Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist.
And I thought my career/industry was bad. It took me ten years to truly burnout of the semiconductor industry. Note: Today got to listen in on a middle-manager's public cell-phone conversation: It was the painfully familiar to hear drivel about getting enough data to divert blame.
Heh, Biglaw is even more gruesome. If only the aspiring middle class could know how poor the prestige jobs really are. Funny that this one doesn't even mention the lousy pay: 160k, in New York City, for 80+ hour weeks. Yeah...
I've worked in the semiconductor industry as well and can tell you that it sucks. It is highly cyclical, especially the equipment/supply side, with layoffs quite common. Its either feast or famine. Worse, the industry consolidates with each new generation of chips because the capital cost of the next-generation fabs keeps going up. Also each downturn also culls many semiconductor fabs. So, there are fewer players, both manufacturers (fabs) as well as OEM's. This makes for a shitty industry.About BigLaw, I agree that $160K in NooYawk is probably equivalent to around $80K in a decent place like Portland, Oregon in terms of living standards. 80 hours per week of work sucks as well. I was dirt broke during the tech crash (early 00's) when I could not find work. Yet, I was never envious of any lawyer or doctor, no matter how much they made, because I could not stand doing either of these kind of work. Being a lawyer sucks because it is an inherently combative role, at least if you are a litigator (these are the guys who make the real money). In reality, this means you are essentially a professional asshole. Being a doctor sucks because you have to work with (e.g. treat) sick people, 80% of whom are elderly.
Perhaps the worst part isn't even the money or the hours but the eventual realization that you do a job that does nothing really productive. You create, or assist in creating, nothing tangible that is left behind. You spend hours making others rich, some of whom you may think very little of.
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