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How does one work 50+ hours a week?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by longskate88, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. tj100

    tj100 Senior member

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    It's interesting, I busted my ass for 10 years (4 in banking, 6 in private equity) and there was always a group of people around (both family and friends) asking "why do you work so hard? / you have no work-life balance" or my personal favorite "on an hourly basis, I make more as a bartender than you do!"

    Now we're in our early/mid 30's, and these same people seem perplexed / amazed: "it's sooo hard to save up for a down payment on a house, you're sooo lucky that you could do it" or "how do you manage the cost of day care", etc. etc.

    I stepped off that rat race for a corporate job where I make just as much $$$ (without some of the upside), and work somewhere in the 50 hours a week neighborhood, but with a ton of flexibility. Again, from my friends perspective, I'm "sooo lucky" that I got this job.

    It's not F*ing luck. My 20s basically did not exist. I sold them to set myself up for the rest of my life. It was hard, it was amazing experience, and I could not do it forever. It's not the path for everybody, but it's a path, and I'm pretty pleased with how it's turned out.
     
  2. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    Hey, I get that people want different things out of life but I find it hard to believe that those who sell their early years really enjoy life without regrets once their ship comes in.
     
  3. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Clearly a misunderstanding here that people who take these jobs do it only for the financial security. They do it for a multitude of reasons, sometimes perception-based, generally because they have their eye on a career path that starts that way, and often because they enjoy the topic/backdrop of their work more than other things they've been exposed to. There are also many entry level professions in arts, entertainment, music, etc... where people work like dogs, are on call day and night and get paid little to nothing - how does one explain that? Because they feel it will/may lead them to a career they aspire to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  4. tj100

    tj100 Senior member

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    I have not one regret.

    My 20s were pretty awesome, especially the tail end when I had no obligations and more income than I had time to spend it. I really think that's the crux of it. It was hard, but it was fun. My fondest career memories are being in the office at 3:00am, working as a team to get something out for a breakfast meeting. I really enjoyed it. I couldn't do it now that I'm married with kids, but when I was 23? It was a lot of fun.

    Am I going to look back someday and say: "boy, I wish I had smelled the roses back then?" Maybe. But I don't see it.
     
  5. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I don't really think that people who have not been in the office late at night when the senior guys are gone understand the bonding and camaraderie that happens when a bunch of 20-something are working to get something done, while taking breaks to throw the football down the floor or eat cold pizza at 3am. It's a mix of college dorm and corporate life. Sure, it's hard as well, but it's not all that bad.
     
  6. tj100

    tj100 Senior member

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    And that's before you get out on the road for client visits with three other 24 year olds and a partner escaping his numbing life and signing the expense approvals.
     
  7. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    I also categorically lump those record crate carriers and gofers in with the lot I spoke of earlier :)



    Funny, we did the same things, just on the block in street clothes :)

    But I see what you mean, there is definitely a different feel especially in the city when you are among a few in the office at night. The city is so different then, especially downtown. I have experienced both but prefer not having to break up the horseplay to get back to work. Even if they did spring for dinner and send me home in a black car.
     
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    But N., you aren't getting paid while you fool around with your friends "on the block in street clothes."

    The big point is that there are different ways to achieve a happy work-life balance over one's lifetime. Some of us may prefer to front-load the "work." This tends to result in greater financial reward, thus more "life" later on.

    Moreover, as G. points out, people often wrongly assume the only reason you'd want to do something like investment banking is to make money. Yes, the financial reward is a significant component, but if you do not enjoy the work to some degree and don't appreciate the value of what you're contributing to society, no amount of money can keep you slaving away through your 20's and early 30's.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  9. munchausen

    munchausen Senior member

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    To be clear, I have no issue with 50 or 60 hour weeks. I've done plenty of those and they were no big deal. These 100 hour weeks, though, are just insane to me. You never get your youth back.
     
  10. M. Bardamu

    M. Bardamu Senior member

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    I have a few high school friends who went to business school (while I pursued journalism), became chartered accountants, then CFAs. By their early 30s they were portfolio analysts, then managers. One was downsized a few years back and I haven't heard from him since. I met another one for drinks last year and he looked terrible: at least 100 lbs over his high school weight, drinking too much, and depressed as hell. He confided in me that he never gets to see his kids, and his wife (a lawyer who works about 70-80 a week herself) seemed increasing distant and even hostile towards him. Don't know how much he makes, but I'd guess about $250,000 to $350,000 a year?

    Anyway, so not worth it for me.
     
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Why are your 20's more valuable than your 40's or 50's?
     
  12. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    They make $40 bills? :confused:
     
  13. imolazhp_ci

    imolazhp_ci Senior member

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    i'd rather sell my 20s/30s than my later years when it will destroy me to work that much.
     
  14. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Yeah, he did something wrong. Stupid to tear down perfectly good barns. He should have just build more or second stories. :teach:
     
  15. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    :facepalm:
     
  16. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    So, NORE, give us your wisdom in life. Get a union job at that grocery store you mentioned? Since you've told us all we're doing it wrong tell us how one does it right.
     
  17. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    Lol, NORE admonishes us for working hard in our youth to ensure our later years will be comfortable yet quotes biblical passages suggesting fealty to a god that is imaginary for an eternal reward that won't happen in a place that doesn't exist.
     
  18. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Actually, I would encourage this position in the OWS crowd. It's a pretty common sociological phenomena that if the haves can convince the have-nots they'll get eternal reward for being poor they'll take being poor better.
     
  19. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    what about the being stupid part?
     
  20. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    All I'm saying is that there is nothing wrong with going full steam ahead with a goal in view, just make sure that goal is the right one. Money/material possessions don't solve problems in a lasting way nor do they bring about lasting happiness. Pleasing God does.


    The lesson for today folks; read that simple yet powerful parable again. Think about to whom he was speaking and at what time. Then try to extract the principle, draw a parallel for yourself. Apply it. Profit. :teach:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012

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