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America’s Professional Elite: Wealthy, Successful and Miserable
The New York Times Company · CHARLES DUHIGG · 2/21/19
The New York Times Company
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13 min read

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  • erica - 3 weeks ago
    I bet this will be true at my 15th business school reunion :(

    I just read “The Power of Habit" by the author of this article for my book club at work!

    I agree with the factors he says contribute to making people happy at their jobs. For me, it's so important to work at a place where I have autonomy, a sense of responsibility, of ownership. Otherwise, I feel like a cog in a machine, easily replaceable, and like I don't matter as an individual. It's important for me to work at a company that has a motivation beyond making a profit. If I have these things, I care less about how well I get along with the people, though I used to want to be best friends with my coworkers.

    I would never in a million years consider myself someone who has experienced genuine hardship, but I was rejected from a looong list of companies that I applied to work at when I was in business school. I absolutely learned from those setbacks and am more resilient because of them.
    • bill - 3 weeks ago
      Hell yes! Excellent article, excellent comment.

      I think there is a difference between what you are likely to see in 15 years and what the author observed with his class. They ended up rich and sad. Your peers, in 15 years, are more likely to end up not-rich and therefore double-sad. It’s also possible that they’ll wake up to the fact that it’s perfectly possible - easy actually - to have an awesome life on a low 6-figure salary. (After all, the rest of the planet is like, “Low 6 figures? Sign me up!!”) The reason I think this is because of the way that technology has transformed the business world in the LAST 15 years. “Financial analyst” is already robot work, but the secret hasn’t gotten out yet. As we approach an era of increased transparency, all fake news businesses are going to die and consulting is at the top of the list. The labor market is shifting toward hard skills, new ideas, and no bullshit, which doesn’t bode well for the B school pedigrees.

      PS This article *skyrocketed* to the #1 spot in <24 hours. (I caught it when it was in the 13 spot yesterday morning.) Interestingly, it also hits newsstands today, which means that as I write this comment it is literally flinging across surburbia on page 26 of the New York Times Magazine in the brick-sized Saturday edition of the grey lady. I’m not one for speed; I like my news the way I like my life: slow and steady, with lots of time for reflection and introspection. But this is still an exciting achievement for reallyread.it. With every new user and every new data point (And fear not! We *actually* carefully protect your privacy!) we’re getting closer and closer to the root of things - the best reads, the urgent topics, the stuff that will change who we are and how we live. At scale. Let’s do this.