This is the #1 reason I went solo. I was raised by a single dad who was defined by his work hours. I was the last kid in the school yard, waiting on my father to finish work. I remember that poor woman from the cafeteria, staying behind with me, waiting for the guy who was moving up the ladder. For the record, they laid my father off when upper management had over-extended themselves.
Today, it’s worse. The only homes that survive on a single income are the 1%. The rest of the working couples have to share the burden – revenue and child raising. And the young people entering the industry – we know the reward for hard work and long hours – nothing. The recession taught a lot of us that hard work rewards the guy on top, and not you.
Go home at 5. Well – in my firm, we work later, but we start late – but an 8 hour day is more than enough. Work is always there tomorrow, so go home. I’m not missing my son’s play, my daughter’s swim meet, or whatever my youngest wants to do, for a job. It’s just me right now, but I will grow, and add some staff, and make a thriving business.
If you get shown the tall ladder, and promised that long long long hours will get you up the ladder, it’s a trap. You get most of the way up there, and the ladder falls down. The super rich aren’t super rich because they share – they are super rich because they got you to believe their line, got you to work long hours, got you to pay them for the chance to work for a club that is never going to let you in.
So go home at 5. Take paternity leave. Raise your kids. Never miss a game or recital or play. It wasn’t worth it when there actually was a brass ring to grab, and it’s a total waste knowing the ring has been gone a long time.