Sarah Solomon had a pretty sweet life. The 20-something publicist was always out at fashion events, dinners and parties — and even hung out with John Legend during Fashion Week.
“It was definitely New York glamourous — the black dress, leather pants and high heels, and an hour putting on my makeup,” says Solomon. “Anyone would think I had a really fun life, meeting cool people and celebrities.”
But she yearned for something more and resented only having two weeks of vacation a year. So, last August, she quit her seemingly great job at a plum downtown p.r. firm.
“I wanted to travel more — I didn’t want to have to ask for time off and grovel for extra days, you know?” says Solomon, now 25 and living in a rental house in Kauai, Hawaii, overlooking the beach.
Over the past 10 months, she’s scaled volcanoes in Guatemala, soaked up the waterfalls of Bali, Indonesia, and basked on glorious beaches halfway around the world. She gets by doing freelance p.r. work on the road, so long as she can get decent Wi-Fi in paradise.
“I do have to budget more, but the freedom is so worth it,” she says. “There are different ways to do work . . . The world is changing.”
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. The trend is in line with broader shifts. According to the Labor Department, the percentage of workers (of any age) quitting their jobs reached 2.4 percent in May, the highest level in more than 16 years.
“Twenty years ago I never would have seen this,” says Cat Graham, a managing partner in a human resources advisory firm who has 20 years of experience in HR. “The job market is so hot right now — unemployment is at a record low, and the war for talent is hotter than ever. There are more jobs than there are qualified candidates.”