Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and Fear of Better Opportunities (FOBO)

Fear of Missing Out and Fear of Better Opportunities

Priya Parker‘s talk at TEDxCambridge 2011 fascinated me. She provided a label for two phenomena I see everywhere in my generation: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and Fear of Better Opportunities (FOBO).

As I was finishing my masters degree I had to decide between 3 job opportunities. The first I received was from KPMG, where I had interned the previous summer. This was an “exploding offer”, one that I had only a few weeks to reply to. In fact, I needed to reply to KPMG before I would hear back from any other company that fall. My internship experience was excellent but I wasn’t ready to commit.

What if I accepted KPMG’s offer and then a better offer came along? What if I rejected it and a better offer didn’t come along? My top choice was an IT consulting company called Accenture. The third option on the table was Protiviti, a smaller IT audit company.

I requested an extension of KPMG’s offer and they graciously granted it. In that time, I received offers from Accenture and Protiviti. The decision was still difficult (FOMO and FOBO apply to location and social life also), but I accepted Accenture’s offer and have been there ever since.

Explore the pitfalls of opportunity cost in Priya’s TEDx talk. It’s short (11:32), and I’ve provided some key milestones below. Also be sure to check out Priya’s writing on CNN’s blog.

4:00 – the talk starts to pick up here

4:45 – intro to FOMO and FOBO

7:20 – a little dig at consultants

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