17.8.15

INTERNAL TOURNAMENT MARKETS.

Robert B. Reich appears to be suggesting that screening for the high rungs of the corporate ladder begins as early as day 1 on the job.
The second thing to know about the new family-friendly work policies is that relatively few talented millennials are taking advantage of them.

They can’t take the time.

One of my former Berkeley students who’s now at a tech firm across the Bay told me he’s working fifteen-hour days.

Another, who’s at a Washington law firm, said she’s on call 24-7. Emails often arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why the emails haven’t been answered.

These young men won’t take paternity leave and these young women won’t even get pregnant – because it looks bad.

Forget work-life balance. It’s work-as-life.

A recent New York Times story about Amazon reports that when young workers hit the wall from the unrelenting pace, they’re told to climb it.

Why do the talented millennials work so hard?

Partly because being promoted – getting more equity, running a division, making partner – promises such vast rewards. Vaster rewards than any generation before them has ever been offered.

Also, you’re either on the fast track or you’re on a dead-end road.

“I've got to show total dedication,” one of my former students explained. “It's all or nothing.”

Which is why millennial men – who research shows have more egalitarian attitudes about family and gender roles than their predecessors – are nonetheless failing to live up to their values once they hit the treadmills.
But Mr Reich's first point is that opting out of the internal tournament means lower pay, less job security, and no shot at the big prizes.

There might be a research project here: why so few entrepreneurs, when the hot companies are expecting their future leaders to show the kind of dedication an entrepreneur, or a strong researcher, or an aspirant to high office or a starting position on a sports team, to call a few other tournaments to mind, demonstrates?

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