Tag Archives: employment

Reasons to stay at a job you hate

A job is where you spend close to 60% of your waking hours (counting emails and phone calls and commutes, etc. it’s closer to 80%). In other words, it’s more of a marriage than your marriage, more of a family than your family, and more of your life than you probably care to admit. So let’s be economically rational about jobs and the marginal utility of life.

I. Here are some bad reasons to remain at a job you hate:

      1. You worked so hard to get here (sunk costs).


      2. Family will be disappointed if you leave.


      3. Friends will think less of you.


      4. Coworkers will think less of you.


                5. You want to keep being seen at that fancy restaurant/club/venue.


II. Here are some acceptable temporary reasons to remain at a job you hate:

      1. You have to make your mortgage payments (not rent, just mortgage).


                2. You have a child/children who depend(s) on your salary.


If you find yourself in this category, you should give yourself no more than 6 months at your current job, while A) actively searching for a new one, or B) figuring out how to earn money on your own.


III. Here are some good reasons to remain at a job you hate:



NB: Just for clarification, a job you hate can be defined by one or more of the following:

      1. You spend all day looking forward to 5 or 6pm (going home time).


      2. You spend all week looking forward to friday night or the weekend.


      3. You spend all year looking forward to your 2 weeks’ vacation.


      4. You wake up in the morning dreading going to work.


      5. You wake up in the morning not wanting to go to work.


                6. You wake up in the morning not itching to go to work.


Times are hard, but much can be changed by looking honestly at your life realizing you don’t need to jump through all the hoops people place in front of you.

How to Find a Job

We recently came across an article in Wired Magazine by Peter Thiel (of Paypal fame and early investor in Facebook) with some very interesting conclusions.

Briefly, he mentions how the best and brightest of our society tend to shoot for elite universities like Harvard, where they then proceed to interact with people more or less just like them and, as the years go by, they tend to reinforce their own principles and become more and more similar. This may seem both obvious and good. We agree that it is obvious. Most of us associate with people similar to ourselves, and studies have been performed to show that most people do the same around the world.

The second point, that it is good for the best and brightest to keep hanging out with the best and brightest, however, might not be so good. Thiel points to a study of entrepreneurs, which showed that those who associated with the most varied groups of people (in different clubs, associations and different activities) tended to be the most innovative. He then ties this back into Harvard, where he says the lack of interaction with diverse people (not necessarily diversity of race or gender, but of interests, goals, etc.) will limit the potential of these best and brightest. He ends with: “Perhaps Bill Gates knew what he was doing when he dropped out of Harvard.”
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Are Grad Students Smart?

As a grad student, I spent way too much time reading PHD Comics, so it’s only fitting I use two of their graphs to show that maybe grad students aren’t too smart:

When faced with unemployment, students decide to get another degree. Then, during the course of their studies, they realize this:

I guess it turns out Procrastination does pay.

Yes Virginia, more Immigration is Essential

One might start to wonder how many more signals the opponents to further immigration need.  More, apparently, than the fact that immigrants bring labor and are entrepreneurs, that immigrants have always been opposed for being different and have so far not caused any so-called ‘clash of civilizations’. Add to this how Japan’s lack of immigrants may be its undoing. How non-sensical it is to subsidize their university degrees and PHDs and then kick them out of the country (and how we should actually just staple a green card to their admittance letter). Of course, having an anti-immigrant stance is often just a cover for xenophobia. In fact, if immigrants are attracted to your community it means your community has something to offer, and they will help it offer more and more.

But fine: let’s say all of this wasn’t enough. So let’s look at Arizona, the state that famously passed SB1070 (and arguably broke federal law in the process). The result so far is that many people, especially immigrants, have been leaving the state (over 100,00 latinos so far). The majority of which, by the way, have jobs and pay taxes. So to all you non-believers out there, keep an eye on Arizona.

We should also point out that the DREAM Act has not passed. This means that none of the issues of immigration have been tackled yet, as President Obama promised they would be. The issues are, in a nutshell, how to handle illegal immigrants risking their lives and being smuggled across the border, how to accept educated immigrants, how to accept unskilled labor immigrants, and what to do with the 10 million or so illegal immigrants already in the country. We at Dumbagent have not endorsed any president or candidate thus far. Were we to do so, however, this would be one of the main issues to go by.

It is hard to find an economist (or any other expert) who will agree that immigrants “steal jobs” from native born americans. It is never the case that getting rid of X million immigrants will result in X million new jobs for Americans. Immigrants, apart from often creating their own jobs, then shop and live in the country, so X million of them effectively create new markets. In fact: an effect of the immigration from 1994 to 2007 was to raise wages for the American-born by 0.4%.

The US economy has famously started picking up, while employment levels have famously been falling. With the new year, let’s hope Politicians start tackling this issue soon and allowe more immigrants in the country, rather than blaming immigrants for the country’s problems in order to gain short-term popularity.

Is Your Education Worth it?

Since the school year is over and our seniors just graduated, many will be spending more time wondering about their future employment situation and, seeing that the situation is still somewhat dire, might be wondering if they should be further educating themselves, and if so, how?

Along these lines, we are re-posting an earlier article, featuring Ababon’s Is it Worth it Program, which will solve all your problems, today! (Ok ok, so perhaps not all your problems. In any case, you should still give it a chance. You can find a link to the original post, along with its discussion, here).

If anyone is wondering whether to go for that Master’s degree, MBA, CPA, CFA, etc. you’ve probably put quite a bit of thought into it. You might be making a passable salary now, but you know you could be making a much more attractive one with a few more letters added to your name. On the other hand, these letters cost money, time not earning any money, and/or the foregone salary itself. So will it really be worth it?

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