Why Younger Tech Workers are Quitting Left, Right, and Center

Younger tech worker, at a laptop computer

Why Younger Tech Workers are Quitting Left, Right, and Center

Younger tech worker, at a laptop computer


Younger tech workers, comprised of the newly arrived Gen Z and younger Millennials, are the most flighty when it comes to jobs.

Definitions first: Gen Z is the most recent generation to start entering the workforce, born during the late 1990s to the early 2000s (some sources say from 1997 – 2012).  If you were born in the U.S. in 1997, you turned 26 in 2023, which means you entered the workforce in the past three or four years.

Younger Millennials were in their late 20s and 30s in 2023. Combined, these two generations comprise the newest entries to the workforce, and they’ve already started to flex their cumulative muscle in white collar jobs.

What are their preferences? Yes, they prefer hybrid work environments and the prioritization of mental health; but are you surprised to learn that they are motivated by opportunities for training and promotions?

Not only do they prefer to work where they feel respected and valued, but many of them want to see career advancement and promotions. So let’s start there.

Career Development and Promotional Opportunities

McKinsey did a survey of workers in tech to find out what motivates them. While this population may not represent all white-collar workers, the results show a surprising trend.

When asked why these tech workers left a company, 36% indicated it was because of a lack of career development and advancement potential. Close behind was a lack of support for employee health and well-being (tech employees feel a lot of stress).

For those tech employees who moved to a new position, over half (52%) said that it was because of career development and advancement potential.

And, continuing on this theme, when tech workers who stayed at their current role were asked why they were staying put, the most popular reason (47%) was, again, career development and advancement potential, followed closely by workplace flexibility.

This data seems to indicate that the highest-paid workers (those in tech) place an extremely high value on advancement and promotion. While they are a unique subset of all white-collar workers, this data shows that some of these younger workers are, in fact, highly motivated and want to succeed (as opposed to the stereotypical “lazy” worker of this generation).

My recommendation? Employers should think carefully about the internal opportunities for education, promotion, and advancement for white-collar workers who are already well-compensated.

Not sure who to solve your generational issues? Let’s talk!


Talent Management of the Future for Millennials and Gen Z EmployeesHow to attract & keep younger (Gen Z) talent

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