quit that job, I found a new job that paid more, had better working hours, and nicer people. I ended up quitting that job mainly because it became something I wasn’t passionate about, but the work paid off with another new job that gave me the salary, skills, and respect I deserved.
People also thought I was quitting my marriage when I got divorced only four years after I’d gotten married. Once again, the whole “just tough it out” verbiage was slung at me, but by then I’d already signed the papers and paid the lawyer fees.
I didn’t quit my marriage; I ended things amicably before things got worse. Older generations were taught that you need some kind of horrific reason in order to get divorced — a cheating spouse, an abusive partner, etc.
But people end marriages for all kinds of reasons. My ex and I realized we didn’t want the same things, and it didn’t make sense to stay in a relationship that didn’t serve us. We weren’t “quitting” — we were making room for our new lives and ensuring that we didn’t end up resenting each other because we “stuck through the bad times.”
I sometimes wonder if older generations are jealous of the millennial ability to end a bad situation before it starts. We don’t quit because we’re lazy, selfish, or incapable of controlling our emotions. We quit because we want to make space in our lives for roles, responsibilities, and people who enhance our life, not break it down.
So why do millennials quit so easily? Because we’re not compromising our sanity for the sake of someone else. And if a Boomer has an issue with that, they can just “tough it out” with everyone else.