Author Topic: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?  (Read 12786 times)

toodleoo

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2018, 06:57:26 AM »
Last Friday at 5:30 my boss and I were leaving the building together.  I had just finished a 47 hour week which already chapped me. I do 40 - 42 and get cranky at any time past that.  My line in the sand...

I didn't have my laptop with me.

She commented 'You're not bringing your laptop home over the weekend?! That's poor planning!'

I responded 'Actually, its exactly as planned.'

She was speechless.  The power of FU (and FI) money!


I still let myself get taken advantage of though.  I'm working on that.

Love this. I cannot WAIT until I have enough FU money to start pushing back on ridiculous expectations at work.
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PizzaSteve

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2018, 06:12:56 PM »
Yes. I think this is a thing that drives me - the feeling that work life is a treadmill and an unwinnable game.

Fixed that for you :P

Freakonomics has been doing a series on CEOs recently, and I listened to the interview with the CEO of Pepsico last week. Smart, insightful, well-spoken lady, but the biggest thing I got from it was that I have zero desire to have any job that is that demanding. She described her schedule that included only four hours of sleep, and I didnít hear her say anything about seeing her family during the 20 hours she was awake. To me that would be a recipe for total emotional and physical meltdown. I wouldnít do that for all the money in the world, which is about what these people earn.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned so far in this thread is that many people (bullshitters) greatly exaggerate their working hours and lack of sleep. Some people claim 100+ hours per week but they just want to portray some image; after 6-7 hours/day consistently you'll be basically useless anyway. Also depends what they count as work, dinners with co-workers, long breaks, fucking around at the office, IDK, but I'd bet my shirt they're not productive 100 hours/week. Like Elon Musk, I hate how this guy is idolized by everyone, but he's just running on his reputation at this point. Not impressed. If you write a "day in the life" capsule of a VP or CEO, do you start his schedule waking up at 5am to go for a run and take care of his kids, or laze around in bed until 9am?
Good points.  I think it depends on the culture of the broader organization.  I can only observe that without an external factor like family connections or inherited wealth (ahem, current pres), the upper levels tend to either weed out the bullshitters because they are not productive enough, or train them sufficiently to leverage their bullshit for the greater good of the organization (e.g. host important clients at the Masters, etc.)  That said, in some businesses BS/sales are the skill sets the top guy needs.  If one is smart, interesting, confident, and has a track record of success, those levels are obtainable with a certain degree of ruthless selfish alliance building and aggression.

[edited out some personal info...oversharing a bit]

I believe being mustacian is detrimental to career advancement in modern corporate culture, at the top levels.  Companies prefer flashy spending executives that are depending on the fat paycheck, drive porsches, and exude the 'look and feel' of a CEO.  FI independent thinkers are too scary, so unless they are the founder, they are a challenging hire for typical board members.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 08:51:03 AM by PizzaSteve »
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Blackeagle

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2018, 07:08:22 PM »
Like Elon Musk, I hate how this guy is idolized by everyone, but he's just running on his reputation at this point. Not impressed.


ysette9

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2018, 09:37:23 PM »
I’m sorry but as someone who works in “old space”, I am inspired by what Elon Musk is doing. He is pushing the envelope in a very staid, risk-averse, extremely difficult market space that has very high barriers to entry. I’ve watched a lot of launches online and the SpaceX on this week was different. Any launch is amazing but they made the experience cool and approachable for the non space nerd, making it easy to understand what was happening without all of the technical jargon that leaves most lay people scratching their heads (“what is MECO and why should I care about it?”). We need to make science and space and engineering cool and exciting so kids want to study it. Pull your heads out of your devices and look up at the sky. There is amazing stuff going on, and if it take spaceman in a Tesla on a path to Mars to get people inspired then so be it.
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gerardc

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2018, 09:55:02 PM »
I've done LOTS of manual labor jobs -- delivering soda (2 summers), siding houses (2 summers), framing houses (1 summer), roofing houses (weekends for 5-6 years), roofing commercial buildings (1 summer), mate on a fishing boat (1 summer), and worked my ass off at those jobs. Mostly because I enjoyed being outside and working with my hands, and because I felt a great sense of accomplishment in seeing the fruits of my labor.  But I learned from those who I worked with that those jobs are back-breaking and thus relatively short-lived, and I took the advice of many of those people to "work with your head, not your back, kid." So I went to law school.

Plot twist: working with your head turns out to be "head-breaking". Mental conditions, depression, anxiety... are all consequences of over-working your brain! At least that's the way I see it. Many software engineers burn out in their later years and often retire early (granted, there are other factors). I see many Mustachians here wanting to retire early because they hate their life at their high-paying intellectual gig. We often hear from physical workers they wish they had a cushy office, and from office workers they wish they had some active, social work. The grass is always greener! That's the price we pay for division of labor and efficiency... our body/mind aren't made to do only 1 thing repeatedly. We wanted more money, but now we're stuck with the physical/mental consequences of abusing our crafts!


PizzaSteve has interesting thoughts on people with that internal go button. I wonder about that myself, as a product of top schools working for a brand-name employer. I donít work extra hours but I understand the imposter complex (getting much better over the years) and see people around me who canít help themselves from being over achievers.
It is like we/they are programmed that way and have to work to consciously turn that off. One friend always finds herself in these demanding roles and struggling with work-life balance. I used to think it was her org but after more than a decade, a pattern emerges and the consistent factor is her. It is probably that which got her into Stanford, the same thing that makes it impossible for her to turn it off now and just relax for a weekend.

I sometimes worry a bit how this mindset will mesh with FIRE.

I have this "go button" too. Sometimes I swear, my manager only raises an eyebrow and BAM, there I am spending the whole weekend + week nights to finish a deadline. His job must be really easy with me. It stems from insecurity, and my belief that if I work really hard I can redeem myself and fix the issue, which I usually can... but I'm working on detachment. Same phenomenon if I read an interesting algo/math problem and start a solution, I won't be satisfied until I go down the rabbit hole and reach some satisfying conclusion. It is a huge advantage though, compared to some of my pot-head friends who can't be bothered by anything at all... they don't have that "challenge accepted" response and in consequence they're hopeless.

As for impact in FIRE, my guess is it will be the same. I learned that external factors have a minimal (and mostly temporary) influence on obsessive thoughts, which are mostly self-imposed. Remove the external factors and you'll still find something else to be anxious about.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 10:22:11 PM by gerardc »

undercover

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2018, 10:14:04 PM »
Like Elon Musk, I hate how this guy is idolized by everyone, but he's just running on his reputation at this point. Not impressed.



Nope, not at all like the dude both lives up to and goes beyond his own reputation. I guess we should be looking up to the CEOs selling sugar water and releasing a new iPlaytoy every year.
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SwitchActiveDWG

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2018, 06:29:40 AM »
Lots of great and interesting comments here.

I've always felt that Perception has trumped Reality throughout my career.  Its tough to accept as I have always been a data driven type of person.


It continues to hold true today with my current boss.  She is all about 'hours'.  I challenge her regularly with 'output' whenever 'hours' pops up.  She admits that output is important...but then just can't help fall back to 'hours'.  I suppose its a lot easier to measure as we all fill out timecards with actual hours worked.

I just keep shaking my head.  The money is good enough.


Last Friday at 5:30 my boss and I were leaving the building together.  I had just finished a 47 hour week which already chapped me. I do 40 - 42 and get cranky at any time past that.  My line in the sand...

I didn't have my laptop with me.

She commented 'You're not bringing your laptop home over the weekend?! That's poor planning!'

I responded 'Actually, its exactly as planned.'

She was speechless.  The power of FU (and FI) money!


I still let myself get taken advantage of though.  I'm working on that.

The people that rise the farthest here always have the 'hours' box checked.  Some of them also happen to be bright and competent.  Many however, don't have too much beyond the 'hours'.

This article resonates with me.

These are my thoughts exactly. I work for a large engineering firm and it's entirely about hours. I try to stay away from all managerial involvement, but as far as I can tell there is no empirical measure of output or productivity other than the subjective opinions of project management.

Schaefer Light

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2018, 07:45:34 AM »
These are my thoughts exactly. I work for a large engineering firm and it's entirely about hours. I try to stay away from all managerial involvement, but as far as I can tell there is no empirical measure of output or productivity other than the subjective opinions of project management.

That is what I hate about my job.  No one can tell me how much I need to produce or even how my performance will be measured.  It's like all that matters is how other people perceive me.  Last year, I asked my old boss if he could explain to me what I'm actually supposed to be doing and how I would know if I'm doing a good job.  He said "keep up the good work".  That doesn't help as I don't know what part of my work is good.  Maybe it just comes with the territory in a middle management position.  Sometimes, it feels like my whole job is just listening to bullshit from those above me and listening to complaints from those who report to me.  I'm getting to a point where I really DGAF about anything work-related any more.  If you can't tell me what it takes to do a good job, then guess what - I can never do a good job.

mathlete

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2018, 09:20:52 AM »
I guess I'm glad I caught on with an employer that is a bit more flexible. We definitely have people putting in 60 and 70 hour weeks. And I'm sure some of them are being rewarded with promotions and pay raises.

But we also have room for people like me, who come in and efficiently get our 40 hours done. Occasionally I'll work a night or a weekend, but the payback is usually a free day off.

I don't think about my company's stock price on the weekends like our executives do. Maybe that's career limiting for me, but it's all the more reason to become financially independent as quickly as possible.

arob54600

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #59 on: February 09, 2018, 09:59:54 AM »
My mom and I have had this conversation numerous times. I am kind of a type-A work-a-holic (especially in my 20s). I always would take extra shifts stay late and come in early. I was trying hard to give an A+ everyday.  I hated my life.  I hated how hard I was trying and the promotions just weren't coming in (I blame the company's crazy relentless standards, just thinking about the place I worked in my 20s gives me anxiety).

Then one day my mom who is a teacher says, "give a solid C+/B- regularly, then when the times comes and there is something important, give your A+ and look like a superstar."  You don't work yourself to death. It's about setting a steady pace and sticking to it. And it is one of the most important things she has ever taught me.  She almost taught it to me too well, now in my 30s I work a HELLA easy job, I am at work right now. I do good work and am only super busy a few days a month.  This will work til retirement.

mm1970

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #60 on: February 09, 2018, 10:35:08 AM »
Like Elon Musk, I hate how this guy is idolized by everyone, but he's just running on his reputation at this point. Not impressed.
I think the guy is a total tool.  I don't idolize him. But he's getting shit done.  Can't argue with that.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #61 on: February 09, 2018, 02:09:50 PM »

She commented 'You're not bringing your laptop home over the weekend?! That's poor planning!'

I responded 'Actually, its exactly as planned.'


Good reply! And your boss has it completely backwards. If you have to take home work over the weekend, *that's* poor planning. Poor efficiency, too.

MrMoneyMullet

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2018, 09:28:10 AM »

She commented 'You're not bringing your laptop home over the weekend?! That's poor planning!'

I responded 'Actually, its exactly as planned.'


Good reply! And your boss has it completely backwards. If you have to take home work over the weekend, *that's* poor planning. Poor efficiency, too.

I used to have a boss that was on email from 8-10PM every night. If I responded to a question in the evening, I would get a very quick reply (often with multiple follow-up questions). I started using the "Delay delivery" feature in Outlook to make it send the email first thing in the morning when I started up my computer instead.

This is also a good way to show how productive you are first thing in the morning - if you queue up a bunch of emails so they send right away in the morning. It's somewhat irrelevant now since I rarely check email in the evenings, but sometimes when I am traveling I do end up working in the evenings as well.
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Slee_stack

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2018, 10:51:21 AM »
Another funny (ie ridiculous) converstaion with my boss:

I told her I'll need to start taking a day or two off a month because I've reached the point of 'use-or-lose' in my vacation time bank.  If I don't take time, I will no longer accrue any additional vacation time.

She says:  'That stinks.  My last job, you could cash vacation in.  You know, you can donate vacation time here.'  [its used as charity for extenuated sick time for employees.  I really don't understand the finer points.]

She continues: 'Then you could probably take a tax deduction on the time you donate.'


Here's the thing...she was serious about this suggestion.  I guess it was HER turn to leave ME speechless. 

I wish I could have had a clever response, but I was still processing this insane suggestion that had just been offered to me.

Ummm.....No, I will not be 'donating' my vacation time.  WTF?!

milliemchi

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2018, 05:35:06 PM »
Another funny (ie ridiculous) converstaion with my boss:

I told her I'll need to start taking a day or two off a month because I've reached the point of 'use-or-lose' in my vacation time bank.  If I don't take time, I will no longer accrue any additional vacation time.

She says:  'That stinks.  My last job, you could cash vacation in.  You know, you can donate vacation time here.'  [its used as charity for extenuated sick time for employees.  I really don't understand the finer points.]

She continues: 'Then you could probably take a tax deduction on the time you donate.'


Here's the thing...she was serious about this suggestion.  I guess it was HER turn to leave ME speechless. 

I wish I could have had a clever response, but I was still processing this insane suggestion that had just been offered to me.

Ummm.....No, I will not be 'donating' my vacation time.  WTF?!

I have given away money that I didn't need to use right away. I could imagine donating vacation time, especially if it's for a specific person I know. I travel overseas a lot, but if I didn't I would have plenty of vacation time to spare. Not that you need to entertain the thought, it's just that it's not that wild.

ysette9

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #65 on: February 15, 2018, 08:51:15 PM »
I have donated a bit of vacation once to a friend at work. I had accumulated some and she was taking maternity leave in a crappy state that offers no paid family leave (I realize that describes almost all states in the union). Since I get six weeks paid leave through my state in addition to the miserly paid leave that we both get through work, I felt her need was greater and donated some for her to be home with her baby.
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big_slacker

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #66 on: February 16, 2018, 06:20:33 AM »

She commented 'You're not bringing your laptop home over the weekend?! That's poor planning!'

I responded 'Actually, its exactly as planned.'


Good reply! And your boss has it completely backwards. If you have to take home work over the weekend, *that's* poor planning. Poor efficiency, too.

I used to have a boss that was on email from 8-10PM every night. If I responded to a question in the evening, I would get a very quick reply (often with multiple follow-up questions). I started using the "Delay delivery" feature in Outlook to make it send the email first thing in the morning when I started up my computer instead.

This is also a good way to show how productive you are first thing in the morning - if you queue up a bunch of emails so they send right away in the morning. It's somewhat irrelevant now since I rarely check email in the evenings, but sometimes when I am traveling I do end up working in the evenings as well.

Not to say it was the case with your boss, but maybe people do a flex schedule. I had a boss that is a single dad. He came in to the office at 10 or 11am, was there till 4-5 and then another session from 8-10pm at home. I myself start at 5-6am and might do personal stuff mid day (gym, errands, mountain biking) and do emails or something later in the day. Doesn't mean I'm working the entire time nor does it mean I expect anyone to drop everything and answer at those times just cause I wrote the mail at those times.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 06:22:04 AM by big_slacker »

Slee_stack

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #67 on: February 16, 2018, 11:38:11 AM »
I'm not sure who actually gets to use donated vacation time.

We get to donate to a pool.  I'm unclear how one can request time from the pool.

I don't even know if its used.  There is already maternity (and paternity) leave available as well as ST and LT disability.


Everything requires context.  My boss is off on VACATION today.  What the flying f?  Apparently its a good idea for me to donate my vacation time but for her to take hers.

SMH


I mean, I'm going to take my time hell or high water.  I just could never see myself doing something even remotely like that to the people that report to me.   Its seems like a complete disconnect.


Yesterday I got scolded because I approved one of my report's vacation time for next week.  'Why would I do such a thing when most of the group is out next week?!'

Umm, the request was made over two months ago when NO-ONE was scheduled for anything.  WTF?  So I should just cancel the person's planned vacation?  Good employee retention idea!

I guess I just work for an alien.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 11:54:06 AM by Slee_stack »

Mr. RME

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #68 on: February 17, 2018, 09:16:51 PM »
Interesting read.

I work my butt off each and every day at work.  If I am going to be doing something for 10 hours a day, I am going to do it to the very best of my ability.  I try to make as big an impact as possible, for two reasons.  1) I feel content that I gave it my all.  I get legit enjoyment knowing that I made an impact, even if it is at a megacorp. 2) I likely get paid more because I work as hard as I do.

However, I do my best to leave on time and typically don't take work stress home. 

The article partially describes me as "self-motivating and self-disciplining", but I don't put in nearly 70 hours, nor do I relate to many of the reasons these types of folks feel the need to work so much. 
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swampwiz

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #69 on: February 18, 2018, 05:36:09 AM »
Iím sorry but as someone who works in ďold spaceĒ, I am inspired by what Elon Musk is doing. He is pushing the envelope in a very staid, risk-averse, extremely difficult market space that has very high barriers to entry. Iíve watched a lot of launches online and the SpaceX on this week was different. Any launch is amazing but they made the experience cool and approachable for the non space nerd, making it easy to understand what was happening without all of the technical jargon that leaves most lay people scratching their heads (ďwhat is MECO and why should I care about it?Ē). We need to make science and space and engineering cool and exciting so kids want to study it. Pull your heads out of your devices and look up at the sky. There is amazing stuff going on, and if it take spaceman in a Tesla on a path to Mars to get people inspired then so be it.
As a former aerospace engineer specializing in loads & dynamics of astronautic launch vehicles, I have a very good idea of what MECO is.

Gone Fishing

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2018, 07:43:42 AM »
This thread is pure gold!

While I was working, I was chastised by two different managers stating that it appeared that I did not "care" due to the fact I arrived at the office at 8:30, took an hour lunch everyday, and left at 5:30.  I told them I got the work done, despite having more heaped on me at every turn, and nothing was going to change.  I got promoted. They got divorces.

I agree that most people are not capable of being productive 50+ hours a week, but those who can do exist.  A lawyer friend of mine is one of those people.  When he was in law school, he'd walk around with notes in his hand studying (I need to ask him if he has ever run into a post!) even on a family trip to the zoo.  It earned him a spot at the top of the class of a prestigious law school. He routinely reads and writes lengthy emails during our social visits. Once, he even wrote a fairly complex and important document in the middle of a kicking house party (because his wife would have killed him if he had skipped out!).  Now, he works on highly public cases that everyone would recognize.  Before going to law school, he was a programmer and would routinely program into the wee hours of the morning, sleep 4-5 hours, then do it again and again.  Side by side, he could probably out "produce" me 3 to 1.  The years are catching up with him though, and my retirement rhetoric is starting to sink in a bit.  I just hope a divorce or mental/physical breakdown doesn't get him first.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 08:30:46 AM by Gone Fishing »

radram

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #71 on: February 18, 2018, 07:44:03 AM »
Recognition of this game is one of the primary reasons I decided to pursue FI. Ultimately, the only way to win is to stop playing.

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nick663

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #72 on: February 18, 2018, 08:53:30 AM »
The concept of the original article is pretty interesting.  I've noticed through my career that the people that hustled and actually worked their 40+ hours per week always came from a place that was lower on the economic scale.  I always attributed it to learned work ethic (assuming they saw their parents doing physically hard work and thought they had to do the same) but it may run much deeper.  It may be that they really feel that they don't belong and need to prove themselves everyday while those that grew up always "belonging" are comfortable BSing for 2 hours and taking hour lunches.

Regarding the discussion of hours, I've never cared much as long as your work was done.  The people that I can't find at 3:30pm everyday and they owe me an email response for 3 days?  That is a problem.

ysette9

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #73 on: February 18, 2018, 02:25:13 PM »
I’m sorry but as someone who works in “old space”, I am inspired by what Elon Musk is doing. He is pushing the envelope in a very staid, risk-averse, extremely difficult market space that has very high barriers to entry. I’ve watched a lot of launches online and the SpaceX on this week was different. Any launch is amazing but they made the experience cool and approachable for the non space nerd, making it easy to understand what was happening without all of the technical jargon that leaves most lay people scratching their heads (“what is MECO and why should I care about it?”). We need to make science and space and engineering cool and exciting so kids want to study it. Pull your heads out of your devices and look up at the sky. There is amazing stuff going on, and if it take spaceman in a Tesla on a path to Mars to get people inspired then so be it.
As a former aerospace engineer specializing in loads & dynamics of astronautic launch vehicles, I have a very good idea of what MECO is.
Sure, but how many others do? My point is that this was cool because it was understandable to the general population and not just people like you or me.
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Tabaxus

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #74 on: February 19, 2018, 08:05:31 AM »
Re-reading this thread after finishing a series of days where I've worked from 8:00AM until 2:00AM with minimal breaks, including over a weekend, and knowing that I'l be doing the same thing for several more days, is... a thing.  Yup.  It's a thing.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #75 on: February 19, 2018, 03:40:58 PM »
I'm familiar with these kinds of firms. My friend works in one (soon to be a Director). She characterizes her employees as "OAKs." It stands for Over-Achieving Kids. Usually out of a prestigious school like Northwestern or U of Chicago, and at least a prestigious state school like Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin.

They absolutely work like crazy, even if they don't necessarily work totally efficiently. Thing is, ANYONE out of school doesn't work efficiently: you might as well get a lot of hours out of them so you can get a lot of bitch work, and then you coach them into something that doesn't suck. Companies would not follow this recruiting strategy if it did not give them dividends.

On the flip side, kids wouldn't follow this strategy if it didn't give dividends either. Most of us in the corporate world realize damned fast that going crazy above and beyond gives you the same 2.5% cost of living raise at the end of the year.

I can tell you that there are some obvious metrics our team can use to evaluate performance, and I'm at the top of pretty much all of them. If you just go by account review and number of contacts to clients, I am a good 20% above the #2 in the department. I do as much as one of our five-person teams combined. I'm still getting the same raise and the same bonus as everyone else. On the plus side, I am pretty efficient at what I do, so I don't have to work crazy hours to get this level of performance, and have a lotttttttttt of spare time on any given day.

mathlete

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #76 on: February 19, 2018, 03:51:28 PM »
I can tell you that there are some obvious metrics our team can use to evaluate performance, and I'm at the top of pretty much all of them. If you just go by account review and number of contacts to clients, I am a good 20% above the #2 in the department. I do as much as one of our five-person teams combined. I'm still getting the same raise and the same bonus as everyone else. On the plus side, I am pretty efficient at what I do, so I don't have to work crazy hours to get this level of performance, and have a lotttttttttt of spare time on any given day.

Ask for a big raise.

nick663

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #77 on: February 19, 2018, 08:30:23 PM »
On the flip side, kids wouldn't follow this strategy if it didn't give dividends either. Most of us in the corporate world realize damned fast that going crazy above and beyond gives you the same 2.5% cost of living raise at the end of the year.
Not true.  If you work your butt off and get the attention of upper management you might get 2.6%!  The guy that is "slightly more useful than a potted plant" is only getting 2.4%.  :)

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #78 on: February 20, 2018, 09:08:58 AM »
I can tell you that there are some obvious metrics our team can use to evaluate performance, and I'm at the top of pretty much all of them. If you just go by account review and number of contacts to clients, I am a good 20% above the #2 in the department. I do as much as one of our five-person teams combined. I'm still getting the same raise and the same bonus as everyone else. On the plus side, I am pretty efficient at what I do, so I don't have to work crazy hours to get this level of performance, and have a lotttttttttt of spare time on any given day.

Ask for a big raise.

Already getting paid something like 40-50% above the median. At this point I am trying to parlay into a promotion (which was apparently rejected this month) or, more preferably, a lateral move into a better department.

mm1970

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #79 on: February 20, 2018, 11:47:06 AM »
On the flip side, kids wouldn't follow this strategy if it didn't give dividends either. Most of us in the corporate world realize damned fast that going crazy above and beyond gives you the same 2.5% cost of living raise at the end of the year.
Not true.  If you work your butt off and get the attention of upper management you might get 2.6%!  The guy that is "slightly more useful than a potted plant" is only getting 2.4%.  :)
It depends.  It works for the young kids.  At least, if your company won't give you a big raise you just jump ship to get 10-40%.

nick663

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #80 on: February 24, 2018, 07:17:32 AM »
On the flip side, kids wouldn't follow this strategy if it didn't give dividends either. Most of us in the corporate world realize damned fast that going crazy above and beyond gives you the same 2.5% cost of living raise at the end of the year.
Not true.  If you work your butt off and get the attention of upper management you might get 2.6%!  The guy that is "slightly more useful than a potted plant" is only getting 2.4%.  :)
It depends.  It works for the young kids.  At least, if your company won't give you a big raise you just jump ship to get 10-40%.
Eh, I've had to take the "just jump ship" route twice.  Admittedly, the second company had given me pretty good raises (was up ~32% over 5 years) but I had plateaued there and my last annual raise was 2.5% against a 2.2% base department rate.  I got 19% by leaving and I wasn't even chasing money.

hypertrichosis

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #81 on: February 25, 2018, 06:39:24 AM »
"The 500 interviews I conducted for my book showed a pattern: A professionalís insecurity is rooted in the inherent intangibility of knowledge work"

My personal view is that this points to one of the most pertinent issues which is that I believe 'intangibility' is just a polite way of saying that it is impossible to measure genuine output for many jobs. If it was (and I am talking white collar office dwellers here - not physicians and people with 'real' jobs) then we would have the confidence to dig our heels in, stand back, and let the work speak for itself.

Less politely, I might say that many jobs are actually 25% work and 75% nonsense (I replaced a stronger word).

It reminds me of other research I remember seeing a few years back which pointed to the fact that it is those jobs with the least tangible outputs which have the smartest/expensively dressed individuals. Apologies for any reading, but have a look at a big firm management consultant (I speak from experience). Part of signalling you are good is by looking 'expensive' because your work cannot speak for itself.

Working 70+ hours a week is just another way to signal your ability in the absence of tangible output. In our society we have, I believe, a cult of appearing busy, because if you are not busy both professionally and privately then surely you are deficient in some way. If you are so busy that you are working 70+ hours, and give off the impression of being an efficiency machine, you must be awesome at what you do. No-one respects the genuinely efficient worker who clocks off at 5pm and suspect instead that they must not be pulling their weight. Instead they seemingly respect the lunatic responding to emails at 4am. I have seen this personally across investment banking, trading, investment management, investment consulting, management consulting and private equity to name the, admittedly finance skewed, industries I am regularly in contact with. Friends in other industries feel the same.

So I would point to something more insidious than companies simply hiring insecure high achievers, and that leading to overwork. I agree that is part of it. However, I would also present a view that it is precisely because so many jobs are 75% nonsense that people have to signal their 'quality' in some other way than simply doing their job and one of those ways is working lunatic hours (preferably with 4am iron man training to discuss at work to really signal how amazing you are).

Quickly re-read this and I seem really bitter! I am not as I have been reasonably successful having never done 70 hour weeks and am 14 months from FIRE, but it genuinely upsets me to see friends waste so much of their lives caught in the game described in this article.

WOW. You are 100% correct as far as elite finance industry. I see it firsthand every day. But am looking for a change of pace. In your experience interfacing with industries, which ones would you say are on a more relaxed spectrum where people are happier? Thanks.

PizzaSteve

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Re: If you're so successful, why are you still working 70 hours a week?
« Reply #82 on: February 28, 2018, 09:40:28 AM »
"The 500 interviews I conducted for my book showed a pattern: A professionalís insecurity is rooted in the inherent intangibility of knowledge work"

My personal view is that this points to one of the most pertinent issues which is that I believe 'intangibility' is just a polite way of saying that it is impossible to measure genuine output for many jobs. If it was (and I am talking white collar office dwellers here - not physicians and people with 'real' jobs) then we would have the confidence to dig our heels in, stand back, and let the work speak for itself.

Less politely, I might say that many jobs are actually 25% work and 75% nonsense (I replaced a stronger word).

It reminds me of other research I remember seeing a few years back which pointed to the fact that it is those jobs with the least tangible outputs which have the smartest/expensively dressed individuals. Apologies for any reading, but have a look at a big firm management consultant (I speak from experience). Part of signalling you are good is by looking 'expensive' because your work cannot speak for itself.

Working 70+ hours a week is just another way to signal your ability in the absence of tangible output. In our society we have, I believe, a cult of appearing busy, because if you are not busy both professionally and privately then surely you are deficient in some way. If you are so busy that you are working 70+ hours, and give off the impression of being an efficiency machine, you must be awesome at what you do. No-one respects the genuinely efficient worker who clocks off at 5pm and suspect instead that they must not be pulling their weight. Instead they seemingly respect the lunatic responding to emails at 4am. I have seen this personally across investment banking, trading, investment management, investment consulting, management consulting and private equity to name the, admittedly finance skewed, industries I am regularly in contact with. Friends in other industries feel the same.

So I would point to something more insidious than companies simply hiring insecure high achievers, and that leading to overwork. I agree that is part of it. However, I would also present a view that it is precisely because so many jobs are 75% nonsense that people have to signal their 'quality' in some other way than simply doing their job and one of those ways is working lunatic hours (preferably with 4am iron man training to discuss at work to really signal how amazing you are).

Quickly re-read this and I seem really bitter! I am not as I have been reasonably successful having never done 70 hour weeks and am 14 months from FIRE, but it genuinely upsets me to see friends waste so much of their lives caught in the game described in this article.

WOW. You are 100% correct as far as elite finance industry. I see it firsthand every day. But am looking for a change of pace. In your experience interfacing with industries, which ones would you say are on a more relaxed spectrum where people are happier? Thanks.
Seems like we have had similar experiences.  I thankfully jumped ship in my late 40s, and now FIRED, we can move on with enjoying our life.  A lot of what I would consider social brainwashing of a sort occurs within these high powered institutions.  That said, we used the system to our advantage and i earned good pay, had international business experiences, and managed average performance on more or less normal working hours by being reasonably innovative, contributing knowledge capital, etc.  They used me well, but we got some decent benefits out if it.  As an escapee from the asylum, I mostly ignore the `alumni engagement engines' of at least 2 powerhouses trying to keep me in the game (regular emails, alumni seminar events, papers, etc sent my way). Sorry, I have won the game and cashed in the chips.   We aint going back to that table.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 09:44:14 AM by PizzaSteve »
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