Taking the Chairman’s Flight and other career-limiting moves to avoid

Working on Wall Street was tough. I felt like I was constantly being hazed by anybody senior to me.

“Sam, go get me some coffee.”

“Sam, I ordered a double macchiato with almond milk, not a single macchiato with soy milk! Take it back!”

“Where the hell are my photocopies of the morning notes?!”

“Even a dog can do that!”

And so forth…

My analyst class quickly learned all about firm culture. We were never to deviate from such culture as written in our five commandments. Paying one's dues and respecting your elders was of vital importance. Any type of arrogance or display of entitlement was swiftly quashed by managing directors who all became mega-millionaires when Goldman Sachs went public in 1999.

Riding the Chairman's Flight to Career Suicide

Traveling was an integral part of my job, as I was required to visit clients all over the United States. In the beginning, it was incredibly exciting. When you have a hefty meal allowance and a corporate card with unlimited credit, getting on an airplane every week was pretty fun.

But all good things get boring after a while. Instead of taking the road warrior's red-eye flight across country, I began to cheat. Who really wants to fly for six hours in economy at 10 p.m. and land in time for a 8:30 a.m. meeting the next day? Not me. I wanted to check into the hotel, take a shower, and maybe even a nap if there was time.

One day I booked a still respectable 6:30 a.m. flight out west so I could still do meetings in the afternoon. That's when my Vice President reprimanded me.

“So, you're taking the Chairman's Flight now, eh, Sam? What's next, a massage at the Ritz-Carlton with some shrimp cocktail on the beach when you land?”

My VP was clearly joking, but he was joking in a disapproving way that basically told me to stop slacking off. In any normal person's world, waking up at 4:30 a.m. to catch a 6:30 a.m. flight is aggressive. But Wall Street is not a normal place. Working yourself to death is a badge of honor.

The reason it's called the Chairman's Flight is because only someone as senior as the chairman can fly during the middle of the day instead of work. The official time of departure is anytime between a leisurely 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Depart any later to the East Coast and you're landing too late to have a steak dinner at Peter Luger's.

Career-Limiting Moves to Short-Circuit Your Career

1) Forgetting to know your place. It doesn't matter whether you graduated top of your class at Harvard for undergrad or business school, when you join any organization, you start at the bottom. Coming in hot like a know-it-all, big swinger will surely make enemies of your colleagues and managers. Showing respect to your elders, even if they are junior to you in title is also very important. There's a reason why some of the most prestigious organizations actively recruit ex-athletes and military veterans; they always respect their elders. The ones who get ahead expertly manage both up and down.

2) Perpetually coming in late. Coming in early and leaving after everyone else takes no skill, just discipline. If you are perpetually coming in late, you are saying your personal time is more important than your work time. As a result, why would any company want to pay or promote you? If you can't be one of the first people in the office, then definitely be the last to leave. There is always some work to be done or something to learn. Definitely don't be last in and first out.

3) Constantly complaining. Complainers are always the first to get slaughtered when it's time to let people go. Nobody likes a complainer, especially the ones who complain about their colleagues, subordinates, and bosses. When there are millions of people dying from starvation and millions more who can't find a minimum-wage job, complaining just leaves a very poor taste. A complaint will always get around the office because nobody is able to keep their mouth shut either. Office gossip is like a juggernaut that cannot be stopped. Do not engage.

4) Frequently calling in sick on a Friday. Everybody knows that if you call in sick on a Friday you are probably bending the truth. There's only a 14.2 percent probability you will be sick on a Friday given there are seven days a week. Furthermore, there's less than a 50 percent probability you are actually sick enough to be contagious and not come into work. Hence, calling in sick on a Friday attacks your integrity, even if you are truly sick. If you want to booze it up with friends over a long weekend in Vegas, just come clean and ask for vacation time. Once you lose your colleagues' trust, it's all over.

5) Being exclusionary rather than inclusionary. Exclusionary people are too insecure with themselves to be good leaders. They are afraid others will steal their thunder and think someone is always out to get them. Insecure people are also some of the most dangerous people to interact with because their insecurity will lead to credit-taking of your work, not being open to accepting constructive criticism, and thinking they know more than they really do. There is no organization on Earth where success is the result of one person. Including your colleagues on key decisions not only makes them feel important, it actually brings new ideas and perspectives.

6) Hooking up with your boss. Unless you're getting married, your relationship with your boss will likely end in awkwardness and embarrassment. Even if you guys do get married, there's a 50 percent chance your marriage will fail. Bitter bosses will most likely shut you out from any career opportunities.

7) Never participating in company events. Social drinkers make more money and get paid faster. Why? Because they are more beloved by other colleagues and managers. Just as how relationships blossom with clients over a free lunch, the same thing happens over a beer or 10. If your workplace has a social culture that involves softball, happy hour, and group camping trips, it behooves you to participate. The person who doesn't will get ostracized.

8) Never showing gratitude. It's usually lower-level workers who constantly seek appreciation from higher-ups. But I recommend turning this formula around and consistently show gratitude to your bosses and colleagues by thanking them for their time and the opportunities they've given you. Take them out for lunch or a coffee one day as a show of appreciation. This type of reverse gratitude so rarely happens that your boss may go far beyond what you deserve when it comes time for a raise or promotion.

Your career is your number one moneymaker

Know that your career is most likely the number one way you'll be making money for the majority of your life. Treat your career like the precious 20-carat diamond that it is. Over time you'll polish your rock until it sparkles so brightly that your managers can't help but recognize your brilliance.

Regards,

Sam

More about...Career

Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others

Subscribe to the GRS Insider (FREE) and we’ll give you a copy of the Money Boss Manifesto (also FREE)

Yes! Sign up and get your free gift
Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others
guest
114 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
KT
KT
6 years ago

I dont think this is something I would apply in my own life…if being compared to a dog and treated like one is the norm, that’s not a company I want to work for. Same with the be the first one in last one out…that’s well and good, but that leads to burnout. There has to be some balance in life. There’s paying your dues, then there’s being taken advantage of.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  KT

Personally, I would have much rather graduated from college and gone straight to the corner office myself. So I hear ya!

ScottS
ScottS
6 years ago

Sam,

The passive-aggressiveness is totally uncalled-for. The commenter didn’t say that that they were simply entitled to the corner office.

If someone says your lifestyle isn’t for them, brow-beating them isn’t going to convince them that you’ve found the taproot of happiness.

Since you’re so good at taking criticism, might I suggest a thicker skin if you’re going to get into blogging?

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  ScottS

Not sure if I follow you. I’m being truthful in the fact that I wanted the corner office without putting in my time, but the reality was I couldn’t.

Why would I need a thick skin given the commenter didn’t insult me?

If you’d like to read a fun post full of insults, check this one out!

http://www.financialsamurai.com/wealth-gap-widens-because-of-your-own-doing/

Jen From Boston
Jen From Boston
6 years ago
Reply to  KT

I agree, and I wonder if the Millenials, who strike me as more egalitarian, will change this aspect of finance/investment banking’s culture.

The degree of the hazing described is specific to certain industries (like investment banking), but the general gist of what Financial Samurai is saying applies to just about any workplace – you have to pay your dues.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago

There have been talks in finance about prohibiting Saturday work now for the Analyst levels. But that means they just pile work on on Sundays!

The problem is, we don’t know what the Millennial management styles will be like for another 10-25 years. Maybe they’ll continue to uphold strict standards since that’s what they had to go through. Or maybe they’ll change corporate culture all across America. Hard to say!

Jeff
Jeff
6 years ago

Things have definitely loosened up in the past couple decades: I’ve had some of the old-timers tell me about how little over a decade ago ties were part of my company’s dress code, the only time I’ve worn one here was during my first interview.

I also consider myself very fortunate to have a rather progressive manager who cares more about getting the job done on time and properly than stressing over being a few minutes late time to time.

VZ
VZ
6 years ago

Career career career.
When did life become all about careers?

Sorry Sam, but you are not conviencing anyone.
Take a step back and look at your life. See what you have achieved. And all the oportunities you have lost. You cannot put a price on that.
Good luck

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  VZ

The best thing I’ve learned about the internet recently is YOLO.

I agree with you. Who needs a career when life is so good already living in America. Great safety net, don’t have to work too hard any more. All is good.

Joe Reddington
Joe Reddington
6 years ago

I honestly thought this was going to be satire, and was pretty saddened to find it wasn’t. I’m taking getrichslowly off my rss feeds. There’s been some good content, but I’m afraid this is really appalling.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe Reddington

Don’t be sad. Nothing a little cat video on youtube won’t do to make you smile again.

Clarence
Clarence
6 years ago

Once the company passes the smell test (i.e., one that doesn’t treat their employees like dogs) then Sam’s bullet point tips reflect those from someone with experience to share. The key is to work from a decent company whose culture is primarily motivated by performance rather than political considerations.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Clarence

I’m always impressed when people can graduate from college and find that PERFECT company to work for.

Alas, I was not so lucky and had to slave away for the first two years.

I shoulda got better grades or studied harder in high school!

nicoleandmaggie
nicoleandmaggie
6 years ago

Studying hard and getting grades (in technical subjects) worked for both me and my husband, and for my sister. And some luck. Though when choosing a job my sister and I at least avoided places with red flags for hostile work environments. But you can do that when you have options. Our (male) friends in Silicon Valley didn’t have to put up with nasty workplace environments to become millionaires. If they don’t like a company’s work environment, they quit and get a higher salary at another one. (I understand that much of Silicon Valley still provides a bad environment for… Read more »

ALB
ALB
6 years ago

Great post! These are all excellent reminders even for someone who has been at their job for some time. Thanks!

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  ALB

Thanks! 13 years was a fun experience. And now Im sharing more about my experience as a writer and entrepreneur. Never stop learning!

deb
deb
6 years ago

Different strokes for different folks.

I, personally, would not want to work for a company that judges me by how many more hours I’m in the office compared to my coworkers. I’d much rather work for a place that judges me by the quality and quantity of my work.

But I could see how being paid a six figure salary with future potential to make millions could be worth it!

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  deb

Neither would I. But not all of us are so lucky or talented as to pick and choose where we want to work, how much we want to earn, and what our hours will be. I know I wasn’t.

But now I am since I’m my own boss whoo hoo!

Linda Vergon
6 years ago

I remember getting close to graduating and really hoping that I would like the job I had spent 4 years training for. Fortunately, I did. But it wasn’t clear going into it. Sometimes you just have to take that leap and hope!

Find(x)
Find(x)
6 years ago

I usually don’t comment, but I’m surprised at the negative comments. This is a great post! I mean, take the advice that applies to your situation. Some things I do at work are, I try to be the best at what I do. I’m always looking for more things to learn. I’m always available to help my coworkers, boss, or whomever. I’m not afraid of sharing my knowledge although I’ve been told I should be by other coworkers? Why? I already made sure I’m the best. Yes, I’ve been laid off before, but my skills are top notch, so I… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Find(x)

Love your attitude, and thanks for the kudos!

Negativity is great, b/c without it, life would be too easy. And without negativity, those who are positive really start shining.

Cheers

Linda Vergon
6 years ago

Negativity is easy. Divining and putting to use the real message may require a little more work!

Scooze
Scooze
6 years ago

Well, I kind of agree with the previous commenters. Your points are well-taken. Anyone who wants to get ahead should definitely act with gratitude, be positive and not act entitled. Those in my office who are are this way are much more popular – with managers and peers. And I think those people who complain all the time get a lot of commiseration from their peers, which they latch onto. HOWEVER, their co-workers don’t really enjoy being around them. They just pity those debbie downers and then get away as quickly as possible. On the other hand, the extremes mentioned… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Scooze

Work life balance is great. It’s just funny when people start complaining why they aren’t get promoted or paid more and still aggressively striving for work life balance. Hard to have it all!

Larry
Larry
6 years ago

Good reminders on paying one’s dues when they first start out, and even throughout their career.

I’m a manager at my company for the past 8 years, and I wish more 20-somethings joining the Corporate World would read this. It’s as if people deserve to jump straight to CEO without paying their dues.

The negative comments are a reflection of people with entitlement issues or people who are struggling.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Larry

The great thing is that negative attitudes make it so much easier for those with can-do, positive attitudes to get even farther. We need the negativity, or else it would be too tough to get ahead!

ScottS
ScottS
6 years ago
Reply to  Larry

Not a single negative comment came from someone who said they were entitled to anything. They all suggested that finding happiness from within through family or hobbies was a better use of one’s time than coming in early, staying late, and taking abuse from managers.

I find it strange how defensive you and Sam get. If others question your lifestyle of working hard and earning the big bucks, why do you care? Aren’t you happy?

Personally, I side with the critics. What’s all that money for if not to spend time with family and on your hobbies?

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  ScottS

I agree. No point making money if you don’t spend it.

http://www.financialsamurai.com/no-point-making-money-if-you-dont-spend/

I have frugality disease and I’m trying to spend more. It takes work, but I’m making progress!

Ray
Ray
6 years ago

I loved this piece. I am several years into a career with a lot still to learn. I spent my younger years doing a lot of complaining, and wow, it’s crazy how much more productive and professional you feel when you step away from all that. This is great advice for younger professionals who want to nurture their careers and professional relationships. Honestly, I can’t see why some people were so offended?

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Ray

Good stuff Ray. Way to turn your attitude around!

Clarence
Clarence
6 years ago

This site is not called ‘Get Rich Quickly’ for a reason – it takes hard work and dedication to succeed. Anyone who thinks they can step ahead of the line and be the CEO without paying their dues is kidding himself. True, life is full of tradeoffs and climbing the corporate ladder is one of them. That may be your choice, but please don’t chide others for wanting to climb those stairs.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Clarence

How dare you work hard, put in your dues, and patiently wait for the right opportunity to shine! 🙂

Bryan
Bryan
6 years ago

So money is the only thing we should value in life? No thanks. I enjoy my wife, my free time, my health, and plenty of financial freedom. I have a friend who does as Sam describes. She used to cute and in great shape. Now she is overweight, always looks tired, and is perpetually single. Moral of the story. Money alone doesn’t buy happiness. You can keep your Wall Street Rat race.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Bryan

Phew. Good thing I got out in 2012. Life is good. I’m thankful I saved aggressively for 13 years.

Waverly
Waverly
6 years ago

Oh, the dreaded “get in before everyone else and stay later than everyone” trope. I’ve worked in places like that. In finance. In New York. They are miserable, miserable places to work. All the underlings looking around to see if the boss has left yet, because god forbid you leave at 6pm if your boss is still working. Trying to “sneak out” right at 5 on a Friday so your boss can’t ask you to work that weekend. Just truly terrible stuff. Newsflash, Sam: it’s okay to work an 8 hour day as long as you get your work done.… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Waverly

I agree. Too bad so many corporate cultures make you work so much, because the managers worked so much when they were rising up the ranks too.

I’m totally down with 8 hour work days or less. Heck, I try to cap my work days at 4 max a day now. The last three years in finance were great b/c I took 6 weeks off each of the years. I’ve discovered that 10 weeks off is about right. Any more and I feel a little antsy to do something.

Emmy
Emmy
6 years ago
Reply to  Waverly

Yeah, I tend to think that if you can’t get your work done in a reasonable amount of time, there’s something you’re dong wrong. But, I’ve always worked in a field with much more visible results to one’s level of productivity. As a baker I can clearly demonstrate how much work I do in a given day. I’m not sure how these things are measured in finance. I guess I’m just suspicious if this type of corporate culture really leads to better productivity. Like Sam said, coming in early and leaving late takes no skill.

Mike in NH
Mike in NH
6 years ago

I understand and appreciate the post, Sam. I can also understand why some are a little taken aback. Maybe it is easier to relate when you have corporate experience, but either way everyone is entitled to their thoughts. At this point in my career (12 years) I am no longer one of the youngsters at my company. My original goals were to make enough money so that I didn’t have to worry about it like my parents did and to be able to do it without killing myself 70 hours a week with a blackberry strapped to me 24/7. The… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike in NH

Love the attitude Mike. It’s definitely harder to relate if you haven’t been thrown into such corporate culture or haven’t worked for very long. On my site, there’s a lot of dissension from the younger readers, and a lot of agreement from readers over 40. It’s a fascinating dichotomy. +1! on this “Is it crazy for me to work hard and make those sacrifices for 6 years to reach a goal? Or is it crazier to not apply myself so I can be that person who works the entry level spot for 40 years (if they are lucky the way… Read more »

k@Masters Of Our Own Dollars
[email protected] Of Our Own Dollars
6 years ago

While I agree with the parts in bold, I don’t agree with some of the explanations. There’s a big difference between coming in late all the time and working early to late everyday. In fact, that kind of thing is discouraged at my employer (working lots of hours, not punctuality). I agree that partaking in company events can help, but a person should never feel pressured into drinking – and if they are I’d call that a serious red flag for an unhealthy work environment. I’ve made the decision for myself that my job is not my life. Do I… Read more »

Heather
Heather
6 years ago

That part about drinking reminded me of the last season on The Sopranos when Christopher feels like he’s not making as much money as he was when he was part of the mafia drinking culture. Maybe a parallel to corporate America?

Jen From Boston
Jen From Boston
6 years ago

I would have added another tip right that you should not get drunk at company events!!! Even if everyone else is getting sloshed it’s never a good idea to get sloshed around your colleagues and managers. You can be sure that people will be talking about you the next day.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago

One can always drink water!

The point is to be out there and socialize with your colleagues. People don’t hate or fire people they like. They promote and cherish them instead.

Linda
Linda
6 years ago

Chairman’s Flight! Hah! Never heard of that before. The worst thing is when people complain why they can’t get ahead, yet don’t do everything possible to try and do excellent work. Commenters like #2 are being completely nonsensical by coming to a personal finance blog that discusses careers to not wanting to read about careers. Comment #3 is appalling if you just look at his profile. Just because he is a failure in his career and didn’t do anything you suggested doesn’t mean everybody else who works hard is wrong. It’s almost always the 20-something year old who complains about… Read more »

Lauren {Adventures in Flip Flops}
Lauren {Adventures in Flip Flops}
6 years ago

I agreed with a lot of what you wrote, but I don’t agree with your reaction to the comments. I’m a go in super early, leave on time kind of person. I’ve worked 2 weeks straight several times, I always volunteer to over for people who call in sick, I take on lots of extra projects, and I’m actively trying to get promoted. But, I DO strive for work-life balance. Frankly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I don’t, for example, work on the weekends unless it is pre-arranged with my management (I’m in private education, so a scheduled… Read more »

Marcella
Marcella
6 years ago

I’m not loving the way some commenters characterize those taking issue with some of the advice as whiney workers who thinks they should be CEO straight away. There’s a middle ground here and some of us are saying that the advice here just buys into a terrible working culture. Here are my top tips for career: 1. Deliver Basic stuff really, but deliver the work you’ve been hired to do. Repeatedly deliver this work, on time and to a great standard. You will develop a reputation as somebody who gets things done. This is far more valuable than a reputation… Read more »

Hope
Hope
6 years ago
Reply to  Marcella

I think I like these tips better than the ones above!

Laura
Laura
6 years ago
Reply to  Hope

Me too!

Emmy
Emmy
6 years ago
Reply to  Marcella

This is great advice!

Marcella
Marcella
6 years ago

Hi Charles, That situation sounds hard, and I know that I don’t have all the details and it probably does seem like you’re in a hopeless position. But to play devil’s advocate here, your post comes across as though you have a chronic case of ‘external locus control.’ 90% of your post is about how external factors are causing your problems. Check out this link to a previous article here at GRS. https://www.getrichslowly.org/you-are-the-boss-of-you-how-to-find-success-with-life-and-money/ Why not let go all of the anger and frustration about stuff you can’t control (your bosses, their hiring policies) and focus **only** on what you control… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Marcella

I found it’s easier to blame others for our problems. I think we’ve all done it. But at some point, we’ve got to work on what we can control like you say.

Charles
Charles
6 years ago
Reply to  Marcella

Your comments are abhorrent. You blame the poor for being poor. It is their fault for not taking control of their lives. I am sick of this BS coming from the 1%. This is their justification for hoarding wealth, they claim they deserve it because they worked hard for it. Well I work hard and I take control of my life. And I know what I have control over, and I know who controls the economic factors that I can’t control. You obviously don’t. My situation is all too common. Let me tell you about one of my coworkers. He… Read more »

Lance
Lance
6 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Charles – Man up. Stop blaming the world for your problems. You’ve got some serious issues calling Sam names for an entertaining and helpful blog. You deserve everything that you’ve gotten.

No Nonsense Landlord
No Nonsense Landlord
6 years ago

I have never worked in Wall Street, but some of my jobs may as well have had the same thing. One thing it did do for me, if get me to FI at a faster pace.

Untemplater
Untemplater
6 years ago

I’ve taken a chairmans flight cross country before. I used a good chunk of the time to prepare for my meeting and also destress. I felt bith rested and prepared for my presentaion and it went well. Then I used the weekend to fly back.

There are lots of career limiting moves that I’ve seen over the years. Complainers are the worst! Having a positive attitude makes such a difference!

Jay
Jay
6 years ago

I like the suggestion of taking your boss out to dinner as a show of gratitude. I could see that being effective for me.

Patrick
Patrick
6 years ago

Man, this post brings back memories of my 30 year career at megacorp. I used to tell the young kids coming out of college all of the things they need to do to get ahead in the corporate world. I could write a book. 1) Get to work before your boss does and leave after he/she leaves. 2) Take up golf and ask everybody above you that plays golf for a weekend golf outing at least once a month. Just make sure you lose. 3) Figure out what the executive dress code is and dress slightly better. 4) Work at… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Patrick

That’s congruency. You didn’t get higher than lower management, and that was OK with you. It’s all about what people want and adjusting the effort and strategy to get there.

I did the same, and retired in 2012 after 13 years. It was the best thing ever. So freeing. And that’s what I wanted to do, was be financially independent sooner, rather than later. Hence, the sacrifice.

If I wanted to retire by age 35, but not work my ass off or save my money, then I would just be absurd.

Enjoy retirement and see ya at the beach!

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago

Are you saying that your world is the real world and my world is not? Pretty arrogant of you to think your world is better than mine. REead this: http://www.financialsamurai.com/out-of-touch-with-reality-doesnt-make-sense/ That’s fine if you want to be a mean person and call me a name because of your situation. Yes, I am the one who ruined it for you if that makes you feel happier. But perhaps, maybe, just MAYBE, calling someone an asshole might not make you any friends or make anybody want to help you. And maybe that just might be the difference. I recommend kindness, and building… Read more »

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

I never asked you for help. I am not saying my reality is better than yours. I am saying I live in the real world, you do not. Your life is insulated from reality by the mountains of cash you earned by skimming it off the middle class. So do not presume to lecture me about real world job choices.

I cordially invite you to work beside me for $10/hr for a few weeks, and live off that money alone, and see if you can take control of your life.

Linda Vergon
6 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Editor’s Note: One comment removed for language. Unfortunately, the comment string may lack clarity for that reason.

Charles
Charles
6 years ago
Reply to  Linda Vergon

You censored my comment, but not your author’s reply that uses the same “bad language.” You should be fair and restore my comment. Feel free to redact the single offensive word that we have both used but only I was censored.

Linda Vergon
6 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Hi Charles,
Our comments may have passed each other to the Internet! I have edited the author’s comment as well.

I appreciate your suggestion and will consider it in the morning. I hope we can retain your perspective for the discussion, but we must hold to language standards. Thank you.

Best,
Linda

Charles
Charles
6 years ago
Reply to  Linda Vergon

Nope, comment 43 uses the A word. You have not removed it. Your author has a very thin skin and lashes out at critics. This is not respectable behavior, nor is censoring my comments to him. I spent considerable time and effort writing a thorough, thoughtful, yet forceful post, and you intend to sit on it until the morning, when this post will be lower on the front page and nobody will see it. And all this because of a single word, amidst probably 1000 words I wrote. You may redact that one word, rather than my entire comment. You… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Charles, I guess we’ll just have to disagree on which world is the real world then. $10 an hour is still $4.75 an hour more than I made at McDonald’s. Given you say “I speak Japanese fluently, can do calculus in my head, I am a published author, I have extraordinary executive abilities and I’ve invented computer technologies that have made billions of dollars,” why not: * Start a Japanese tutoring business? You can charge way more than $10 an hour * Start a blog to help sell your book and share your anger? I started my site in 2009,… Read more »

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

Let them eat cake. Apparently you don’t understand that this is the impression you are making. You are drifting farther from reality. Do you really think I haven’t tried all these things? Let’s run through them. 1. Nobody hires American tutors, you have to be a native speaker. There are hundreds of native speaker tutors on the internet, and dozens in my town. I’ve done translation work but the bottom dropped out of that market due to computerized translation. 2. I have a blog. It got me a writing gig, it paid pretty well too. I lost that gig about… Read more »

BD
BD
6 years ago
Reply to  Charles

To “Charles”: I wonder if the real reason you’re not getting hired anywhere is because you have such a toxic, negative attitude. I mean, eesh, I know I’m a pretty negative person (read: realist), but my negativity is not even a fraction of what I’m seeing from you, Charles. And I’ve probably been through far worse than you have (in the last 8 years, I averaged around $5000 a year in income, and I’m middle-aged, single, and was looking for a job the entire time with no luck), but you sure beat me in bitterness. Maybe quit focusing on “the… Read more »

Sally
Sally
6 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Charles – You’re a published author and “extraordinary” and you haven’t found a writing gig in 4 years? What’s your blog? Let’s all take a look and see whether you publish regularly like same, make things interesting, encourage people and share some times.

My bet is that you don’t do any of it. But please share your site so we can all critique it.

Anybody can start a blog or write a book and market it online. And getting a freelance job is very easy. I doubt you really tried.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Charles #54, For two years between 2012-2013 I was unemployed. And during this period of unemployment I hung out regularly with a dozen unemployed or under-employed people, as we were part of the Golden Gate Park (public) tennis team. We ate together, talked about life together, and tried to win together as a team. It didn’t matter how wealthy or poor we were, or where we came from, we were a team. And we’re still a team in 2014 who hang out. I am part of the 99%. Are you saying your part of the 99% is better than my… Read more »

Lance
Lance
6 years ago

A very gracious gesture Sam! Not surprised Charles hasn’t responded with his blog URL. I’m sure he hasn’t put in nearly as much effort and consistency as you. He’ll reveal himself as a failure who would rather whine than work hard.

I could find a freelance job if I tried within one week. Four years searching is either an exaggeration or evidence that he is a black cancer who nobody wants to work with.

Larry
Larry
6 years ago
Reply to  Charles

It looks like you are living in a “poor me” world. Attitude is half the battle, and your attitude is pretty bad Charles.

Linda Vergon
6 years ago

Editor’s Note: Comment #43 edited as well.

Deb
Deb
6 years ago

Charles – If you can’t see from your own writing why you are having a difficult time finding good work, then I’m afraid you’re doomed to being poor and miserable.

Blame every ody else except yourself all you want. It won’t change the fact you’re going to be a burden to society because you will likely need government support and you don’t pay enough taxes.

ScottS
ScottS
6 years ago

The implication of this article seems to be that if you are poor, it’s your fault. Well, I graduated with a software degree in the middle of the dot-com meltdown. I couldn’t get a job in my field anywhere for years — why would they hire me when they were busy laying off senior people? I worked crap jobs for years until things picked up again. Until things recovered from the Wall Street pump-and-dump of the tech economy. Wall Street has done the same thing in 2008, only this time the victims are people who bought houses and the economy… Read more »

Sally
Sally
6 years ago
Reply to  ScottS

I didn’t get that at all from this article. Where does it say that being poor is your fault?

You seem to be suffering from a victim mentality. Are you seriously blaming the author for your graduating when you did and working crap jobs?

There were plenty of people who also found great jobs during the recession too. But it’s clear from your attitude no wonder why you weren’t one of them.

ScottS
ScottS
6 years ago
Reply to  Sally

> I didn’t get that at all from this article. Where does it say that being poor is your fault? In the title. If you take the Chairman’s flight (also known as “I have kids and would like to see them” flight). > You seem to be suffering from a victim mentality. I don’t suffer from it. I enjoy every minute of it. But seriously, I’m not a victim. I’m quite lucky, but I’m cognizant that many, many others aren’t so lucky. Resumes with black-sounding names (e.g.: Tyrone Jenkins) get fewer responses from hiring managers than white-sounding names (e.g. Shawn… Read more »

G
G
6 years ago

Wow wasn’t expecting this when reading the comments. I do agree with the points Sam makes in the article but man your comments don’t come across very well. While your comments are true and valid, you have a way of stating them in a way that puts off the reader/whoever you reply to.

It feels like you are stating indirectly that you are much better than they are and rubbing your success in their faces.

Jia
Jia
6 years ago

I live in New Zealand, and there is a very different corporate culture here. We are generally expected to get the job done as much as we can in standard office hours, then leave work and live our lives. We are given a hard time by management if we don’t take our vacation time or if we are staying late after everybody else goes home at 5pm (or earlier). I find this very healthy. I’m lucky enough to work 32 hours per week at a job where I can tell them to wait until next week if I run out… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Jia

I’ve always loved the Aussie and NZ work culture. In fact, I feel the US work culture will move much towards your culture and Europe. I wrote a post called, “I’ve Seen The Future And It Looks So Bright!” http://www.financialsamurai.com/ive-seen-americas-future-and-it-looks-bright/

Sign me up for 32 hour work weeks for sure.

Perhaps another country will take over inventing all the cool gadgets and internet stuff too. As a consumer, so long as cool stuff is being invented, what do we care what country it comes from right?

KC
KC
6 years ago

I think that one thing to keep in mind is that in some environments demonstrating these excessively compliant behaviors will make you more–not less–vulnerable to escalating harassment and exploitation. This is particularly true in some old boy/old money environments. Those places will encourage you to be a hard-working doormat–yet never promote you if you are. The secret is to be sufficiently competent and articulate such that you can say what you like–e.g. tell that guy in the corner office to get his hand off your ass and still keep your job. That’s not the easy route by any means, but… Read more »

Jen From Boston
Jen From Boston
6 years ago
Reply to  KC

Good comment – it highlights that the rules are a little different for women than for men 🙁 At least in certain industries/corporate climates.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago

Rules are always slightly different for various folks. We just have to adapt or else get left behind.

Check out this post I wrote about my experience with racism growing up. It was a HUGe motivator to adapt and try and reach financial freedom as soon as possible.

http://www.financialsamurai.com/dear-minorities-use-racism-as-motivation-for-achieving-financial-independence/

Mike in NH
Mike in NH
6 years ago

Wow. Kinda disappointed in the direction this conversation has taken. It has always been my understanding that the members of this site/community are spread throughout the different stages of personal finance. Some come for help, some come for reminders, others to learn or share. This is the first time I can recall people coming here to attack. In all of Sam’s posts that I have read he has always answered comments with a smile, whether they were positive or if the writer disagreed with his point. He wasn’t talking down to anyone. There are people just starting out their careers… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike in NH

Thanks Mike. I wrote this post as a post I wish I would have read before starting work, or during my first several years of work.

I messed things up at my first job, and didn’t do more. As a result, my upside was capped. I was lucky to find another job in SF after the two year analyst program was over. But, it was luck. And luck can only take you so far.

Brandon
Brandon
6 years ago

I like how you don’t mention being incompetent as a career killer. I thought that it would be number one. Apparently it’s not necessary to be competent in corporate culture.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Brandon

You mean like saying “run faster” if you want to win a race?

Sean F.
Sean F.
6 years ago

Sam,

You kick ass man. I love your website and this article so much.

I observe this advice and appreciate that someone is telling people how it is. What seems like common sense to a lot of us is LOST on so many others.

So well done as usual man!

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Sean F.

Thanks Sean! Fight on and never surrender!

Even Steven
Even Steven
6 years ago

Great advice, I almost lost a promotion position because they thought I was complaining to much. I was shocked and thought I was just telling them what was going wrong, but I learned that if you have a problem, make sure you have an answer to back up that problem or don’t bring it up at all.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Even Steven

Great tip. If one doesn’t have a SOLUTION to the problem they are complaining about, then it’s just a useless complaint.

Glad you got the promo!

Laura
Laura
6 years ago

Dear Charles, You are correct that people cannot control their lives. All they can control is their attitudes towards their lives. We all get dealt certain hands of cards by the Universe; it’s not what we’re dealt but how we play them that matters. FWIW, I was raised in a poverty-stricken family and struggled for years with a chip on my shoulder about the unfairness of life. At some point I decided to focus on what I had and build on that instead of staying mired in negative thinking. The negative thinking may have felt self-satisfying but really did nothing… Read more »

Green_Knight008
Green_Knight008
6 years ago

Great post, this is some of the best career advice I’ve ever read in an article on the web. Realistic, accurate, and demonstrates several ways to hack the system.

Tonya
Tonya
6 years ago

No matter where you work, these rules can apply. I teach junior high, and I wish I could pound into their heads the points you made. We have a generation of entitled kids who think they should be able to start a job at the top and if they take a job doing fast food, it’s “beneath them.” I try to tell them that the best way to move up the ranks is to do whatever your job is to the best of your ability–then do just a little more. Doesn’t matter if you’re doing accounting or cleaning toilets, no… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Tonya

I agree that no job is beneath anybody. I really cherished my time at McDonald’s and working gigs for close to nothing. It gave me perspective and appreciation for new opportunities.

Teach them well Tonya!

Here are some of my craptastic jobs: http://www.financialsamurai.com/worst-bad-jobs-that-can-make-you-rich-and-happy/

Tonya
Tonya
6 years ago

I enjoyed the article you linked to. If you’ve never had a crappy job, you can’t really appreciate the good ones. My time at McDonald’s taught me 1) I don’t want a job that requires me to wear a 100% polyester uniform, 2) I don’t want to work for people I had no respect for and that weren’t even remotely smarter than I was, and 3) I wanted to have a sit-down job. At the time, I was 16 and could type 80 words a minute, which was a desirable skill back then (1983). With few exceptions, every job I’ve… Read more »

Edward
Edward
6 years ago

Great post Sam – basically what you are saying is that you did everything you had to do to be successful on your terms. You were willing to make any sacrifice to make it happen. Also, for those critiquing Wall Street I’ll say this – if you use a credit card, have a mortgage, or enjoy having competitive prices on a wide variety of products at your local super market perhaps you should thank a banker for making this capitalistic society function. Take a look at places without access to capital markets – North Korea or Iran being good examples.… Read more »

ScottS
ScottS
6 years ago
Reply to  Edward

We should thank Wall Street for making money by lending us our own currency? Or do they do it out of the kindness of their three-sizes-too-large hearts?

If you like capitalism so much, why don’t -you- move to Somalia? There are no burdensome rules there, only money and might make right. That’s the true free market.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  Edward

Thanks Edward. I guess I can understand why people who sign a contract to pay their mortgage to a bank and end up defaulting can blame the very same bank for not paying the mortgage.

But, I guess it’s the reason why banks are extremely stringent on giving people mortgages now. They’ve already been burned many times before for defaults = losses. And then they are blamed by the public who defaulted that they are evil for their own defaults. In other words, they can’t win, so instead they only lend to those who qualify the most.

http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-difficult-is-it-to-get-a-mortgage-nowadays/

ScottS
ScottS
6 years ago

Ummm.. do you not know how mortgages actually work? The originating bank moves (often fraudulent) mortgages, after bribing rating agencies to bless their putrescence as “AAA”, onto unsuspecting investors. They don’t hold onto the mortgage because they know it’s dreck. But they do get paid to “service” (collect payments) on the mortgage on behalf of the investors. Unfortunately, when the bubble burst the home”owners” who were upside-down were victim of a servicing model that makes it more profitable (for the servicers, not the investors or homeowners) to foreclose instead of modifying the mortgage. The servicers (banks you’ve heard of like… Read more »

Sanora
Sanora
6 years ago
Reply to  ScottS

ScottS – I paid my mortgage on time without fail during the crisis. It’s the people who decided not to pay their mortgage who caused the crash. It’s not that complicated.

Do you even own a home and have you ever paid a mortgage before?

Lance
Lance
6 years ago

I can’t stand working with people who complain. Sad thing is I have a boss who complains and actually has fits of rage – pounding, swearing, the who nine yards – when things don’t go his way. It’s annoying, but he’s your boss so you can’t really do much.

It’s refreshing to work with people who are more even-tempered and calmly try to find solutions to problems. Ah, well. I enjoyed reading this post.

PawPrint
PawPrint
6 years ago

My husband, a 62 year old software engineer, found a new job (higher pay, but higher COL) in 8 months after 23 years with a megacorp. During the 8 months of unemployment, he took some online classes because, unlike Charles, he hadn’t kept up with his skills. Actually, he was offered two jobs, but one was a job he didn’t like in a city we weren’t thrilled with. We did have to move, though, but we were willing to do that. I do believe that ageism exists in hiring, but I also think that there are companies that value the… Read more »

PawPrint
PawPrint
6 years ago
Reply to  PawPrint

Hhmm, I meant this as a reply to Charles’ comment about being older and “greylisted.”

MelodyO
MelodyO
6 years ago

Sam, I just may have a little crush on you now! (Don’t tell my husband.) I’m highly amused how people are shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that Wall Street is a cut-throat, unfair, oppressive place to work. Everyone there is in to win it, and even if you don’t agree with their definition of success, they’re extremely successful by their own standards. Nobody’s forcing anybody to work there. The husband and I have run a company for many years, and we are continually amazed at how many people, regardless of age, aren’t willing to put in even an *average* amount… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  MelodyO

You got it Melody! I won’t tell the husband at all. It will be our little secret. Fight on and never surrender!

Ninja Warrior (bottom 5%)
Ninja Warrior (bottom 5%)
6 years ago

This smackdown was….AWESOME!!!! Charles please come back. Sam, keep writing super awesome posts. Don’t hate the player hate the game!!!

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago

Indeed. I love the smell of class warfare in the morning. I even caught the censored posts & all.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Why do you think class warfare started with this post? I didn’t write any putdowns or mention anything about class in my post. Instead, I wrote the post in the way that would help recent college graduates or people who are looking for advice to get ahead in their careers. I wish I read this type of post in my 20s. And the post is about my experience getting knocked around and my experience as a manager for 8 years.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago

I hope it’s not too late to answer this! Class warfare didn’t start with this post and it won’t end with it. It’s been on since the dawn of civilization, it will continue for the foreseeable future of humanity. It’s not “words that people say”– it’s part of life. This was just made apparent in what Ninja Warrior aptly called an awesome smackdown. I thought you gave decent career advice– consider the social environment, respect the hierarchy, fit into the culture, etc. But some people didn’t see that– they saw “Wall Street” first and the advice second, and as they… Read more »

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago

El Nerdo #105, I actually don’t mind debate at all, or if someone wants to wage class warfare on me. Through hate and warfare, I’ve been able to write a lot of posts that have turned out to be hits on my site. I think you’ll enjoy these three posts: 1) http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-to-stop-the-haters-from-hating-you/ 2) http://www.financialsamurai.com/dear-minorities-use-racism-as-motivation-for-achieving-financial-independence/ 3) http://www.financialsamurai.com/wealth-gap-widens-because-of-your-own-doing/ Also, I’m looking to use Charles’ comments for a new post on trying to understand certain ways of thinking. I’ve offered him my writing spot here at GRS, and offered him my free analysis and advice on his blog, but he seems to have… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago

Alright, but it sounds like you’re taunting him.

Ninja Warrior
Ninja Warrior
6 years ago

Sam, don’t take this to heart. There are people who just aren’t going to like you for what you represent. There are way more people who gain from your insights and experience. You were successful in a highly competitive and ultimately demanding industry, which is commendable on its own. I am more appreciative of the discipline to manage your lifestyle and save when hyper consumption was rampant around you. Bravo, and I’ll look forward to future articles.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

How did this end up here? Wrong place.

Gino
Gino
6 years ago

I’m surprised at the negativity focused on this article. With 25 years in the I.T. under my belt, I read it and found my head nodding remembering my early years ‘in the trenches’.; working 9-12 hour days, some sitting in a nice cool computer room, but most days finding me 25′ up in the air running network cabling through a warehouse, I worked a few years on the graveyard shift (6PM-6AM). My record work day was 32hrs -flying LAX to Seattle, and learning how to use a porta-potty with a rental car’s headlights shining at it at 2am in the… Read more »

shares