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Prestige of Job

October 1st, 2017 at 04:36 pm

I was thinking a lot about this recently even before it came up on threads. That yes people judge moms who work versus those who don't. But it's more than that. It's not gender specific but rather people also judge what you do. That what you do "should" be prestigious and have a title and sound "important" or worth it.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. My friend getting divorced started it. She said she is working full time again but is working at costco in the warehouse. But before she was more management tracked and making the same amount. But now it feels like more work and harder versus her cushy office job that paid the exact same. She also feels it's not as "prestigious" but the hours in warehouse is better than her office job. So she says mentally she knows it's better. But she has trouble wrapping her head around being a cashier versus working in the office.

Then another friend recently started working at starbucks making coffee. She said she loves the flexibility and wasn't interested in going back into business/marketing. She was done with full time and long hours. But when she told people they thought her nuts. I can only imagine even for me it's the same. Leaving a lucrative career for one less so.

I have been getting that a lot recently. That what I do is less lucrative and not full time. It's also less prestigious but I like what I do. But what's really strange? I asked my manager why he did it. And he said he gets that a lot. Asked why he doesn't go back to accounting full time. Why is he working at such a reduced salary?

He said he used to do taxes for the extra income 20 years ago. Then about 5 or 6 years ago he started taking care of his mom and quit his full time job and worked only part-time. Then she passed about 2 years ago and he hasn't had much desire or drive to go back to a 9-5 gig. He can make his bills and survive easily on the part-time work. He likes the flexibility of not coming in every day and showing up at 12 pm. He said he's not sure if he'll ever be ready to commit back to being a full time clock puncher. And yet he said a lot of people keep asking him why doesn't he get a full time job (myself included)?

Truth is that when he told me his story I got it. I realized that as a society both genders are told we have to "work" full time. We have to contribute and are expected to be working full time. It's strange to find people not working and surviving. Either because they live on less or have saved a lot. But it's unfathomable that someone (male or female) would choose to live so modestly.

DH and I have gotten it a lot. Judged by many that we have chosen to live on 1 income and that the second income we've given up has been substantial. But the lifestyle we've gotten in return we both feel is less stressful, more relaxed and more us. Even now the choice of not moving back into a more career field has been judged by others. I truly believe if i were a man i'd be judged even harsher. I think men are judged harsher about not earning the "most" they can. Women are given some leeway with kids but those without are expected to climb the ladder.

Have you noticed this? That people really judge both men and women career wise?

4 Responses to “Prestige of Job”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    It's not been too bad in my life. I have friends who are pretty high up/climbers, people who just kind of do a job they like (or don't like) that doesn't have a big career trajectory, and people doing freelance/sporadic work. I know one or two stay-at-home parents too. My downstairs neighbors keep quitting and starting stuff as they try to figure out what will make them happy.

    I've never felt attitude from anyone about my choices. Right now I'm on the trying-to-climb, career advancement tip myself, but it's because I'm interested in my work and what we do and would like to have more responsibility (and money). But I don't have any issue with people that just want to have a steady job and income, or who are having trouble finding steady employment and/or job happiness. People are different, priorities are different, skills and interests are different. I like my friends for who they are when we hang out, not what they do for a living or how much money they have or whether they live in a tiny apartment or a big house.

    I guess it probably differs by region and probably within friend groups. I'm sure there are judgy people in Minneapolis, I just don't happen to be close friends with any of them.

  2. snafu Says:

    It seems to me it's cultural. We live in a city where a 60 hour work week is not unusual. Funnily, it's not driven by money as much as it is by the challenge of the work itself. When we took our 1st contract in China we were shocked by how hard everyone worked. Religion is nearly nonexistent but the G_d is money. 1 Yuan is important to people's sense of fairness and self worth. BYW, that's about .07 [cents].

    I recently watched an interview of a university instructor who had applied for a spot in the Exchange program. He was horrified when he was slotted for a job in Norway. All he knew about Norway was that it was cold in winter and that was a horrifying idea. He did everything he could to get out-of-it but terms and conditions were unfavorable so he reluctantly went. The majority of the interview was touring around Norway, outlining differences between life in Norway and the USA. For example, government workers focus on delivering the best possible results for Norwegians. They do not bend to demands of the politicians or supervisors.

    Actually politicians will try to move heaven and earth to deliver the best possible outcome for their constituents. Norway is ranked #1 in the world for medical services, delivery and outcomes. They believe everyone is entitled to the best possible health care and there is a huge amount of encouragement for a healthy lifestyle as well. Costs are covered by taxes, not insurance, public or private. The population generally works hard but the emphasis is on family, friends, and enjoyment.

    I was surprised to learn from another source that Norway is the intermediary trying to move N Korea and the USA away from military resolve.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    Well, not in my life. I always worked in the nonprofit sector, and while there was some jockeying for position, no one took it very seriously. I suppose it also depends on who your friends & acquaintances are. No one I knew ever really cared what I did for a living, though some were concerned that my small income was making my life too hard. My ex is very judgmental about success, or the lack of it, in other people's lives, but I consider him kind of an aberration. He stood in the ego line at least twice. Smile

  4. rob62521 Says:

    I think there's always going to be some of this prejudice to a certain degree and I notice when I read the engagement and wedding announcements, I sit there and wonder what the heck some of these jobs these kids have with such fancy titles. I guess that makes me weird, but I look at them and they are barely out of college and they are director or supervisor and I wonder what their jobs really are.

    As a whole I think society has sort of become snobbish. For years everyone was pushed to go to college and now they are saying not everyone is college material. So very true. My dad never finished high school and he had some pretty crappy jobs, but I look back and think of how hard he worked and how he took pride in what he did wherever he worked. He was always considered a good employee who was dependable. I had a variety of jobs and I guess I didn't really care about the title so much as if I liked the work and it paid enough for me to get by.

    CB love that line about your ex standing in the ego line at least twice. Smile

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