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Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 08:06 AM   #1
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Get a Life!

Interesting article in Fortune Magazine regarding a "rebellion" against the 80 hour work week....

"It's a lesson corporate America needs to learn before an entire generation of senior talent melts down or decides to stay home. The 60-hour weeks once thought to be the path to glory are now practically considered part-time..."

<snip>

" "...It didn't use to be this intense. It got much worse starting 15 years ago, when we went to this 80-hour week." Top executives are increasingly strung out, he and others say. Service firms in consulting, law, and investment banking have built 80-hour weeks into their businesses. If it keeps up, the toll could make itself felt not only on companies but on the nation, eroding productivity growth in an era when global competition has never been more intense."

<snip>

"Indeed, dozens of interviews with top executives, consultants, and researchers suggest that a revolt of talent is brewing,...


http://www.fortune.com/fortune/caree...omoid=cnnmoney

Dory, it doesn't look like you will need to increase the forum's recruiting budget anytime soon...

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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: Get a Life!

80 hour work week * That wears me out just thinking about it. :P I think I will go get another cup of coffee and try and put this nasty thought out of my mind.
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 08:21 AM   #3
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Re: Get a Life!

Mega-Corp started a 9/80 workweek, where you get every other Friday off.* Guess what?* The supervisors had to come in on the off-friday and of course, on the Saturdays as well, just to catch up.

These days, I wake up after I would have been at work.* Life is good.*
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 08:33 AM   #4
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Re: Get a Life!

It would seem that the executives profiled in the article are already FI, but don't want to RE. For example, the E&Y partner first profiled pulls down a 7-figure income annually, and presumably has pulled down at least $500k for a few years, and prior to that pulled down $100k+ annually. Thus, the real issue is not financial but rather psychological. As has been discussed on this board previously, people are often married to their careers, regardless of whether they've reached FI. Consequently, complaints by such people about wanting a work-life balance would appear to be disingenuous. They can have a life...they just don't want one.
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: Get a Life!

I think the standard rule is if you get that high on the ladder you won't see any work-life balance. I don't see too many professionals pulling down a nice salary ( at least 100K+) while working 40-50 hours a week --- just ain't gonna happen.
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: Get a Life!

I used to report directly to the COO and VP of a subsidiary of MegaCorp.* She usually started by 5:30 AM and worked some nights till 9 PM or later.* This was on a regular basis.* She was also a mother of young triplets and a younger singleton.* She was a very nice and smart woman (except for the fact she put up with that workload).* Ironically, MegaCorp came in and cleaned house ( fired our CEO and offered her a "business consultant" position ).* She had reduced responsibilities, cut her hours to 11-12 hr days and listened to headphones.

I don't know if it's a generational thing or what (she's like 12 years older than me), but I would never have switched places with her for 10 times her salary.* My free time is priceless!
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 09:31 AM   #7
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunc0029
I don't know if it's a generational thing or what (she's like 12 years older than me), but I would never have switched places with her for 10 times her salary.* My free time is priceless!
I think that once you get past the 50 hour/week mark, the value of any additional time spent at the office goes up substantially. Think about your average hourly worker. He works a 40 hour week, and gets time and a half for additional hours, and double for holidays. Salaried workers (managers) don't receive that sort of benefit, and so the guy working for the hourly wage can often make as much money as his manager, and yet have a better quality of life.
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 09:35 AM   #8
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
I think the standard rule is if you get that high on the ladder you won't see any work-life balance.* I don't see too many professionals pulling down a nice salary ( at least 100K+) while working 40-50 hours a week --- just ain't gonna happen.
I would agree that seems true for many corp. jobs. *I have had my share of 14+ hour days over the past 31 years in this business and I believe that my earlier career hours cost me a marriage and contact with one of my sons. *It was a painful lession. *I made the choice to step off the fast-track career train and took a side track job that gave me the same salary but far less stress and a more reasonable work-life balance. *It did stop my career like hitting a brick wall but I knew that would happen before I did it. *Life is full of choices.

I still work 10-11 hour days but the level of stress if far less. *I sometimes think about what I would be making today in salary and other benefits if I had stayed on the fast track or had taken a couple of promotions I have been offered over the past couple of years. *Then I go home and visit with my wife and enjoy our evenings together without taking work home or staying at the office until 8-10 pm. *That is priceless! *Sure I could have saved more and invested more for an earlier FIRE date but a couple more years of work is worth having a home life. *

Life-balance at most companies is a joke. *It is BS of the highest grade and is intended to impress the warm and fuzzy crowd that want businesses to be more "human" in this kinder gentler world. *The reality is much different. *Those that are willing to sell their souls to the devil for high salary and power will be rewarded. *However, the cost in personal terms is immeasurable.
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 09:37 AM   #9
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
I think that once you get past the 50 hour/week mark, the value of any additional time spent at the office goes up substantially. *Think about your average hourly worker. *He works a 40 hour week, and gets time and a half for additional hours, and double for holidays. *Salaried workers (managers) don't receive that sort of benefit, and so the guy working for the hourly wage can often make as much money as his manager, and yet have a better quality of life.
Good point Jay. *I find it difficult to choose which route I want to go as I wind down my final 2 weeks of grad school. *Quality of life and big paychecks seem to divide the board. *Which route is better? *Or is a combination the best way to go (semi-retire)? *I don't know but I kind of like my free time. *
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
Life is full of choices.


Life-balance at most companies is a joke. ... Those that are willing to sell their souls to the devil for high salary and power will be rewarded. However, the cost in personal terms is immeasurable.
Couldn't agree more except there are a few long hour working folks who manage to keep their integrity, but it is a serious challenge.
But even worse are those who sell out for remarkably low return. A lot of folks making under $100K are working long hours and there is no financial payout. Sell their soul? Heck, some just give it away.
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 11-30-2005, 07:00 PM   #11
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunc0029
I used to report directly to the COO and VP of a subsidiary of MegaCorp. She usually started by 5:30 AM and worked some nights till 9 PM or later. This was on a regular basis. She was also a mother of young triplets and a younger singleton. She was a very nice and smart woman (except for the fact she put up with that workload).
Well, I think you've identified the issue. With four kids like that at home, she probably felt like she was loafing at the office. Anyone watch these types of families on the "SuperNanny" TV show?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Salaried workers (managers) don't receive that sort of benefit, and so the guy working for the hourly wage can often make as much money as his manager, and yet have a better quality of life.
My FIL tolerated his base pay but lived for the overtime. Sometimes the OT was three or even four times the base pay-- when he was filming the news for CBS in 1968, his daughter can't remember seeing him for most of that year. More recently, many CBS technicians retired after adding "Lewinsky Wings" to their houses.

He said that management was for technicians who couldn't hack the technical part of the job, and that they were adequately compensated for their incompetence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
Good point Jay. *I find it difficult to choose which route I want to go as I wind down my final 2 weeks of grad school. *Quality of life and big paychecks seem to divide the board. *Which route is better? *Or is a combination the best way to go (semi-retire)? *I don't know but I kind of like my free time. *
Listent to the voices of experience... you can survive losing a lot of money, but you can't survive losing a lifetime.
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-01-2005, 03:57 PM   #12
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Listent to the voices of experience... you can survive losing a lot of money, but you can't survive losing a lifetime.
So go for a job that pays well but not great & enjoy free time?
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-01-2005, 04:20 PM   #13
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
So go for a job that pays well but not great & enjoy free time?
Kinda.

I was "married to the job" for too many years before waking up and realizing that it just wasn't worth it to me anymore. Once you have a couple of hundred thousand in the bank, there's nothing wrong with letting it grow for the next 20+ years and taking a job that gives you a high quality of life. If you want to go after the big bucks for the first 5-7 years of your career, that's fine, but after that you should realize that you have the right to a life...
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-01-2005, 04:56 PM   #14
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Kinda.

I was "married to the job" for too many years before waking up and realizing that it just wasn't worth it to me anymore. Once you have a couple of hundred thousand in the bank, there's nothing wrong with letting it grow for the next 20+ years and taking a job that gives you a high quality of life. If you want to go after the big bucks for the first 5-7 years of your career, that's fine, but after that you should realize that you have the right to a life...
So as an attorney, how can that be done? It seems that law is an "up or out" kind of profession, and once you fail to make partner it's a lifetime of DUIs to look forward to. Defending, not committing.

Ha
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-01-2005, 06:56 PM   #15
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Re: Get a Life!

Waiting for Nord's wisdom 101.......
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-01-2005, 07:07 PM   #16
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Re: Get a Life!

I've worked at NBC, CBS and Turner - I never met anyone who worked the long hours some people describe. I work 8:45 - 5:15, long walks during lunch

I don't get this.
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-01-2005, 07:16 PM   #17
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
So as an attorney, how can that be done? It seems that law is an "up or out" kind of profession, and once you fail to make partner it's a lifetime of DUIs to look forward to. Defending, not committing.

Ha
'll quote you too, HaHa.

If it looks like you aren't going to make partner (you will know) you may look at moving to another firm. Also, a number of lawyers who don't make partner end up as in house counsel, often for clients they represented.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
I've worked at NBC, CBS and Turner - I never met anyone who worked the long hours some people describe. I work 8:45 - 5:15, long walks during lunch

I don't get this.
I know plenty of lawyers who work ungodly hours. One I know is at work before 6:30a.m. She takes a break midafternoon to go exercise. Then she returns to the office and often works late into the night. This includes nearly every weekend as well as weekdays. Year after year.

I know another lawyer who needs very little sleep. He is in his mid 60s and often comes to work at 3:00a.m. He then works until 5 or 6:00 p.m. He loves the law and legal work. He lives for his clients. He is a happy, satisfied person.

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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-01-2005, 10:02 PM   #18
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
I never met anyone who worked the long hours some people describe.* I work 8:45 - 5:15, long walks during lunch

I don't get this.
My experience has been similar, reasonable hours for most of my career.* These stories of 14 hour days sound like some alternate universe though I don't doubt they are true.* *:P
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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-02-2005, 06:04 AM   #19
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rok
My experience has been similar, reasonable hours for most of my career.* These stories of 14 hour days sound like some alternate universe though I don't doubt they are true.* *:P
When I owned my own business, I would routinely arrive before daylight,
go home for dinner and then return to the office. I even had a mini- apartment so I could catch a nap without leaving the workplace.
Sometimes I slept over. And, I would routinely stop in on Saturdays,
Sundays and holidays if I was in town. Textbook workaholic. Now,
I do as little "work" as possible. The long hours
didn't seem like a hardship back when I was putting them in.

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Re: Get a Life!
Old 12-02-2005, 06:51 AM   #20
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Re: Get a Life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
So go for a job that pays well but not great & enjoy free time?
Absolutely. (Delayed response. Hey, I share this computer with a teenager.)

The first 10 years were great, but for me the career turning point was when I tried to balance work & family. It never stopped being a struggle and I didn't enjoy the implied choices.

Tonight my spouse told me about one staff officer who actually celebrated his birthday at work. He'd been at the office since 7 AM and was trying to get home but too many "crises" intervened. HIS spouse tried to get the boss to take the hint that birthday boy should've had some time off by delivering the birthday cake to the office... at 8 PM. They sliced it up & passed it out, played a website video of Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday" to JFK, hoisted a toast with their sodas, and got back to work.

Over the last four months with a new boss and his new boss, this particular office has been usually heading home around 8 PM. Saturdays are "half" days (12 hours). They've lost count of the number of crises that had them staying until 2 AM, and twice they've pulled all-nighters.

Maybe there are people who thrive on their avocation and can't help wanting to do it all day everyday. I just wish they'd stop imposing that lifestyle on their subordinates...
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