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Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?

Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?

Read more on The New York Times

Contributions

  • For those of us who entered the workforce in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, jobs were scarce. Even if you had a job, making a lot of money very quickly was not an option. So, instead, we pursued work that we loved; work that would pay us in passion, if not in dollars.

    Both the media and employees

    For those of us who entered the workforce in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, jobs were scarce. Even if you had a job, making a lot of money very quickly was not an option. So, instead, we pursued work that we loved; work that would pay us in passion, if not in dollars.

    Both the media and employees got wind of this new mission driven culture, and they subverted it to inspire (or, manipulate) our generation. Now, the economy has recovered, we are older, we are tired, we want to get paid more, and a lot of people are pretending because it hurts too much not to.

    I truly want to love the work that I do, because otherwise I feel dead inside. So, yes, it’s counterproductive to pretend, but let’s not lose sight of the personal value of believing in what you do.

  • What’s missing in this intriguing critique of a supposedly workaholic culture is some context: 11-hour days, 5 days a week (as one example cites) may be grueling by today’s privileged US standards; but through the lens of history & geography, long days and hard work have been required for not just success

    What’s missing in this intriguing critique of a supposedly workaholic culture is some context: 11-hour days, 5 days a week (as one example cites) may be grueling by today’s privileged US standards; but through the lens of history & geography, long days and hard work have been required for not just success but survival.

    I’ve tried to remind my children that there are people in the world who would kill for the life they have — and that’s not a euphemism. To thrive in a globally competitive world requires intense effort. There are huge advantages in incumbency, and that can breed complacency, arrogance, and all the bad habits that go with them.

    I’m not convinced that hours-worked is always the best metric of effectiveness and impact, in work and in life. Burnout is real, stepping back for perspective is essential. What we work on and how we work is as important as how much we work. But stamina is also real: a critical, often under-appreciated factor in building a life of meaning, success and impact.

    So go ahead, make fun of those who hustle. If that hustle is simply in quest of a golden nest egg and long vacation or early retirement, I’ll laugh along with you. But if the hustle is in service of values and building a fully-layered life to be proud of, I’m not seeing the humor in it. Hard work, as a parent, a student, a citizen: I’d be happy for more of it in this world.

  • "An entire generation was raised to expect that good grades and extracurricular overachievement would reward them with fulfilling jobs that feed their passions. Instead, they wound up with precarious, meaningless work and a mountain of student loan debt. And so posing as a rise-and-grinder, lusty for

    "An entire generation was raised to expect that good grades and extracurricular overachievement would reward them with fulfilling jobs that feed their passions. Instead, they wound up with precarious, meaningless work and a mountain of student loan debt. And so posing as a rise-and-grinder, lusty for Monday mornings, starts to make sense as a defense mechanism."

  • A Gallup poll has measured employee engagement in the US workplace since 2000. The % of engaged workers (those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace) has steadily risen over the last decade to a record high of 34% as of June 2018. Those who are actively disengaged

    A Gallup poll has measured employee engagement in the US workplace since 2000. The % of engaged workers (those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace) has steadily risen over the last decade to a record high of 34% as of June 2018. Those who are actively disengaged is at a record low of 13%.

    While I’m certainly not drawing a direct correlation between hustle culture and rising engagement, the national average does seem to be moving in the right direction, and this may not be quite the epidemic.

    Moreover, if all this productivity propaganda promulgated by the “aristocracy” *is* engaging workers and suddenly giving young people a work ethic due to some “fake it til you make it” psychology, I don’t have a problem with it. Just remember to think for yourselves and have healthy boundaries.

  • The kind of “love to work,” “job as identity,” and “work to a higher cause” to the point of being completely life-eclipsing has been the standard culture in teaching for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these company’s inspiration came from realizing how easily manipulated the teacher workforce is.

  • This reminds me of when Wednesday Adams says, “I want to play Pocahontas in Gary’s vision”.

    Enthusiasm is a character trait, some people have it and some people do not have it. Embrace both. Forcing people is grim and exploitive.

  • It’s possible to find the right balance between hustle and time off. You should hustle because you enjoy what you do, have personal pride and see a chance for progressing your career in it. But you should also be allowed to have time and energy to explore your non-work passions (exercise, reading, music

    It’s possible to find the right balance between hustle and time off. You should hustle because you enjoy what you do, have personal pride and see a chance for progressing your career in it. But you should also be allowed to have time and energy to explore your non-work passions (exercise, reading, music, whatever it is) with equal hustle.

    I don’t think it’s myth that some people are lucky enough to do something they enjoy or are proud of or both; something they want to throw themselves into. I know that’s out there. But even in that situation, you need balance over the long haul to feel fulfillment.

    It’s also true that a lot of the perpetuation of this ethos is driven by people at the top and some large percentage of their motive is to maintain their own success, but it’s also true they know the only way most of them get to “the top” is through hustle - no one is going to just hand those rewards to you.

    Also, so much of what we’re feeling is what Tom Friedman and others have predicted - global competition is ratcheting up minimum requirements.

  • The suggestion that “workaholism” is filling the void where traditional religions used to be is something I hadn’t considered before. Even here in the article comments you can see anecdotal evidence of how people defend workaholism like it is some all-providing god. And the cultural undertow of the Protestant

    The suggestion that “workaholism” is filling the void where traditional religions used to be is something I hadn’t considered before. Even here in the article comments you can see anecdotal evidence of how people defend workaholism like it is some all-providing god. And the cultural undertow of the Protestant work ethic does seem to explain why it’s so acute in the US compared to other places. Very interesting read

  • Right. People lie to themselves

  • Truly a sad comment on the Ethics of the Milenials not interested in work or Religion a sad state of Affairs for America!