The amount of jobs I have skipped due to this "job responsibility" is ridiculous. I am good at what I do. I will come to work, work a full day maybe even longer, then go home and unwind or do something non software related. I am not trying to burn out. Why is it not enough to just be good at your job and work an honest day every day? Why do I have to love every moment of it as well? I am not going to fake it because that lead to burnout at my last job. Who has a passion for writing crummy software for someone else anyways?
By skipping those jobs, I think I have found the right one where I am surrounded by down to earth like minded people who are still good at what they do. I start in a couple weeks and I am actually looking forward to working now.
It's not as if they have a consistent set of criteria they're searching for when they write that. Someone in HR or recruiting put it in there because it's what they've always done and they haven't seen a downside to it. In that sense it's just fluff. Fluff is bad for recruiting, but you shouldn't try to infer what a corporate culture is like merely from the flavor of fluff on job ads.
Interesting you put it that way, since I've learned to be on the lookout for boilerplate in job ads as a personal filter. Usually I've figured this out by just copying and pasting select texts from their ad into Google and seeing how many other job ads from different companies for similar (and in a few cases wholly different) roles.
You say "spiting yourself" I call it doing due diligence because you can best bet those companies are gonna be scrutinizing the hell out of whatever resume I give them, turnabout is only fair.
1. Choose a company that does something interesting and meaningful.
2. Try to understand what they are looking for, and if that's really what you want to do for 8+ hours every day.
3. Put everything on your resume that will maximize your chance to get the interview. This has nothing to do with your actual experience. Remember that you only need to be better than the rest of applicants, and usually it's not hard if you're good.
4. During the interview, evaluate the people. This is the most important step. These are the people who you will spent more time with than with your spouse, so choose carefully.
You can't get any idea about those people from the job ad, because they might not have even seen that ad. And even if they wrote it, phrases like "passion for what you do" mean different things for different people. Ultimately, yes, you should be somewhat passionate about what you do. If you're not, go to step 1.
What's right and what's wrong in this case here? I'm gainfully employed now, at a company I actually have come to really enjoy working for, making arguably the most I ever have in my career so far.
The method worked for me, doesn't mean it's universal, also doesn't mean this success can be directly and completely attributed to screening out copy/pasted job ads (nor any of the other criteria I look for in a potential employer). Only that I have a method that I've stuck to for deciding who I want to work for, and haven't found much of a reason to change it. Personal financial and professional goals are being met, and supported by my employer.
It works for me, if your system helps you succeed as a job seeker, more power to you-but if people here have systems that are working for them and getting the outcomes they're looking for in a career, I don't know if we should be so eager to tell these individuals they're "wrong".
And that's perfectly fine, for both parties.
I'm deliberately trying to stay as high above ground here and proffer that individual choices kind of matter here, and taking the broadly utilitarian viewpoint of: if the way you look for jobs results in you getting the kinds of jobs you want and opportunities you're looking for-not to mention satisfies the financial goals you have for yourself, great.
That's where it begins and ends for me personally.
But, critically you can only go to so many interviews. Thus missing out on a few openings is just not a big deal.
Mine position is going to be different then position of other people in same company, so it makes a lot of sense to evaluate things that signal what my specific position is going to be about.
It's just generic filler. That makes for a very arbitrary filter when you're choosing which companies to avoid.
I'm sure most if not all of us have taken jobs where all the things on our personal checklists were checked off in the interview only to discover the place didn't live up to expectations and certainly probably the opposite has happened.
What may be arbitrary for some might be the difference between accepting or declining a job offer for others. At the end of the day the only person who knows if what they see in a job interview matches what they're looking for in a workplace is that individual, and no one else.
You are giving up on companies based on a generic line in job offers, which is fairly standard recruiter/PR speak. It's like quitting a book after reading 5 sentences, or judging a full course meal based on the first appetizer.
You cannot accurately extrapolate from that one sentence.
You simply cannot have any idea of what the company culture or expectations are until you speak with someone related to the position you'd be working in. At that point you can begin to paint a fairly accurate picture of the company–doing that from one sentence in an ad is completely guessing. It's a night and day difference.
What recruiters regurgitate into an ad is often completely different than what the people you interview with show.
You really are doing yourself a disservice by being judgemental and automatically rejecting a position that has one sentence in an advertisement that is not written by people you'd actually be working with. The fact that you succeeded doesn't matter, because all you did was reduce potential opportunities. You succeeded -in spite of- arbitrarily choosing to limit your opportunities.
You don't get to determine that for someone. It is not my nor your, nor anyone else's place to tell someone what matters to them as an individual in their career goals or decisions.
It's fair to assess a choice as one you perhaps would or wouldnt take because your situations or living requirements may be different but one does not have any right or any authority telling someone what matters to them or why they are right or wrong for making decisions they feel are in their own best personal interests.
Especially if that individual is satisfied with the outcome and has found it beneficial for their career goals.
I don't think there's much that's going to change my mind on this.
Companies are made up of a constantly changing pool of individuals. People leave, new people are hired. Even if a company has a policy of not including that boilerplate in their job advertisements, there's a solid chance that they will hire a new recruiter at some point who doesn't know about that policy and falls back on what they used at their last company.
If you rule companies out based on boilerplate in job ads, you risk missing a great opportunity because that company hired a new recruiter and hadn't yet got them up-to-speed on their in-house standards for job ads.
Trust me, nobody does that. Resumes are quickly skimmed by 97% of people who gets them.
What should you infer corporate culture from? If job ads are written by HR, and not by say lead engineer is already telling.
Those companies deserve to be less desirable employers for workers who can be picky.
As a .NET developer you usually get a MSDN licence from your company and that will give you a generous amount of "free money" on Azure. My passionate colleagues have read up on what you can do and tried some cool things while most of my other colleagues have never even logged in to it.
My passionate colleagues might read an article from Hackernews about web architecture at lunch because they think it is interesting while my less passionate colleagues browse Facebook.
Cool, go to a meetup, not the place people go to because they like not starving.
> My passionate colleagues might read an article from Hackernews about web architecture
Reading Hacker News while eating lunch implicates reading StackOverflow in bathroom hour later. Better off relax and chew properly.
Sure, it is not guaranteed and there are risks as you say. Especially the tool part where people want to implement something new just because they read about it recently.
>Reading Hacker News while eating lunch implicates reading StackOverflow in bathroom hour later. Better off relax and chew properly.
I should have been clearer. Where I work we usually have 1 hour lunches and eat in about 30 min and then take a coffee and chat or browse some. But to be honest no one would bat an eye if you read an article like that during work hours either. Sometimes you need a break or you need to read things to keep up and that is fine as well.
I find the passionate ones tend to progress in their careers and thrive on that sense of achievement and the punch-in/punch-out types are happy just to hum along, take work and do it.
I think it's necessary for balance.
Edit: obviously in social or interview settings this is appropriate. I meant among co workers.
Creating software is very hard, and I’ve never worked with a person who has gotten good at it without having an above average level of interest. I believe that’s partly because developing good software, efficiently requires team members who can work independently with little guidance. And, to be able to do that, one has to have some interest in what they’re building. But, I may be wrong, and I’ll have to think about it more.
It’s good to know that people get turned off by that description, though. I’ve put that term in my job posts for a long time. It comes from my experiences in the 90s and 2000s when waves of people entered the industry only for the money. And, it always seemed to show in their work. Plus, because of shortages, often it’s easier to train passionate, entry-level developers than it is to find good experienced developers. And, that’s not because I low-ball on salary. It’s just very difficult to convince people to come work for you, especially when your a scrappy little startup with little revenue and high risk of going under.
Developing software is all the same, right?
Just like everyone tuning the engine in their race spec roadster must love doing oil changes and swapping rusted brake discs on their neighbor's 15-year-old nissan micra?
I know a lot of people who are passionate about the beautiful software they get to work on their spare time, on their own terms.. software not tainted by dysfunctional corporate culture, legacy, deadlines, budget constraints, ever growing technical debt, etc. I suspect most of them don't expect to find such passion-worthy projects in a commercial setting. It is quite likely that they won't love their job, even if they can do a heck of a good job at it.
So yeah, that kind of description can be a bit of a turn-off.
I just watched the Netflix documentary about the Fyre festival last night, and it seems analogous: it's actually worse to get people excited about a dream that doesn't exist than for people to be open-eyed about what something actually is.
I highly doubt that's a large number.
If employees are not responsible for their work, can't take chances and have every decision second guessed by more senior people fiercely guarding their little sphere of influence, that's when you breed such resentment.
You see this too with 'bikeshedding', there appears to be delegation taking place, but it is a farce. In this case there are too many captains on a single ship, nobody can take charge and nobody is responsible and free to give it their best and possibly fail.
The most important parts of most project work are grunt and grit, not "passion" and other such BS oriented at Disney-nurtured adults.
As for grit, nobody has ever paid me enough to deserve mine. Interest will get me to go above and beyond, otherwise I'll just perform well enough for 8h and I'm outta there. My grit is reserved for stuff that matters.
But also in the sense of grunt work.
An office full of miserable people usually indicates poor management, which no amount of passion can really offset.
I think there's a lot of pressure to "enjoy" work because good-paying work is a lot harder to find these days. Not to mention that our work is deeply ingrained in our identity (at least in the US). I get asked what I do for a living 95% of the time when I meet new people in the US, and exactly 0% when I meet new people in Europe.
Fluff like "passion" or "drive" or "initiative" is indicative of someone who has no idea why they are hiring someone. Let alone the fact that none of these things is reliably demonstrable, and all of them depend on what the job on offer is.
You're far better off responding to an ad that says "we want someone who has done x, y, and z, and wants to use it for a, b, and c". Specific things with a specific purpose. If someone has that, they've thought about what they actually need, not how they want to look.
Maybe a refined/alternate job req would be something like this: "You must be open to the idea that the work that you're doing has value and is intrinsically motivating. We will do our best to convey that value and provide that motivation, and you should try to harness that motivation to produce high-quality work." Certainly, as someone who has planned engineering tasks for teams, a lot of focus has been on making sure that everyone has a feel of ownership/vision and is working on things that they enjoy.
You're mistaking "passion for what you do" with "passion for a job". I've worked with a lot of people who love their field and I've never seen a correlation with hours worked. If anything the people closest to burnout are always complaining about their job and fantasize about leaving their field entirely. Those people are not passionate for what they do.
As a developer and former recruiter, I will say that most job ads are not written well. Many people cut & paste the text from other jobs ads and tweak it for their own purposes. The people with whom you'd work may not even be aware of what's in the job ad. Crafting a good job ad is hard.
You can make a job description a special snowflake, but then not reach the right candidates. In my experience, I will find job postings on a job aggregator website, which will lead me to a companies website for the position. These positings will usually include a boilerplate on what the job includes + other details on the company. If it seems interesting, I'll research the firm to see what they're doing, opinions on glassdoor etc.
Judging a company and their treatment of their employees by job description alone is a very narrow view of how business operates.
I asked the interviewer how both of those could be true and he said, "I'm not sure, I'll have to get back to you."
This description gets passed on to HR for posting and they append the company spiel to it. That's where generic HR keywords like 'passion', 'exciting', 'innovation','elite team', 'cutting edge', 'game changing', 'inspiring' get added. I don't have control over that.
So ignore the HR rubbish and checkout what the hiring manager and his/her team are like.
Also note in mid-size (1000+) to large (10K+) companies each manager and team can have
their own work culture based on the personalities in the team so don't write off such a company based on interviews with just one group.
To me "a passion for what you do" means that you care about your work and you don't half-ass it.
But I expect that it probably means other things for other people, including your interpretation of "tons of overtime".
I am not passionate about computers, I like solving problems and streamlining the tedious. Personally I don’t have a passion for my company either. I like them, I like what they pay me, and I like the benefits and culture.
I see my paycheck as a business transaction that is favorable to both myself and the company I work for.
With that being said, I do actually enjoy the work I do, but would never use the word passion to describe it.
Yet he works long hours, everything he does is extremely high quality and just watching him work you can tell he's pretty masterful at what he does. Though honestly, I'm not even sure if he sees himself that way.
Similarly, when I see "Made with (heart image) in (location)" at the bottom of a website, I'm pretty the developers weren't overflowing with emotion when they hit commit.
I've an extra criteria of late, which is not applying to anything that I don't find socially useful or that is obviously engaged in some anti-social behavior. Try that, and you'll skip nearly all jobs.
Hype oriented programming as it is.
Was blocked by HR/recruiting... :(
So you want someone who
- Understands modern computer architecture and operating systems: Hyperthreading, power management, cache coherency, memory bottlenecks, filesystems,
graphics hardware tradeoffs and related debugging tools, Intel/AMD/ARM.
- Understands the computer software stack including webservers & frameworks, high performance software libraries, GPGPU programming, clang & LLVM, JIT compiler, CPU and GPU virtualization stacks including VMware, Azure, AWS.
- Understands hardware tradeoffs, DRAM memory, multicore, ECC, PCIe bus tradeoffs, display techonolgy, Freesync, Gsync, server storage technologies both nearline and long term, WiFi and ethernet. Backups. Servers and server management.
- Database servers both commercial and opensource and their setup for for reliability, backups,
production and testing servers.
- Computer administration, linux, windows, bash and perl/python scripting for sys admins. Machine testing and validation for production use.
- Computer security, firewalls, Meltdown & Spectre vulnerability fixes, VPN setup and admin.
So did you finally hire your senior systems engineer? the one who knows computers ?
I have a really funny story about this involving a recruiter deciding I wasn't a good fit for one role, and recommending I take another because I didn't specifically list any experience with CSV files of all things on a DevOps resume.
Turns out a friend worked at first company, in the support team-made a referral and I was hired two weeks later after interviewing with the team lead and department head. During onboarding week I'm talking with a few team members at lunch and one of them mentions how they've been needing to hire the role but never put much effort into it, HR connects them with an agency and the recruiting company they hired never sent them any candidates, and only even emailed to say they "maybe" had one person, but that they were missing a few 'key' skills.
I smiled discreetly and listened on, but the whole time I had this image in my head: https://i.imgur.com/JbzO6uM.png
On the other hand, "a passion for what you do" could be code for, "you have to go full tankie on our company's 'we are making the world a better place' mission statement BS". And for companies that's true of, you'll probably be able to identify that trait pretty early in the actual interview process.
So, maybe you should apply to some of those jobs!
It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to work until 8pm every day.
I try to learn and become a better developer.
I could give a rats ass about programmatic advertising and the "value" we bring clients.
The problem is that many people swing from being passionate to the other side of the spectrum by becoming cynical of work.
This is a bit off-topic, but I've read a few stories that contradict this on the /r/financialindependence subreddit . I can't find the link now, but there was a person who asked their Dad if they had any regrets. Their Dad said that they wished they hadn't retired so early, and that they had spend more time working. They enjoyed their job and they missed feeling useful and having a sense of purpose. I think it's common for people to quit their jobs too early and lose their sense of purpose, and it's even linked to a 20% higher mortality rate when you're 60+ .
Of course family is more important and you should spend as much time as possible with your children. But I was just surprised to learn that some people really do say "I wish I'd worked more" on their deathbed (or in their old age.)
It's one thing for people who regret stopping to work, because they put too much of their life's meaning into work. Or maybe because their work was truly meaningful (although that seems to be pretty rare).
Sounds like their real regret is that they didn't learn how to find enough meaning outside of work during retirement, rather than the fact they stopped working.
my wish would be to not be in a deathbed ;)
That's actually half a circle. Coming full circle would mean having to hide again because you're not believing in God.
I have met a good few people in tech who are smart and hard working, but are chasing the next shiny thing without any long term overarching direction to their life.
I won't say that's necessarily a bad thing, but I can't imagine putting in insane hours every week when I can't answer the "to what end ?" question.
Logically, God only wouldn't if you weren't convinced about who God is? I applaud your curiosity (and am eager to here other's answers) but if someone believed in God and still put their family first wouldn't that be more curious still?
Like, "sure you want me to fulfil your purposes for creation and be a co-worker with you, give this money to that needy person (say) but I was going to take the family out for a slap-up meal so God, I'm putting them first"?
Molotov put his adherence to communism ahead of his love of his wife. They got back together when she was released from the camps but I can't but wonder about that relationship.
> me as an atheist
Oh wait...they'll tell you.
When you make God a priority, it is most likely that you're prioritizing a fictional lense on your worldview.
Thats fine if it's a choice, but it's cruel to train that kind of thinking into children before they've had a chance to experience the world in it's raw form, and have learned how to discern fact from fiction.
Many people for thousands of years have devoted their lives to the search for Truth. It is a journey that takes a lifetime. I don’t believe there is some moment in time where one is able to discern fact from fiction when it comes to the big questions of the meaning of life.
And think about the vitality factor for some sects!
Then you should probably examine whether your values can stand up without the false axiom you're using to shore them up. I'm not saying they can't! But you need to check. And if they do, so much the better: you can pass on good values and avoid teaching your children nonsense.
We are a social species. Judging each other is one of the most fundamental things we do.
I’m not doing this consulting work because I love software so much my day job isn’t giving me enough satisfaction, I’m doing it to earn well-needed money.
I got into heroin addiction a couple of years ago and built up a decent debt (in total probably about 50% of my annual income). Put simply, I need somewhere to live and something to eat. I’ve interviewed at other companies which offer me about 40% more than where I’m working now, but my company has stuck by me so I’m going to stick by them.
Basically, I wonder how many people are working like this due to circumstances beyond their control.
Workers fought for centuries to get the 40-hour work week, something seems wrong when we’re stating to go the other way.
(I have been clean of heroin and all drugs except nicotine, alcohol and cannabis since around mid-August, I don’t keep track of the date anymore because last time I got clean I got completely fixated on it)
If you have a consulting side-hustle, you must have something financially valuable to offer the marketplace--which is more than most 23 year olds can say. If you need support, please seek it out. Our world needs as many people with their act together as we can get. So I'm rooting for you!
Are they going to offer me a mortgage if they're worried i'll go and shoot all my money up my veins? I don't know, I know a financial advisor who owes me a favour so I'll ask him.
My side-hustle came from the serendipity of meeting some PHP FIG guys who kind of took me under their wing, they're still the ones finding me side gigs while I build up a reputation.
There are several options for consolidating debt, but beware. You don't want to be skipping from one master to another. YouTube some Dave Ramsey videos. It's up to you what kind of financial future you want. I decided I want to have no debt, except maybe a manageable home mortgage at some point. You have to figure out what's right for you and chart the course. That way, the results will be entirely owned by you.
But later, the boss took a step back, hired someone for the CEO spot. The company aggressively hired people and attracted a lot of really bad types with their hiring policy. Whole thing started to go downhill rapidly within two years. Same company, entirely different culture.
This bears repeating.
PS, good luck staying clean. Hit me up if you want to talk, I've been through similar stuff.
Thanks for the offer of talking, I feel pretty secure in myself right now (no desire to use due to the adverse effects it has on literally every factor of my life except feeling really good for a few hours. I don't miss having to ask colleagues to get me a coffee because I couldn't walk the 10 minutes there and back to Starbucks, or having people staring into your eyes to see if you're high, or more obviously, the bruises and trackmarks,
Weed, alcohol and I'm trying to quit nicotine, then I'm hitting the gym. Already signed up.
Be eager to do great work not a ton of work.
They knew what has happening, gave me almost two months to get over it (paid, I just didn't have to go into work), and now they've stuck by my I like to think myself a pretty decent SE who's going for SSE next round.
I'm not loyal to the generic idea of a company I've been at for a few years, I am loyal to my current company because time and time again they've proven themselves to reciprocate that loyalty.
I do have a side hustle where I do some small contracting work at £25/hour (my friend who is kind of my mentor in this says I should be charging way more, but this is Northern Ireland and my first gig.)
I do see myself migrating towards my side hustle in the future, but I don't see myself leaving my current company to join another consultancy company, regardless of the money (within reason). My company does a lot of GOV.UK apps so almost all the providers know each other (Kainos, BJSS, Valtech, CapGem, Clarasys etc.)
I can just about afford everything I need and a few things I want, and I'm hoping to be debt free (sans-student-debt) in a year or two.
Also, bearing in mind I am a few months clear of one of the most life-destroying substances in existence I am quite happy to take it slow for a year or two.
I have overdosed and almost died due to pulmonary oedema, really puts things in perspective when you wake up on a gurney with tubes everywhere, no idea where you are, and a pain like you've inhaled a knife-blade.
I did it not because I like finance and I thought working 100 hours a week on excel was fun, I did because I had no idea what I wanted in life and a job the most prestigious / best paying job at the time available to a graduating student was in finance.
Most the people I started with (trading), didn't last more than 2 years. I burned out and quit the day I got my bonus after 1 year. But you see a pattern in all the people who stay. They don't love the work, they love the money and the prestige of the work. After a while, it becomes your identity and even though most bankers hate their jobs, they pretend to like it because there is nothing they can do elsewhere that offers them the same perks.
I worked with a guy who complained to me every single night when we worked together almost 10 years ago. He said he was going to quit once he reached XYZ arbitrary milestone and go work at an NGO. Last time I checked, he is still there. Now he has a wife, kids, and a lifestyle that requires a lot of money so he can't leave. He also says now that he "loves" his job, but like in the article, he is fooling himself. It comes out after a few drams of scotch.
Sounds like what I saw in the medical field.
But I do love my work. I'm not pretending. I do look forward to sitting down to work on Monday morning. It's creative, fun, fulfilling, and satisfying.
I just feel sorry for the author that they're so relentlessly incredulous that anyone could find joy in doing something.
Its not that liking your job is bad, its treating employment in the traditional sense - salaried or hourly - as if being charitable with your time or ability to your employer because you like doing it so much is a virtue. It isn't, its just giving those with power more power out of laziness. Because its lazy to just give yourself away like that. It takes courage and strength and effort to fight for fair compensation and a balanced lifestyle that doesn't revolve around making someone else filthy rich.
I don’t know whether it is true that such bosses expertly manipulate passionate workers into slavery. Based on experience, I have an alternative theory: those kinds of bosses have an “ambitious” personality (for the lack of a better word). They are never happy no matter how much they achieve, and so they demand more and more from others. It may very well be that in the end they end up with a lot of wealth, but in their minds they failed because they’re comparing themselves with even more successful people. So it’s more a case of “crying all the way to the bank even thiugh the account is filled”.
Sometimes that means not going out of your way to explain how you implemented a feature. If your company is going to treat you like an expendable money sink treat them like a hostile actor too.
It's almost the same as a lot of people who actually go to gym regularly won't post on instagram about their work outs compared to people who go once in a blue moon or only go for 2 weeks and then stop who will post "hustle never stops/keep grinding everyday"
The question as always is of course whether it is real love. Chances are a lot of people will be disappointed at one point.
For instance, I enjoy my job, I don't dread Mondays. I like my coworkers and the work atmosphere, I enjoy creating tangible value and I find the success of my work projects intrinsically satisfies me.
But at the same time, I don't work weekends, I don't work outside my ~40 hours, and I don't sacrifice my wellbeing for my job.
So I work hard because of the personal satisfaction, I don't do it to make already rich people even richer.
I don't know how it is for others, but personally if I didn't get some level of internal satisfaction and motivation from how I spent the working time of the best years of my life I would be quite depressed.
I don't want to take anything away from you. If you are enjoying your job and your life, that is truly great. But I would encourage you to take care of your future. Make sure you have progression, or something else, to show for it. You wouldn't be the first one to change perspective when life, or work, changes.
Jobs are universally good and bad, and most unlucky people just have to do the bad ones? Do we really need as many "office drones" as we have?
People pick (or are guided into) their career path when they're young and don't know any better, and by the time they figure out what they really want to do, they have obligations and can't make a big change. People don't know what other jobs are available to them in the world, and don't realize that they might enjoy something else far more than what they're doing.
I wish there were a "Dirty Jobs" show for all kinds of careers, not just physically messy jobs. School (all levels) did a terrible job of informing me of what is involved in various careers.
The author isn’t incredulous that anyone could find joy in doing something. Of course some people love their work. The author is contending that a lot of people don’t, but feel like they have to pretend that they do for cultural reasons.
How does the author know that they're pretending? That seems rather presumptuous.
Even people that "love" work usually know that it isn't the thing they would most want to spend their time doing if they had the choice.
I literally did while doing my PhD! And I quit a previous paying job to do it even.
I couldn’t literally do it for free now as I have commitments and dependents of course.
Why are you so snide towards them? What's wrong with them enjoying their work as a hobby and entertainment? Why is building whatever at Google invalid as a joyful activity someone might chose to do, but building a model aeroplane or anything else outside work would be a valid hobby instead?
I work somewhere where a lot of my coworkers and management are incredibly dedicated and passionate about what we do. They will show up and go apeshit on a project for 12+ hours a day for a month at a time because they're excited about the challenge and the outcomes. Even when they're not working on such a schedule, they often go home and work on personal projects that parallel what they do in their work. There are plenty of days where I can't wait to get to work; all issues outside of it take the backseat. No matter how bad those issues are, I have no choice but to get over them, because my work is never finished.
I'd imagine that some jobs would be grating, but there's a lot of them that would never get old for some people.
I see it all the time here and on Reddit: people eschew giving a shit about what they do, then turn around and complain that they can't get ahead. News flash: people that care about things are better at those things. I don't think this should be a surprise to anyone, but it sometimes feels like it is...
It’s just a foreign concept to me that someone with enough money to do whatever they want chooses to keep earning more money for their boss.
But they aren't choosing to keep earning money for their boss. They're choosing to keep doing what they enjoy. That happens to earn their company money as well - why's that an issue?
It is _because_ my job already takes care of all my software development "needs", that I don't feel the need to do that anymore when I get home and instead pursue other passions.
This comes off like a humble brag. I don't think you feel sorry.
It's fairly easy to find out where I work, and I think you'd agree that I'm not curing cancer or anything. I do wake up Monday mornings excited about work (and try to change teams/companies when that stops being true)
The article is about people who are glorifying the striving, not the work. It's about the hustle, not the doing. It's specifically humourless, not fun.
A summary of the book:
>Why do people work for other people? This seemingly naïve question is at the heart of Lordon’s argument. To complement Marx’s partial answers, especially in the face of the disconcerting spectacle of the engaged, enthusiastic employee, Lordon brings to bear a “Spinozist anthropology” that reveals the fundamental role of affects and passions in the employment relationship
It is provocative and refreshing to even unsympathetic readers.
 Frederick Lordon - *Willing Slaves of Capital: Spinoza and Marx on Desire" https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/228873/willing-slav...
That said you can enjoy your work but still be being used as a peon for a greedy capitalist; they're pretty orthogonal.
Edit: sorry to see this downvoted. Guess it's a little on the nose.
Some people love work, some people don’t. That being said, the excessive propaganda that work, work, work doesn’t typically benefit the person working as much as those they report to, like the article points out. That seems to be the main issue rather than an entrepreneur trying to materialize their dream.
When even low level retail job listings demand A Burning Passion!!!!!11oneoneeleven for the terrible job?
They're trying to find the people who would do this work anyway, without getting paid for it. Why?
So they can pay us all less. When we work partially for the privilege of what we do, money matters less... and we can get away with expecting less.
Anyone else? Is too busy fitting this mold to even be able to ask for a raise.
- Some people are legitimately trying to build a business and be first to market. There are arguments for and against burning the midnight oil, but it could be a rational thing to do.
- Some people are filling a void in their lives left by the evaporation of community, family, and church. The "hustler" types typically live away from their family, don't have kids, and certainly are not going to church. Immersing yourself in a lifestyle with other people struggling, in the same way, is a decent way of feeling like you're a part of something.
- This is probably just a thing in places like NYC and SF where you're surrounded by hyper-successful people at all times. That's why they call it a rat race.
FWIW, I've never been able to work anything like a 12-14 hour day unless it was something I truly wanted to do. There was no pretending.
I have talked to more than a few hustlers who had fairly deep rooted issues around failure and rejection and not amounting to enough.
This is present in all populations, but I personally have noticed that it's strikingly common among people trying to create startups compared to other groups of people I talk to.
I wouldn't even say that's a bad thing. The achievements of those people push humanity forward and even if you focus on the person, if they wouldn't have done that what makes you think they would have otherwise been happy and productive members of society?
About the rat race, isn't that name just because it doesn't matter how much you run, the wheel just spins faster and you never get ahead? That's how I always understood that phrase.
In any case, IMO the streets of SF make a good visual for the OP's definition of rat race.
I'm all in favor of people "hustling" and working hard if it's for something that benefits humanity and/or something they genuinely want to work on. But most people aren't taking us to the moon or curing cancer, they're selling crap people don't need. The dystopian motivational quotes in the article are like the business version of "keeping up with the Joneses"
Not that there's anything wrong with selling shakeweights. But I wish that instead of this #hustle culture, our culture was more geared towards making the world a better place. Of course for this to ever take place, at a minimum we'd probably need to end the precariousness of our economic system and free people from the servitude of boring 9-5 jobs (eg. UBI).
But until workers see through the billionaire employer-brewn Kool-Aid and stop giving in to this propaganda, the young will continue to get exploited and waste their lives pursuing crap that will make a few rich, but ultimately doesn't add any value to society. But the fact that this article was even written by such a prominent publication gives me hope that the mainstream is beginning to see through the facade, or at least finally stop perpetuating the gospel they've been forced to preach.
I’m saying this because your replies, when wholly considered, take on the form of dogmatic agenda rather than good-faith insight.
A lot of my comments concern Marx or Communism broadly because they are important ideas, and my chosen mode of analysis is to take advantage of totality in the critical sense. True, Marcuse said that not everyone's problem with his girlfriend is due to capitalism, but the analysis remains there to use advantageously. Secondly, the hat I wear as a programming hobbyist is generally secondary to the social sciences dabbler hat. So some thread interest me more than others.
Now good faith insight and having an agenda are not of course mutually exclusice. Yes, I admit my ideology but I think its analyses in whole or part can probably be interesting to an audience far removed from it on HN. I only aim to help and spread what I know and am interested in; Marx was one of the most important thinkers of the modern age, along with Nietzsche and Freud, even the most ardent capitalist would say so.
Maybe I will vary the topics I post about more, since looking at my history I can see your analysis might make sense. But as a side note, there are probably vim/Emacs/SQL/nosql/Linux/bsd fans here who engage very much in a similar way.. but still aim to help and educate. Having a preferred topic is fine.
I believe it was Heidegger who purposed that an important part of living was making peace with dying, and consequently, dying and having done nothing in life and being completely accepting of that fact, with no attached anxieties is an ‘enlightened’ state that we should all strive to embody. I suppose this channels Camus’s notion of absurdity and life devoid of any inherent meaning.
Maybe this article resonates with readers here because our work is so detached from Gattungswesen, we work in abstract, complex and mathematical realms, for corporations who purport that they “make the world a better place through SaaS data-science, blockchain, machine-learning analytics” and request from us labor performed with feigned enthusiasm. I argue that the nature of high-technology work is inherently alienated, we aren’t farmers or mothers or teachers and oftentimes the most satisfying activities are inert ones like meditation and sleep, doing anything at all can feel alienating and laborious because of the very human biological imperative to conserve energy.
For many people, economically-productive work itself is alienating, some would rather be artists, writers or do nothing at all, and no economic system can change that, however we aren’t in a post-scarcity economy so we work because we have to and because we wouldn’t want to work any other job.
I'm 53 and I still don't know if I have really "liked" my work/career in tech that started in the late 80's. I got off on my 80-hour weeks when I was in my 20's, but there was a direct result from my efforts (first silicon!). It's always been a challenge, and at some points broke me down (e.g., awful task, asshat manager), but I've always thought: "Welp, I gotta do something, might as well be something that pays well." I suspect the rest has been after-the-fact self-conditioning. But I'm almost done, and I look forward to retiring and doing more tech projects I never finished, so I guess I really did enjoy the career?
I think a critical mass of people have bought into the belief that overwork is equivalent with success. That dedication to work is heroic. So there's signalling going on, a desire to cultivate the image of being a winner (in this narrow sense). There's also naivety... people who buy into this and aren't just signalling but truly think working in this way is somehow reflective of the superiority they desire to possess. So there's a cyclical effect, one group feeding back into the other.
Basically it's another one of those misunderstanding implication fallacies.
They are saying:
hard work <=>success (equivalence)
success => hard work (hard work is necessary for success)
hard work =/> success (hard work is not sufficient for success)
I remember a time when humor helped build trust and friendship at work.
I remember laughing at work...
My one issue is that I can't picture any other job ever being this compatible with how I want to live my life. I worry it'll never be this good elsewhere. Happiness handcuffs, if you will.
I still dream of getting into more technical work where I get to solve interesting problems, but figuring out how to best teach a class and reduce equity gaps is a meaningful, interesting problem. If I ever find a different line of work I at a tech company, I worry about having the freedom and flexibility in my current job to raise my family in the same way.
1. I actually enjoy programming and working with others.
2. Sense of purpose. Working with others towards a common goal.
3. Reward. The harder I work, the more I increase my chances of greater financial output.
4. Recognition. When my boss or peers acknowledge my accomplishments, it makes me feel proud.
5. Growth. A lot of my personal development has come from wisdom gained through work.
I also understand that everyone doesn't feel that way. I think that's okay too. I don't understand why this needs to turn into a debate or perpetual flame war.
I think the 7 day "work" week is the most life-relaxing way to work.
I try to work 7 days a week. Some days I work 3 hours, some rare days I work 36 hours.
When I'm not working, I'm enjoying that time and not stressing out regarding income taking time off, because I know I have given it my 100% and not held anything back.
It is satisfying. I feel relaxed at work. I feel well rested.
I think the 5 day work week is soul-crushing: there's just enough time off from work that you dread coming back, and there's enough time at work that you feel overworked.
40 hours over 7 days is a little over 5 hours per day, and sprinkling in a couple 12 hour days spreads the remaining work to 5 three-hour days.
The huge advantage of the 7th day is that you know you cannot work, nobody else is working, that it's pointless and you can relax. It's 'the time for not working'.
When you work 'every day' - the nagging of 'maybe I can do something' always exists.
If you put in your time on the 5 days, then you can have this 'I know I gave it 100%' feeling.
Also, knowing that you can 'finish stuff on the weekend' I find makes one even a little bit more likely to procrastinate!
I've lived extensively in both worlds (i.e. 5, 6 , 7 days) and I think 7 will catch up to you. It caught up to me.
If instead I have to work until 5pm every single week day, I will feel stressed/exhausted when I come home, and when the weekend comes around, I need to fit in all the things I couldn't fit in during the week. In other words: I would have to hustle on my personal time because I know that Monday will come very soon and unless I get it done now, I won't be able to get it done until the following weekend.
I worked 5 day weeks before and I was miserable and exhausted. I work 7 days now and I'm invigorated. And I make a ton more money as well.
I do wish I had more time to travel, but I can take care of that once I've built up enough savings to retire at age 50.
I think the most important thing is that there are 'hard lines' i.e. you have time which you know to be 'yours'. The bleeding of personal time into professional time takes its toll.
Also, not relevant to your case, is the 'every day' nature of 7 day a week work - I believe this to be grinding as well, and it extracts a hidden cost on your health.
In it, it describes that most workers actually enjoy work. About 47% for blue collar up to 64% for white collar. Whereas during their leisure times, it's 20% for blue collar, down to 15% for white collar.
However, the catch is that when at work, they describe that they would rather be doing something. There's a paradox that motivation is lowest when at work, even though they feel happy, strong, creative, satisfied. And that they look forward to periods like watching TV where they feel more weak, dull, and dissatisfied.
The book doesn't have a solid theory as to why this is so. Maybe we have a cultural stereotype that we're supposed to hate work. Maybe we feel forced to do it against our will.
Modern society seems to actually restrict flow. We're constantly interrupted by social media and messaging. We have open offices where everyone can interrupt one another. There's less situations where we can just sit down and lose ourselves in work. A blue collar worker can tune the world out while they cut grass and assemble cars, while the engineer has to deal with a barrage of emails and stand up meetings.
So, it's quite possible that work now is less enjoyable than 30 years ago.
Given that I had no reputation to protect there, without asking anyone, I moved into a disused room, no windows, completely isolated from the rest of the office and spent my whole days cracking out code alone. I was never happier, and I’ve never got so much work done in an office in my life.
It’s like a variant of Orwell’s vision. The proles are probably the happiest ones.
In a world where it's difficult to buy even the most modest of homes and unreasonable to buy a sports car if you have no home in which to put it, making yourself seem like you can't possibly get away from your desk because too many people need you is the nouveau status symbol.
Sure some companies and employers are highly conscientious and they seek out conscientious employees. It's sad because conscientious people are more readily taken advantage of by employers. But at the end of the day it's just a personality and I don't know how well we can apply the label to all millennials. My experience has been that early boomers are the most conscientious people, probably more so than any generation that came after them.
I would argue that with millenials some of that hustle culture we're seeing is not necessarily a work nature, but more desperation. Here we have a generation coming of age into hard economic times. Many have high hopes but believe that their lives will be worse financially than that of their parents. It's natural that some of them would adopt a hustle mentality as a way to struggle against that.