Friday, June 22, 2007

1. Work 7 Days A Week 2. Die

New York City Mayor and possible Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg told the students at CUNY - Staten Island at graduation: “'If you’re the first one in the morning and the last one to leave at night and you take fewer vacation days and never take a sick day, you will do better than the people who don’t do that. It is very simple'..He praised his father, William H. Bloomberg, 'who worked seven days a week his entire life until he checked himself into the hospital to die.'”

The WSJ, whence comes this pearl of wisdom, recently published a column about how 20somethings don't see the point of working their asses off like this,
either because they are just impatient or because "the rules have changed" or because they know jobs come and go and their loyalty is unlikely to be reciprocated. The frat brothers at Employee Evolution (one of whom is quoted in the article) are always talking about this issue.
I don't know if it's time to bemoan the death of hard work or not. Most of the young people I know seem to work pretty hard and concern themselves with work quite a bit, but maybe that's because they happen to have chosen careers they feel strongly about and identify themselves with. It's less about career advancement or ambition and more about the meaning of the work they do.
But most people I know don't spend most weekends at the office, either.


Anonymous said...

Hi Anya,

First off, thanks for the Employee Evolution shout out! I do not think work ethic is dead by any means, and that is not what our site promotes. However, working 7 days a week until you die has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard! I love working hard when I'm interested in my work and most of my friends do as well.

Everyone has their own idea of how much a part of their lives they want work to be. Personally, I want it to be a huge part, because I want to eventually find something I am passionate about.

I love your blog and will be picking up the book shortly, feel free to get in touch via email or though our site, i would love to chat!

You make us sound so sophisticated with the "frat brothers" reference....



Anonymous said...

Dear Anya,

The office of Congressman George Miller would like to get in touch with you.
If you could please call me ASAP at (925)602-1880 that would be great.

The Office of Congressman George Miller

Anonymous said...

With a generation of fathers who worked 7 days a week and never took vacations, what can you expect from their kids? Kids who never had a father around and never got to go on vacations.

I love my job. I finished my Master's Degree in Structural Engineering in December of 2004 and started my current job in January 2005. I have worked one Saturday.

That said, if I have to choose between being a husband and a father or being a good employee, I will become unemployed.

think like the rich said...

I definitely know many young people (including myself) who work constantly if not at their 'job' then at some other goal oriented stepping-stone to a greater place project. But I also know many more who grab the easiest and most convenient option that provides them the cash to maintain a certain lifestyle.

I'm not judging either, but what the latter lacks most (other than any type of savings) is a financial education.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous "who'd rather become unemployed".
You never experienced hardship like previous generations or immigrants. That's why they worked and work their butts off.
Just wait until competition really becomes global and you will have your chance at misery. We'll see how you are going to be a good father without means to support your family.

Unknown said...

I'm not that bent out of shape by Bloomberg's comments. Working harder than the "other person" at getting things done well is one of the most reliable ways of getting ahead.

It isn't guaranteed to work, but your effort and the thoughtfulness behind it are two of the very few things that you can consistently control.

Now whether or not the rewards are worth the sacrifice...that's a personal decision. The answer to the question will depend on the context of the person answering it.

To some people in the office, I'm a slacker. To others in the office, I work too much.

*shrug* I work at finding a mix that will make me happy. That mix isn't going to be static for the rest of my life, but I'm cognizant of what I'm geting out of my job vs. what I put into it. After that, I pretty much just ignore what others think.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem I see with those in debt, of all ages, is their belief that they are supposed/entitled to live some typical life-style. WRONG!!! You are entitled to nothing, zero, zilch. If you can't pay for it right now, today, in cash, then you don't deserve it, don't need it, can't have it, and need to get your head around that. Where the hell did people ever get the idea that they should be able to consume something they have nothing to give in return? Credit! It is the evil voice of self-indulgence that lures you into making stupid decisions. Live an efficient life. Live frugally and have the resources/cash to buy anything you just can't live without. If it will change your life, then have it, otherwise pass it buy and know that you can life a good life on 50%-60% of what others require. Be the efficient Honda, not the gas-guzzling Suburban. Frugal is an attitude towards life. It is about doing more (living a fulfilling life) with less by understanding what you value and what is just mindless bling your peers run after because they are too dumb to ask the simple question, "will this change my life?". Be smart, be efficient, live life for yourself, by YOUR priorities and values, not those you see in a glossy magazine ad.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anya,

Your article is an aspect of one of the common questions people ask: “how do I balance what I want with what I have to do to get it?” The suggestion implicit is that hard work at a job will get positive results. It often does, but not always.

It’s the wrong question for most people reading this. Most of them don’t know what they want. Many of them will say Money. They’re wrong. They want something that money represents, but they don’t know what this is. So, they work hard long hours thinking that money will give them what they want and are disappointed when it doesn’t.

Others have bought into helping other people get what they want, and they get something – usually money – for making their contribution to those other people, which we usually call “our companies”. They think the next deal, next product, or next milestone will get them there or is actually a stepping stone. Is it? Maybe. Usually not.

Instead, why not get clear – really clear – on what you want to accomplish in life. Write it down. Post it where it can be seen daily.

Once you know what you want, really commit to it. Make your choices so that they move you toward your target. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your future won’t happen in a day either.

Enlist your work, your family, your volunteer activities, and all your other resources to make it happen. Ask your family and friends to commit to helping you or at least respecting your commitment by not discouraging you. It’s through commitment that we all achieve our ends so make your commitment count.

Few people accomplish much by working hard. Those that accomplish much enlist others to work hard in their causes.

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