Millennial Burnout


I don’t ‘party’, drink, or do any kind of drugs. And since I sleep 5-6 hours, I have the luxury of staying up late (usually the converse, getting up really early) but I’m not advocating more time off just for my own sake, rather I think everyone benefits by not being beholden to corporate overlords six days a week.


I’ve had two careers. Started out as a big firm lawyer, then moved into management consulting. In both, 60+ hour weeks were a baseline expectation (likely because hours billed drive revenue).

There is no shot at work-life balance with that kind of schedule. But you’re not going to last six months working 9 to 5.


I’m in consulting also, and drive my employer revenue on a billed-hour basis as well. I agree your depiction of how things are is spot on. But it’s probably not how things should be.


Yeah, that’s the difference, for sure. I felt a little bit of a hypocrite up above when i said no one should be allowed to be exploited like that, even if they want to. I got out of being exploited by starting my own business. For the first 6-7 months, I worked 35-40 hours/week at my day job, and 35-40 hours/week at the business. It’s the off season now, and I’m maybe putting in 30 and surviving. When the season gets going, though, i expect to put in 70+ for several months. But I’m doing that to build it and set up a foundation for the future. When everything stabilizes, the plan is to not work more than 40-50. The difference is (in my mind) I’m doing it for myself. Perhaps I’m just a hypocrite.


The owners who really want you to work 70 or 80 hours say they do it themselves, when what they mean is they fly first class to a meeting in London or Paris or Dubai. Or they spend 8-12 hrs a week on business golf. They say work is fun, because for them it is fun and it is also their leisure activity. When they are in the office, their schedule is always blocked for executive time.


That’s not fair. There are owners who work extreme hours because they have to, and they’re working alongside their employees. Most of the owners, the good ones, will also acknowledge that that’s their choice, that they took that risk, and they’re not usually expecting their employees to do the same thing.

I think we’re at risk of demonizing entrepreneurs and business owners. That’s not necessary to avoid burnout and help a generation thrust into a really hard economic situation realize they have value and they don’t have to burnout.


Yes, #notallowners.


That is not my experience. I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the C-Suites of Fortune 1,000 companies, and most people at that level work very hard. They’re in early, out late and work on the weekends as well. It’s their whole life in some cases.

That’s not universally true, of course. I have encountered some CEO’s who were plainly lazy, or who like to spend way too much time on their boat or the golf course. But those are the exception.

Of course, you said ‘owners,’ so I’m not sure what kind of companies you mean.


You’re not going to see me advocating that all American’s should work 9-9-6 because the Chinese do. OR that we should work until we go to bars, get drunk and stumble home or throw ourselves in front a train like some of the Japanese do. Or work exceedingly long hours because shifts in India are long either. That’s not how this works, and suggesting American’s need to subject themselves to those work environments is not only ridiculous it ignores history almost entirely… we used to be the cheap labor.

But trying to paint business owners with a universal brush like that, they’re like everyone else. There are good ones and there are bad ones and then there corporations that don’t even pinpoint, often, to one person at all.

Millennial Burnout,, is not due to business owners alone. We had a very strong and hard recession when employment became pretty cheap, employees had no power and no voice as a result, and now that’s not the case.




I’m agreeing with you.

I worked in those suites. They spend many hours on what they call ‘work’, but much of it is stuff no reasonable person would call work. It’s why they’re happy to keep doing it when they’re 70 or 80. It’s not work.


I said it was provocative, and even in a conference filled with entrepreneurs not everybody agreed. I was seating next to female CEO based in SF that vehemently disagree and had a kid while running her company. Plenty of studies show that working those kind of hours isn’t productive.

But it is naive to think that anybody billionaires, labor union presidents, or even country government has the power to make much of an impact on hours worked. It is a global marketplace we exist in and nobody gets to dictate working hours or pay.

As for entrepreneurs, I’m sorry I’m going to glorify the shit over them because they are the only way, this country’s citizens are going to prosper compared to a country like China. I say this knowing roughly 5 times more failed entrepreneurs than successful ones. Which is consistent with most statistics.

Thanks to the internet is probably easier to start business now than any time ever. Plus we have shows like Shark Tank which do a decent job explaining and glorifying entrepreneur. And yet business formation in this country has slipped from rough 500-600K business from 1976-2006 to 450K in 2014 and 2015. Almost all of the Gen X and Millennial entrepreneurs have been terrific people, with a lot imagination and grit. If I can fault the Millennial generation for anything it is not being entrepreneurial enough.


What are you talking about? We literally passed laws that reduced hours, from unlimited to 40 hours a week. It was talked about in this very thread. The only reason they aren’t working right now is because we created huge exemptions for people making over 28,000. Increase that exemption to 60,000 or 70,000 and you will see people’s hours reduced really fast.

Hell, in 2016, I got a 5,000 pay raise just because the company thought the exemption would go up to 48,000 a year. That’s all it took.

If we raised the exemption, alot of middle managers in the heartland would see bumps in salary right away. And a lot more people would be eligible for over time.


It seems like (not here per se) so many when they talk about “business” literally only think of giant corporations, as if there is no other kind of company. And might be happy to sacrifice “small business” to large business if that means slightly better X (whatever X is) from the big company.


Bit or small, this quote by FDR should apply to all business. It’s up to us a society to decide what a living wage should look like. I vote it should be higher myself.

“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country… By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level - I mean the wages of decent living.”


When you’re coming out of college tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and an entrepreneurial failure can mean homelessness or literal death thanks to certain politicians trying to rollback every social safety net… is it really that surprising? Navient isn’t going to wait for your business to get off the ground.


The world of FDR and today’s world are vastly different. Foreign trade was a fraction of what we have today and the ability of both labor and capital to move freely between borders is much much easier. Congress could raise the minimum wage to $50 hour and pass a 30 hours max work week, but unless the rest of the world goes along it just not going to have much of an impact. Other than increasing the number of jobs that go overseas.

But both statistically and anecdotal I’ve seen no evidence that we are suffering from a dearth of leisure time in this country or most other developed countries. (The difference in leisure time between the top countries and US is typically ~2 hours/week or so.). Anecodotal I hear a ton of folks talk about binge watching 12+ hour netflix shows, and I’m constantly wondering where they find the time.

(Probably not wasting time on QT3 forums!)


Implicit in that rather absurd strawman is the assumption that we are somehow powerless to keep the richest elites from consuming all the fruits of societies of labor and the only thing we can influence is how our citizens compete with foreign citizens for the scraps.


Wait, why is this a downside?


Oh, I was being sarcastic. Having retirement and healthcare link to employment is an extra expansive for the employer, but also locks the employee in, especially if they have a chronic health condition or are the main provider of healthcare to their family.

It’s one of the main perks of the 401(k) profit sharing. You can require that participants stay at least 6 years before they can earn all the money that the employer sets aside(which they are also getting a tax break on). If the employee leave before hand, that money reverts to the trust, where it can used for fees or future contribution. But it’s weird, because it forces you to stay in a job to get the benefit. It breaks the idea that you are paid what you are worth by holding some of what you are worth as hostage.