FORTY-HOUR WORK WEEK: Western economies, particularly that of the United States, have been built in a very calculated manner on gratification, addiction, and unnecessary spending. We spend to cheer ourselves up, to reward ourselves, to celebrate, to fix problems, to elevate our status, and to alleviate boredom.
Can you imagine what would happen if all of America stopped buying so much unnecessary fluff that doesn’t add a lot of lasting value to our lives?
WHITE V. BLUE COLLAR: My perhaps naïve hope is that when I tell students I’m not only an academic, but a “survival” jobholder, I’ll make a dent in the artificial, inaccurate division society places between blue-collar work and “intelligent” work. We expect our teachers to teach us, not our servers, although in the current economy, these might be the same people.
VANISHING MALE WORKER: Working, in America, is in decline. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16%.
Deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working: the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment.
It has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs. Foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs in which high school graduates once could earn $40 an hour, or more.
The poll found that 85% of prime-age men without jobs do not have bachelor’s degrees. And 34% said they had criminal records, making it hard to find any work.
TRAILING SPOUSE: The tendency for men to move more often than women is completely explained by the types of jobs they enter, not that they are men or women. Is occupational segregation self-fulfilling? If you look at women who are not married, they relocate for a job less often than men do.
Men who enter female-dominated jobs don’t tend to move as much for work. If you look at women who enter male-dominated jobs, they tend to move a lot.
If everyone generally assumes families will put the husband’s career first, then maybe this compels women to choose certain types of jobs, which is disturbing.
Women who choose to enter into the geographically-clustered jobs dominated by men have a higher divorce rate than women in dispersed jobs.
HIGH PERFORMERS: Employees value competitive compensation and bonuses, followed by retirement, training, flexible location, and vacation time. 42% of high performers are willing to move to a different state or region, 37% to a different country, 28% to a different continent.
Left untended, your high performers will seek alternative opportunities that provide more challenges, growth, and rewards. Your competitors would love to have them. Keep your best workers by meeting their wants and needs.
Likelihood of high performers to leave their current companies (HBR)
Likelihood for high performance to relocate for a better job (HBR)
POWER SUIT: Want to project power? Your clothes have to fit you. To be a power dresser, it has to look like you command the clothes, not that the clothes are commanding or wearing you.
The 1980s was the reign of the floppy bow tie and the suit. And that was the look most women wore in their 20s and 30s when they started in the workplace.
By the ’90s, women began to hang up their broad-shouldered jackets to favor the softer, more luxurious fabrics used by designers like Donna Karan.
The movie Working Girl, which prominently featured the beloved power suit. (NPR)
GOOD JOB MOST IMPORTANT IN A HUSBAND: What ever-married women want in a spouse, more than anything else, is someone with a good job. 78% of women said steady employment was important to them in a partner, more than the 70% who wanted someone with similar ideas about raising children, or the 38% who cared about sharing moral or religious views.
There are no gender differences between the spousal personality traits that helped a woman’s career and the ones that helped a man’s. In both cases, having a conscientious partner is the only trait that had any measurable correlation. What allows someone to lean in is a conscientious partner. It’s something both sexes should think about in their careers.
It’s good to be the boss: Being a manager is the most common job from the 70th percentile up to the 99th.
Doctors and lawyers are only found in the top two brackets. (There’s a reason our grandmothers wanted us to go to med school or law school.)
Sales supervisors are well-represented across all groups. It’s a broad job title that applies to people making as little as $12,000 a year all the way up to six figures.
Data from 2012, adjusted for inflation. Source: IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota; American Community Survey Credit: Quoctrung Bui/NPR
DC MOST EXPENSIVE CITY: Wait a second – is D.C. really #1 in housing costs? More than NY? Yes. Washingtonians spend more on housing and related expenses (utilities, furnishings and equipment) than New Yorkers and San Franciscans.
San Francisco, CA
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Most expensive cities to live in the United States (Credit: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)