Millennials Quitting High-Paying Jobs -- Ever Seriously Consider Quitting Yours?

Article in NYPost today about how millennials are quitting high-paying jobs simply because the work is boring and the hours are too long (though one guy in the article complains about his "50 hour weeks"... guess he wasn't in finance).

https://nypost.com/2018/07/25/millennials-are-bail...
Has your work or working conditions in finance ever been so bad that it's made you seriously consider bailing on not just your job, but the whole finance industry so you can just "do something that you enjoy?"

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Comments (73)

Jul 26, 2018
MichaelScarn:

Has your work or working conditions in finance ever been so bad that it's made you seriously consider bailing on not just your job, but the whole finance industry so you can just "do something that you enjoy?"

Uhh ... all the fucking time?

Look, the roles we hold and aspire to aren't easy roles to fill, and there's a long line of people willing to take a shot at holding them. Competition breeds results, but it sure as hell doesn't breed comfort.

It's a constant cost/benefit calculation. Is my job frustrating as hell? Sure it is. But for the things I get to do and the compensation I get, I think it's worth it. I sense-check that continuously as my perspectives and priorities (i.e. the assumption inputs to the cost/benefit model) change, and if it ever doesn't make sense, then I'll leave before my computer finishes shutting down.

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Jul 26, 2018

So it sounds more like you "fantasize" about quitting, as opposed to actually "seriously considering it?"

I'm just trying to gauge the hate-level that some of you have for your jobs -- in the sense that, yeah, all jobs are annoying on some levels, but are these analyst jobs so dreadful that some of you are like "This is what I thought I always wanted to do, but it sucks so bad, it's just not worth it."

Jul 26, 2018

Very well put. Could not have said it any better.

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Aug 3, 2018

Agree with everything you just said. But to add, sometimes I think of how much nicer it'll be to compound all the time spent working for someone else's company on your own company/business/etc.

Jul 26, 2018

Yes, I made a thread about solo-travel and a few options: Link

Your 20s are amazing years financially to earn (due to the power of compound interest), but the idea of finally relaxing in my 50s makes me sick. With my luck, I'll be bald by then

A few suggested taking 3 or 4 weeks off a year while still earning great $ in finance (better vacations, more options, etc.) which is good but it's only a half-measure. I've always felt you can't really know a place unless you live there for longer than that.

I've had good luck taking time between jobs when no one really "owns" you - much harder to do when already at a job and work piles up on you/others

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Jul 26, 2018

I guess that's my question -- it seems like, as a young analyst, you can't take 3-4 weeks off a year... so the decision is more of a permanent one: slave away 80-100 hours per week for 3 years, or "do what you want?" I would assume that most of you don't "seriously" consider quitting because you're ambitious and intent on achieving the goals you set for yourself in the past...

Also, when you say take a lot of time off between jobs, isn't it a bad look, resume-wise, if you're frequently quitting jobs and have these 4-6 month gaps in your work experience?

Jul 26, 2018

What if what you "want" is a good paying job and to own a home/start a family?

Jul 30, 2018
MichaelScarn:

I guess that's my question -- it seems like, as a young analyst, you can't take 3-4 weeks off a year... so the decision is more of a permanent one: slave away 80-100 hours per week for 3 years, or "do what you want?" I would assume that most of you don't "seriously" consider quitting because you're ambitious and intent on achieving the goals you set for yourself in the past...

Also, when you say take a lot of time off between jobs, isn't it a bad look, resume-wise, if you're frequently quitting jobs and have these 4-6 month gaps in your work experience?

I'm not sure how most people view it today, but when I was an analyst my friends and I all held a similar view. You can sack it up and do anything difficult for a couple of years, if you think there is sufficient long term benefit. The skill set and resume you build in IB literally carries with you your entire career, and it opens up opportunities that otherwise wouldn't be available.

Party and travel as much as you can around the edges. Say "yes" to every social event when you aren't working vs laying on the couch, and you can still have a decent social life. I started dating my now wife as an IB analyst so even relationships are possible with the right partner.

It sounds great to do "something that you love," but the reality is that you will likely be doing it with zero budget. The money that you can save (if you choose to actually save) can open up a lot of options down the road. I was able to get my company off the ground in the early days with money that I saved from my IB bonuses. My goal as long as I can remember had been to start my own business, and the money I saved, skills I built and connections I made in IB were a path to doing that.

As a kid I idolized Michael Jordan and always talked about being a pro athlete, my mom's response was that the real money/success isn't in being the athlete - it's in being Phil Knight. That message stuck with me.

As far as taking longer vacations, you won't be dinged for taking a few months between jobs if you already have your next job lined up. It's easily explainable.

Jul 30, 2018

I like that philosophy and mantra -- you can do anything difficult for a couple of years. Especially if, as you say, that hard work will pay dividends for years down the road. Thanks for insight.

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Jul 27, 2018

Agree entirely with this.

I've taken time off in between jobs for months at a time and that's when you're truly free.

Also about staying in a place for longer to really enjoy it, I've had that experience as well having lived besides my home countries in 3 other places. (One for 3 years another for 2 and the last for 6 months) and it was awesome. Get to meet the locals, wine and dine the women, get into the culture. I'm old now - so advise you all try this.

I should caveat, I never worked high finance though, just big 4 finance - so it sucked with little pay, but did allow me to work in a couple different countries due to the global nature of it and the helpfulness of the branding - so I can always thank it for that.

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Jul 26, 2018

Last time I left beginning (think: nearly first day) on Month 1 and started at the end (think: nearly last day) of Month 2, so my resume has literally no gap at all. Next time I'll look to push the start out for 2 months, leaving me with a 2-month gap which wouldn't be an issue if it's clear you are still succeeding. Make sense?

To your first point, during my 1st calendar year (so 6 months in to 18 months in) I took 3.5 weeks off (not even including the weekends and holidays there, so closer to 5 weeks of actual vacationing) - it helped that I was (a) top bucket, (b) close with my team, (c) going very strategically when literally 0 live deals were going, and (d) had optionality on who I worked with - so my team knew that if they didn't let me travel, I wouldn't join them for future deals. I think without basically all of those factors it wouldn't have been possible.

This is kind of arbitrary, but I wasn't as worried about losing 2 years - the world will still be there when your 24. For some reason, it doesn't feel the same for me replaced with the words 30+.

You're hitting on another valid point - I've now worked my tail off for 7 or 8 years to get here (school, internships, banking, PE) so it feels weird to jump off. But that's a sunk cost anyhow, and it will only feel it even weirder if I jump off the path 15 years down the line. One natural stopping point would be when you have enough money to fully retire and support your lifestyle (typically, that amount is 25x expenses FYI)

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Jul 26, 2018

Ha. Great, thanks. Sounds like you've managed to extract enough enjoyment/leisure because you've made good strategic decisions, and also because you're in a favorable position with your team.

Most Helpful
Jul 26, 2018

These turds will be complaining when they want to buy a house, have kids, etc and they can't get these jobs back because their travel blog and barista gigs no longer pay the bill.

Fucking soft ass bullshit.

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Jul 26, 2018

Ha. That's what I sort of think. Let's see the follow-up article in a year when they can't afford what they need/want.

Jul 26, 2018

lol i dont think travel blogs ever paid the bills

What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

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Jul 30, 2018

There's nothing "soft ass" about ditching materialistic goals and actually doing something unique with one's life. Unless of course they're just mooching off their parents while they "travel full time" lol.

Jul 26, 2018

I quit last year. I think whoever wrote this might have misinterpreted stats though. We're seeing people quitting jobs for the fist time since pre-recession right now, but they're quitting them to take higher-paying jobs.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Jul 26, 2018

Just curious, did you quit after one year? 2? 3? And did you quit for a more interesting opportunity, or because you just couldn't f'in stand it?

Jul 27, 2018

I couldn't stand it from day one. I quit after 3 years for self-employment.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Jul 27, 2018

Huh... stuck it out for 3 years. Must have felt pretty grueling. If I can ask, are you still in finance? Just wondering if the three years as an analyst helped you transition to what you're doing now.

Jul 28, 2018

I was never in finance. I was an accountant. I was a felon with no other options.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Jul 30, 2018
GoldenCinderblock:

I was never in finance. I was an accountant. I was a felon with no other options.

Is there a backstory or link to your felon to accounting tale? Did you pass the CPA with that mark?

Jul 30, 2018

No dude there's no story. I'm not a public figure. My degree is in finance. I was a glorified bookkeeper.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Aug 1, 2018
GoldenCinderblock:

I was a glorified bookkeeper.

This is what is getting under my skin about much of the industry - we don't actually take risks or create anything. The idea of saving up and becoming an entrepreneur is great, but how do I achieve as an entrepreneur when I've never put myself in a true position to fail?

Aug 1, 2018

I have no idea what your last statement means there.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Aug 1, 2018

Processing information into new information creates nothing. Nothing is created and no risk is taken. I guess what I'm getting at is spending countless years building tremendous analytical skills doesn't necessarily translate to probability of entrepreneurship success.

People stay in finance to save money to become entrepreneurs, but what entrepreneurial skill has been developed? Maybe it would be better to go into entrepreneurship earlier, start failing, and learn how to overcome failure.

Aug 1, 2018

That's definitely better if your goal is the extremely vague goal of entrepreneurship.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Jul 26, 2018

I for one could care less what millennials do, feel, or think. Unsure why they are in the limelight to begin with.

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Jul 30, 2018

Millennials are the largest generation in the US labor force...

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Jul 30, 2018

But they're not going to be if they keep dropping out of it.

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Jul 30, 2018
WolfofWSO:

I for one could care less what millennials do, feel, or think. Unsure why they are in the limelight to begin with.

Millennials will soon control a plurality of wealth in the world...if you don't want to understand them, how do you expect to make money off of them?

Jul 26, 2018

I quit a well-paid corporate development gig last year. My boss was some "ex-banker" (read: worked at a shitty boutique and did a top 50 MBA). He would make the team work 10-12 hour days when we could easily do the job in 7, and wanted to make a science out of everything despite the fact he didn't know jack shit about anything. The guy had a VBA project that he thought was a big deal.

I quit, smoked grass and played Battlefield for a few months, went to Europe, came back and did a boot camp, and got an IB gig with a 30% raise. EZ-PZ.

Long-term, I don't plan to work for anyone else past 35. I'm building a book of contacts and doing side projects so I can start a consulting business, and I'm raising cash to put my actual work skills to use for myself at better scale (automated trading). And there's so much more you can do - real estate, small business, e-commerce, etc. The trade-off just isn't worth it unless you quickly rise to MD. Nobody should kill themselves working 70+ hours weekly for $200k.

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Jul 26, 2018
Kassad:

I quit a well-paid corporate development gig last year. My boss was some "ex-banker" (read: worked at a shitty boutique and did a top 50 MBA). He would make the team work 10-12 hour days when we could easily do the job in 7, and wanted to make a science out of everything despite the fact he didn't know jack shit about anything. The guy had a VBA project that he thought was a big deal.

I quit, smoked grass and played Battlefield for a few months, went to Europe, came back and did a boot camp, and got an IB gig with a 30% raise. EZ-PZ.

Long-term, I don't plan to work for anyone else past 35. I'm building a book of contacts and doing side projects so I can start a consulting business, and I'm raising cash to put my actual work skills to use for myself at better scale (automated trading). And there's so much more you can do - real estate, small business, e-commerce, etc. The trade-off just isn't worth it unless you quickly rise to MD. Nobody should kill themselves working 70+ hours weekly for $200k.

What kind of boot camp did you do?

Jul 27, 2018

Data science. Btw, when's the next season of Viking Quest?

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Jul 26, 2018

Wow, sounds like you've got a plan, and know how to execute it. And the quitting didn't hurt you when you went on interviews? How did you explain it?

Jul 27, 2018

Also curious about the boot camp!

Jul 30, 2018

The real question is, which Battlefield?

Jul 26, 2018

There aren't very many job specific things that truly bother me about my current job, as a result I don't think bailing out would even allow me to be able to avoid them if I went on to do something else (senseless meetings/systems changes, dealing with needy clients). On the flip side the things I do like about it (the intellectual stimulation/co-workers/genuine interest in the sector) I absolutely don't think id be able to find if I left finance all together. So for now the choice is pretty simple make more money working more hours or make less money working less hours. No kids and a mortgage make that choice pretty easy for me personally.

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Jul 26, 2018

There are many times where I was honestly so closed to quitting because of frustrating deals/frustrating people who I was working with. I usually just take a deep breath and push through because the money is still worth it to me.

Jul 26, 2018

Of course I don't know, but I imagine this is the feeling and attitude of most people on this site... or, I suppose, in the world.

Jul 27, 2018

Nah lol. I'm good with only visiting third world countries for a couple weeks at a time.
In all seriousness though, no. I'm just starting my career and want to absorb as much as possible because this experience is valuable.
Also, given how hard I worked to get here, I couldn't throw this away. I don't have any hate for my job because this is what I wanted and I got it. I can buy a vacation any time, but I can't buy my way in to this role.
However, I got seriously lucky and landed at a strong boutique with great people and (relatively) good work-life balance.
Maybe when I feel I've learned all that I can and start becoming jaded then sure, I might quit and go do something else.

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Jul 27, 2018

Ha. Inspiring. You sound committed and intent on learning and succeeding... I think that's the key when you have to power through the tedious grunt work.

Jul 27, 2018

I don't personally mind putting in hours and hours towards something if it leads to an end goal but I don't understand working a job you hate for 40 years before retiring. It's always easier to make money doing something you absolutely love and have no issue working on day in and day out. I've found most of the top producers in any industry I've dealt with really truly love what they do. Even if you cut their pay in half, they'd do what they do.

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Jul 27, 2018

Though I haven't started in the FT workforce yet, that's what I constantly hear -- follow your passion. I guess the problem is when people get the "Golden Handcuffs," and then feel that they can't quit where they're at because they're already too far in.

Jul 30, 2018
MichaelScarn:

Though I haven't started in the FT workforce yet, that's what I constantly hear -- follow your passion. I guess the problem is when people get the "Golden Handcuffs," and then feel that they can't quit where they're at because they're already too far in.

The trick is to not buy into the ever more expensive lifestyle that creates the golden handcuffs. Save all of your bonuses in finance and live off of your salary. Most analyst I knew would rack up debt with the expectation of paying it off when (read IF) their bonuses came. I stockpiled the cash and invested. It allowed me to get out of NYC and work for a small market boutique, which actually also paid well but less than if I stayed in NYC, and when the time was right I was able to start my own company.

Side note - why does anyone start a business in NYC or CA? I get that access to capital is better, but starting a company in a high cost of living area seems insane to me. I have no idea how the VC community doesn't understand this better.

Aug 2, 2018

I plan to save most of my bonus each year as well (have return offer for next year). So you invested your bonuses in what / what kinds of returns did you see? I used a compound interest calculator and did 50k initial investment with 50k/12=4167 monthly add-on and 6% interest annually and it gave me 160k at the end of 2 years but not sure if that's the best approach.

Also, do you mean because rent / overhead would be higher in the higher COL city?

Jul 30, 2018

Another article about how millennials are stupid, which happens to be correct.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Jul 30, 2018

If enough employees end up doing this, hopefully firms will eventually have to wise up and make it easier for them to stay by offering greater benefits and flexibility. 2 weeks vacation is not going to cut it for those who value their time outside the office, and for whom travel is basically a moral imperative.

One can always hope...

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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Jul 30, 2018
In The Flesh:

If enough employees end up doing this, hopefully firms will eventually have to wise up and make it easier for them to stay by offering greater benefits and flexibility. 2 weeks vacation is not going to cut it for those who value their time outside the office, and for whom travel is basically a moral imperative.

One can always hope...

They already had to cut IB weekends because the pansy millennials kept dying. This is not a generation that was well prepared to handle stress...that blame falls on their boomer parents though.

I'm only sort of joking. It's incredibly sad that the kids passed away a few years ago, but that had never really happened before. It's not like the hours got worse somehow. I attribute it to ability to handle stress is declining.

Jul 31, 2018

Wasn't that the kid at BofA in London? If I recall, wasn't he also drinking a ton and Red Bull and suffered from epilepsy?

Yeah, ability to handle stress seems lower than other generations (FOMO). I think also that the kind of promises that firms make new employees about career paths, responsibilities, etc but then don't deliver will sour new employees quick.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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Jul 30, 2018

The real question here is how in the actual ass one can be burnt out at 24-25 working in PR.

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Jul 30, 2018

If they are, then they are doing it wrong...

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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Jul 30, 2018
QuiltEmerson:

The real question here is how in the actual ass one can be burnt out at 24-25 working in PR.

Depends on what type of PR you do. One of my wife's best friends did celebrity PR, and one of her clients was Naomi Campbell (she was based in London at the time). She'd get calls at all hours of the night having to bail her out/pick her up from the cops and then have to have a media friendly explanation ready to go before press time the next morning or an explanation as the why the story shouldn't be run at all (which happened a lot). Layer that on with several other crazy celebrities, and it sounded horrible. She did it for 10 years or so and then left to do corporate communications for a big tech company because at some point the money/glamour aren't worth it.

Jul 31, 2018

I don't doubt that some PR jobs can be stressful, but it's highly doubtful that this 24 year old snowflake had a handful of clients that are as crazy as Naomi Campbell was back in the days.

Jul 30, 2018

These are the guys who will be demanding universal basic income and benefits when they get older...

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Jul 30, 2018

Many jobs are nice then they suck, many jobs suck and pay a little, some jobs suck but pay well, the faster I can get to the point in life were I have enough money to not work the better that is.
I believe the most important thing in the world is money. Why? You cannot eat, have a house, car/transportation, have leisure time, drink expensive alcohol, smoke nice cigars, travel to nice places and many more.
You don't have to retire at 67.
I'm 18 and I don't want to work until 65 but I will not quit a six figure job at 26 to travel because I will eventually run out of money.

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Jul 30, 2018

A little harsh but... damn, that makes some pretty good sense.

Jul 30, 2018

why do you want to drink expensive alcohol/smoke nice cigars? how much money do you really think you need to live in a small home in a low COL area?

Jul 30, 2018

Why do I want expensive alcohol and nice cigars because why not? Why do you want to live in a small home? I don't care if you want to live in a small house or not but I don't want to live in a small house neither do I want to live in a ridiculously big house.
I think you are missing the main point, which is that I want to get to where I am financially free to do whatever I want (within reason) without worrying about money. Financial freedom is my main goal.

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Jul 30, 2018

I'm only 21,when I was 18 I too thought '' the most important thing in the world is money.'' turns out I have found that freedom is the most important thing in the world. Money happens to give freedom.

Jul 30, 2018

It's not as if there are only two choices: either be chained to your desk 100 hours per week or quit your job to travel, live in hostels and play tetherball...

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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Jul 30, 2018

Millennials (I am one of them) are so fucking entitled.

Past generations were built on sacrifice and an extreme drive to leave your family with more assets and opportunity than the generation prior. Our generation is focused on avocado toast, traveling, and "experiences." These are the same people that end up suffering from extreme depression because five years pass and they realize that they have wasted most of their young adulthood without accomplishing anything beyond Instagram pics in vacation spots (each pic with about 50 random strangers just outside the camera view).

My advice: Sack up and do your job. If your job really sucks, leave and find another one (but that one will probably suck in some capacity as well). Life isn't a cakewalk. Learn to do the hard work. Your vacations and time off will become much more rewarding.

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Jul 30, 2018
qbison:

Millennials (I am one of them) are so fucking entitled.

Past generations were built on sacrifice and an extreme drive to leave your family with more assets and opportunity than the generation prior. Our generation is focused on avocado toast, traveling, and "experiences." These are the same people that end up suffering from extreme depression because five years pass and they realize that they have wasted most of their young adulthood without accomplishing anything beyond Instagram pics in vacation spots (each pic with about 50 random strangers just outside the camera view).

My advice: Sack up and do your job. If your job really sucks, leave and find another one (but that one will probably suck in some capacity as well). Life isn't a cakewalk. Learn to do the hard work. Your vacations and time off will become much more rewarding.

You are a shining beacon of hope in your languishing generation. Life isn't all about fun, and doing anything meaningful in life will be hard. Just the way it works.

Aug 1, 2018
qbison:

Millennials (I am one of them) are so fucking entitled.

Past generations were built on sacrifice and an extreme drive to leave your family with more assets and opportunity than the generation prior. Our generation is focused on avocado toast, traveling, and "experiences." These are the same people that end up suffering from extreme depression because five years pass and they realize that they have wasted most of their young adulthood without accomplishing anything beyond Instagram pics in vacation spots (each pic with about 50 random strangers just outside the camera view).

My advice: Sack up and do your job. If your job really sucks, leave and find another one (but that one will probably suck in some capacity as well). Life isn't a cakewalk. Learn to do the hard work. Your vacations and time off will become much more rewarding.

I think part of the millennial attitude is due to an overriding expectation that the entire US economic model will fail. Entitlements, regulation, and government spending are sucking the lifeblood out of our country. We have a $20T deficit. Credit card debt is at or near an all-time high. Median home prices in most major cities at 5x times median HHI or higher - this figure used to be 1-2x. Education and medical inflation are out of control.

I could go on and on but in conclusion millennials I know are very informed about the ills of our nation, and completely jaded to fixing them.

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Aug 3, 2018

How can you say that? The same people quitting their jobs to travel are also Bernie bros and espousing the merits of Democratic Socialism. If anything, our generation seems MORE supportive of an entitlement-heavy, distributive society.

Members of WSO (and in our professional bubbles) are not the typical millennial. We are in the vast minority.

Aug 3, 2018

Well yes, I speak of my social group which is 95% straight Caucasian males with bachelor's degrees... Demographics are destiny.

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37922587

Jul 30, 2018

Actually agree that most of my generation is entitled and will be looking for universal basic income to bail them out. Some of the people in this article included.

But in the interest of fairness, it's possible that some subset of our generation (potentially me included, and I know other mid-level professionals on this board too) have looked at the utility curve and decided that working your tail off until you are fat/bald (stereotyping...) in your 50s isn't a good value prop. There are trade-offs here and no easy answer.

Without being too cheesy, props to those grinding it out to million-dollar incomes and props to those brave enough to give it all up and travel. No props given to those living paycheck-to-paycheck on ridiculously high incomes due to throwing their money away.

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Jul 30, 2018

Averaging around 3 international vacations a year (4 weeks), 12 weekend trips, to different cities, and 6 weeks a year working remote from destinations like Miami or Mexico where I work remotely during the day and explore at night. Not saying consulting is the best for work-life balance, but if you love to travel, it can be a great option.

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Jul 31, 2018

Like Jennifer Aniston said in Office Space, most people hate their jobs. But you do have to grow up at some point.

I'm all good with the idea of ditching materialistic goals, and I daydream about ditching the job too, but I do think that's more of a luxury, frankly like anything there are a few who pull it off but many who won't.

So I wish these people the best of luck but if it doesn't work out, suck it up because life is easier when you're not a p-ssy.

Aug 2, 2018

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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