How many hours is too many?

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cdotson2

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby cdotson2 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:55 am

Florence Night wrote:The vast majority of doctors are not dealing with terminally ill people and I literally don’t know one (out of tons) who has ever worked a 24 hour shift (though I’m sure it exists for at least some specialties out there). We can compare average biglaw to the most intense/stressful niches of medicine and make ourselves feel better I suppose.


Biglaw is just the most stressful niche of law, so your analogy falls short. There are also many lawyers who have less stressful jobs than the average doctor. You can’t compare the average doctor(and it seems like you are comparing less than the average doctor) when we are not talking about the average lawyer.

My brother is currently going through residency and has already done multiple 24 hour shifts. Also for someone to make it through a residency program without having a patient die seems extremely unlikely to me. I think internal medicine is a required rotation in residency programs and this includes working in the ER and IC units where people die basically everyday. If a doctor works at a hospital they will be working long hours, and will likely be making low 6 figures ~200k. Doctors who make a lot and don’t work a lot who also don’t see dying people are in private practice and work in a special niche determining their own hours. There are also family doctors who don’t work a lot in private practice and they don’t make a lot of money. Then there are doctors who do research or management who can probably make the most, but these people probably work 60hr weeks on average.
Last edited by cdotson2 on Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby 2014 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:19 am

cfcm wrote:
2014 wrote:Agreed - all of the younger partners at my firm already work from home many if not a majority of Fridays and on days they are in the office they leave by 6 probably 90%+ of the time (but to be clear before people think this is some work life oasis, they are online all night most nights). It is taking a while but trickling to associates slowly. I also suspect that even in the last 5 years we've come a long way on weekend face time. Almost no one comes in regularly and i'm unaware of any partner that does except for when clients are on site.

Baby steps (as with everything in this job)...

Yikes. Was weekend face time once a thing?

Not in my time but i've heard from seniors that many many more people were in the office on weekends before firm laptops and effective access to citrix were things, and both of those have come along way in the last 5-6 years. We are also just now (last 0-2 years) getting to formal support of tablets and they've been out for almost a decade at this point.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:22 pm

I'm not trying to make anyone feel better. I like being an attorney but obviously the stress and hours are downsides. I am mainly just saying that I don't think it's easy to find a lifestyle job where you make 200k+. And in terms of medicine there is often a lot of hours and a lot of stress. I was at a July 4 party where a bunch of doctors were saying if they were making the choice again they would do dentistry because much lower stress. I have no idea if that is true or not but even if you're not dealing with terminally ill people you are making decisions with very serious and potentially fatal consequences.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:21 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm not trying to make anyone feel better. I like being an attorney but obviously the stress and hours are downsides. I am mainly just saying that I don't think it's easy to find a lifestyle job where you make 200k+. And in terms of medicine there is often a lot of hours and a lot of stress. I was at a July 4 party where a bunch of doctors were saying if they were making the choice again they would do dentistry because much lower stress. I have no idea if that is true or not but even if you're not dealing with terminally ill people you are making decisions with very serious and potentially fatal consequences.


The real point is, even if you can't find many jobs paying 200k+ with low stress, you can find a job with half (or less) the stress and make 120-150k. That's assuming you're reasonably smart and hard working (which biglaw attorneys are).

When you haven't yet started working, that 160k (or now 180k) as a first year salary sounds too good to be true because most people in the early stages of their career don't make nearly that much money. Give those people a 3 year head start while you're paying student loans and by the time you're out, the income gap has narrowed and you're slaving away.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm not trying to make anyone feel better. I like being an attorney but obviously the stress and hours are downsides. I am mainly just saying that I don't think it's easy to find a lifestyle job where you make 200k+. And in terms of medicine there is often a lot of hours and a lot of stress. I was at a July 4 party where a bunch of doctors were saying if they were making the choice again they would do dentistry because much lower stress. I have no idea if that is true or not but even if you're not dealing with terminally ill people you are making decisions with very serious and potentially fatal consequences.


The real point is, even if you can't find many jobs paying 200k+ with low stress, you can find a job with half (or less) the stress and make 120-150k. That's assuming you're reasonably smart and hard working (which biglaw attorneys are).

When you haven't yet started working, that 160k (or now 180k) as a first year salary sounds too good to be true because most people in the early stages of their career don't make nearly that much money. Give those people a 3 year head start while you're paying student loans and by the time you're out, the income gap has narrowed and you're slaving away.


Yup, professional school for the most part has a shitty ROI compared to working as a programmer or analyst or nurse straight out of college. It seems like the burn out rate in those professions is lower than in law. If you want the best ROI, don't become a lawyer/doctor.

Financially, and stress wise, I deeply regret becoming a lawyer. The level of stress you experience in biglaw is pretty much a 9 or 10 out of 10 IMO. The pay isn't that good given the hours you have to work and the high stress level.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:45 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm not trying to make anyone feel better. I like being an attorney but obviously the stress and hours are downsides. I am mainly just saying that I don't think it's easy to find a lifestyle job where you make 200k+. And in terms of medicine there is often a lot of hours and a lot of stress. I was at a July 4 party where a bunch of doctors were saying if they were making the choice again they would do dentistry because much lower stress. I have no idea if that is true or not but even if you're not dealing with terminally ill people you are making decisions with very serious and potentially fatal consequences.


Professional school is a terrible idea for most people. It's too bad we make these decisions when we are 21/22 when we don't know anything. We should be forced to work for a few years before even being allowed to go to med/law school.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Florence Night » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:50 pm

cdotson2 wrote:
Florence Night wrote:The vast majority of doctors are not dealing with terminally ill people and I literally don’t know one (out of tons) who has ever worked a 24 hour shift (though I’m sure it exists for at least some specialties out there). We can compare average biglaw to the most intense/stressful niches of medicine and make ourselves feel better I suppose.


Biglaw is just the most stressful niche of law, so your analogy falls short. There are also many lawyers who have less stressful jobs than the average doctor. You can’t compare the average doctor(and it seems like you are comparing less than the average doctor) when we are not talking about the average lawyer.


The analogy works fine because biglaw (admittedly a subset of law) is the only subset within law with pay for young people anywhere near what the average young doctor makes. Comparing the stress of a 32 year old government attorney making 80k to a 32 year old MD making 3 times that is pretty damn silly.

If we are comparing stress per dollar for young members of each profession, using biglaw is the only thing that makes any sense.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Florence Night » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm not trying to make anyone feel better. I like being an attorney but obviously the stress and hours are downsides. I am mainly just saying that I don't think it's easy to find a lifestyle job where you make 200k+. And in terms of medicine there is often a lot of hours and a lot of stress. I was at a July 4 party where a bunch of doctors were saying if they were making the choice again they would do dentistry because much lower stress. I have no idea if that is true or not but even if you're not dealing with terminally ill people you are making decisions with very serious and potentially fatal consequences.


Professional school is a terrible idea for most people. It's too bad we make these decisions when we are 21/22 when we don't know anything. We should be forced to work for a few years before even being allowed to go to med/law school.


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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:54 pm

Florence Night wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:
Florence Night wrote:The vast majority of doctors are not dealing with terminally ill people and I literally don’t know one (out of tons) who has ever worked a 24 hour shift (though I’m sure it exists for at least some specialties out there). We can compare average biglaw to the most intense/stressful niches of medicine and make ourselves feel better I suppose.


Biglaw is just the most stressful niche of law, so your analogy falls short. There are also many lawyers who have less stressful jobs than the average doctor. You can’t compare the average doctor(and it seems like you are comparing less than the average doctor) when we are not talking about the average lawyer.


The analogy works fine because biglaw (admittedly a subset of law) is the only subset within law with pay for young people anywhere near what the average young doctor makes. Comparing the stress of a 32 year old government attorney making 80k to a 32 year old MD making 3 times that is pretty damn silly.


Certain specialties in medicine are much more stressful than others (like surgery, OBGYN). And some of them have pretty easy residencies if you're looking at hours alone (like psychology, anesthesiology, etc).

The main issue with medicine is that it takes way too long to finish, the debt is obscene, there's a shitty ROI unless you're an orthopedic surgeon or whatever, there's a lot of bureaucratic paperwork, workload is increasing due to corporate takeovers, and if you don't love working, it's probably the wrong field to be in since the average working hours are still longer than 40 hours per week and you don't even make money until your 30s. The average doctor only makes like 200-300k, which IMO is shit given how much schooling, debt, and time is involved. I mean, c'mon, programmers make 200k in California starting out of college if you're decent.

It's much better to just go into nursing or become a PA or whatever if you want to go into healthcare. Nurses make pretty good money for their education and they work in fewer hour shifts. And they can easily switch practice areas, unlike physicians who would have to do residencies all over again unless you want to work in some shitty urgent care clinic. Even in the South, nurses can easily make 70-80k with just 2 years of schooling. If you do that at age 22, you'll have a less stressful life than a doctor and probably net out with a higher ROI.

Lesson learned kids - don't go to grad school unless you LOVE spending your life working/wasting away your youth on bullshit. These professions don't pay nearly enough to make it worth it. At the end of the day, a job is just a job. Unless this "profession" is your calling and your only passion (and I mean this literally), there are much easier routes in life to make a comfortable living than doing professional school.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby jkpolk » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:35 pm

In my experience the stress in big law gets better over time (obviously there are neurotics for whom that is not true). Other parts of the job get worse, but the stress gets better.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby dabigchina » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:40 pm

cfcm wrote:
2014 wrote:Agreed - all of the younger partners at my firm already work from home many if not a majority of Fridays and on days they are in the office they leave by 6 probably 90%+ of the time (but to be clear before people think this is some work life oasis, they are online all night most nights). It is taking a while but trickling to associates slowly. I also suspect that even in the last 5 years we've come a long way on weekend face time. Almost no one comes in regularly and i'm unaware of any partner that does except for when clients are on site.

Baby steps (as with everything in this job)...

Yikes. Was weekend face time once a thing?

weekend facetime is still a thing in some professions.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby umichman » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:01 pm

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Minnietron

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Minnietron » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:09 pm

dabigchina wrote:
cfcm wrote:weekend facetime is still a thing in some professions.

Like the oldest profession?
Last edited by Minnietron on Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby jd20132013 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:13 pm

jkpolk wrote:In my experience the stress in big law gets better over time (obviously there are neurotics for whom that is not true). Other parts of the job get worse, but the stress gets better.


I'm not doubting your experience but how can this be ? Why has it been the case for uou

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:42 pm

jkpolk wrote:In my experience the stress in big law gets better over time (obviously there are neurotics for whom that is not true). Other parts of the job get worse, but the stress gets better.


I feel like the stress gets worse over time. You are required to do more work, more substantive work (aka harder work), and have to manage more people the more senior you get. Not to mention, given the high attrition rate, I feel like midlevels and seniors work even harder than juniors since there aren't that many people left in your class year. Also expectations are lower for juniors - nobody cares if a junior doesn't know something, but you are supposed to make certain progressions the more senior you are.

My senior associate friends left in biglaw often work 300 hour months because nobody is left in their class year and obviously the partners aren't the ones running the deals.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby jd20132013 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jkpolk wrote:In my experience the stress in big law gets better over time (obviously there are neurotics for whom that is not true). Other parts of the job get worse, but the stress gets better.


I feel like the stress gets worse over time. You are required to do more work, more substantive work (aka harder work), and have to manage more people the more senior you get. Not to mention, given the high attrition rate, I feel like midlevels and seniors work even harder than juniors since there aren't that many people left in your class year. Also expectations are lower for juniors - nobody cares if a junior doesn't know something, but you are supposed to make certain progressions the more senior you are.

My senior associate friends left in biglaw often work 300 hour months because nobody is left in their class year and obviously the partners aren't the ones running the deals.



this seems right and fits with my observation of the senior associates that manage me

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby UVA2B » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:35 pm

I love the semi-regular false narrative of comparing law to medicine to banking and finance. It's always fairly discussed and totally measured in realism. It's never a bunch of lawyers arguing with a bunch of anecdotes to prove the thing they believe.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:32 am

Of the number of high paying professions that I can think of (athletes, singers, doctors, pilots, writers, etc.) they all require working many hours. The thing about law firms, if you want the bigger dollars from day one you usually must work in BL and that generally means living in a high COL city. I suspect that in your fifth year you could lateral as GC to a company located in a mid-sized city (Omaha, Memphis, etc). Thus, even if you take a modest pay cut, your COL should be less and your hours should decrease.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby 2014 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jkpolk wrote:In my experience the stress in big law gets better over time (obviously there are neurotics for whom that is not true). Other parts of the job get worse, but the stress gets better.


I feel like the stress gets worse over time. You are required to do more work, more substantive work (aka harder work), and have to manage more people the more senior you get. Not to mention, given the high attrition rate, I feel like midlevels and seniors work even harder than juniors since there aren't that many people left in your class year. Also expectations are lower for juniors - nobody cares if a junior doesn't know something, but you are supposed to make certain progressions the more senior you are.

My senior associate friends left in biglaw often work 300 hour months because nobody is left in their class year and obviously the partners aren't the ones running the deals.

Yeah I agree. As an additional point, the more senior you get the more exposure to client stresses you get and however bad the partner overlords seem at firms, clients have the potential to be worse by orders of magnitudes.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:45 pm

Senior associate is unquestionably the worst position in biglaw. I still think the point above is right that the stress gets better over time.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby sprezz » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:24 pm

Minnietron wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
cfcm wrote:weekend facetime is still a thing in some professions.

Like the oldest profession?

:lol:

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Certain specialties in medicine are much more stressful than others (like surgery, OBGYN). And some of them have pretty easy residencies if you're looking at hours alone (like psychology, anesthesiology, etc).

The main issue with medicine is that it takes way too long to finish, the debt is obscene, there's a shitty ROI unless you're an orthopedic surgeon or whatever, there's a lot of bureaucratic paperwork, workload is increasing due to corporate takeovers, and if you don't love working, it's probably the wrong field to be in since the average working hours are still longer than 40 hours per week and you don't even make money until your 30s. The average doctor only makes like 200-300k, which IMO is shit given how much schooling, debt, and time is involved. I mean, c'mon, programmers make 200k in California starting out of college if you're decent.

It's much better to just go into nursing or become a PA or whatever if you want to go into healthcare. Nurses make pretty good money for their education and they work in fewer hour shifts. And they can easily switch practice areas, unlike physicians who would have to do residencies all over again unless you want to work in some shitty urgent care clinic. Even in the South, nurses can easily make 70-80k with just 2 years of schooling. If you do that at age 22, you'll have a less stressful life than a doctor and probably net out with a higher ROI.

Lesson learned kids - don't go to grad school unless you LOVE spending your life working/wasting away your youth on bullshit. These professions don't pay nearly enough to make it worth it. At the end of the day, a job is just a job. Unless this "profession" is your calling and your only passion (and I mean this literally), there are much easier routes in life to make a comfortable living than doing professional school.


Just a few corrections: Doctors that make 200k+ work far, far more than 40 hours/week. Source: dad was a doctor.

Starting programmers in SF (not Cali generally) get just a touch over 100k generally. The jobs offering fat bonuses and high pay are about as abundant as above-market law firm jobs. Sure, you could get rich with equity at a startup, but just lol at "just do startup bro." Their hours are just as long as biglaw, if not worse. (Google says "Average" programming pay in SF is 80k, but I had friends starting around 130k.)

Had more nursing major friends than I can count in UG. Caught up with some of them. If you're doing psych, it's pretty chill. If you're in an high-pressure environment like ER, biglaw is 100x preferable. Most other ones suck too. Try spending long ass hours giving dying people sponge baths and cleaning their shit bins.

Union crane operators in NYC make 500k, according to some NYT article, so maybe do that? Trade craft/union shit is how you make comfortable living with a chill lifestyle. Dentistry/dermatology, anesthesiology as mentioned earlier, seem chill for high pay.

Professional school is the only way most people can hit high salaries. If you're happy making 80-100k for the rest of your life (adjust accordingly for inflation), obv don't go to professional school. If you ever want to break 200k, either be a union crane operator in NYC or professional school it is.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Certain specialties in medicine are much more stressful than others (like surgery, OBGYN). And some of them have pretty easy residencies if you're looking at hours alone (like psychology, anesthesiology, etc).

The main issue with medicine is that it takes way too long to finish, the debt is obscene, there's a shitty ROI unless you're an orthopedic surgeon or whatever, there's a lot of bureaucratic paperwork, workload is increasing due to corporate takeovers, and if you don't love working, it's probably the wrong field to be in since the average working hours are still longer than 40 hours per week and you don't even make money until your 30s. The average doctor only makes like 200-300k, which IMO is shit given how much schooling, debt, and time is involved. I mean, c'mon, programmers make 200k in California starting out of college if you're decent.

It's much better to just go into nursing or become a PA or whatever if you want to go into healthcare. Nurses make pretty good money for their education and they work in fewer hour shifts. And they can easily switch practice areas, unlike physicians who would have to do residencies all over again unless you want to work in some shitty urgent care clinic. Even in the South, nurses can easily make 70-80k with just 2 years of schooling. If you do that at age 22, you'll have a less stressful life than a doctor and probably net out with a higher ROI.

Lesson learned kids - don't go to grad school unless you LOVE spending your life working/wasting away your youth on bullshit. These professions don't pay nearly enough to make it worth it. At the end of the day, a job is just a job. Unless this "profession" is your calling and your only passion (and I mean this literally), there are much easier routes in life to make a comfortable living than doing professional school.


Just a few corrections: Doctors that make 200k+ work far, far more than 40 hours/week. Source: dad was a doctor.

Starting programmers in SF (not Cali generally) get just a touch over 100k generally. The jobs offering fat bonuses and high pay are about as abundant as above-market law firm jobs. Sure, you could get rich with equity at a startup, but just lol at "just do startup bro." Their hours are just as long as biglaw, if not worse. (Google says "Average" programming pay in SF is 80k, but I had friends starting around 130k.)

Had more nursing major friends than I can count in UG. Caught up with some of them. If you're doing psych, it's pretty chill. If you're in an high-pressure environment like ER, biglaw is 100x preferable. Most other ones suck too. Try spending long ass hours giving dying people sponge baths and cleaning their shit bins.

Union crane operators in NYC make 500k, according to some NYT article, so maybe do that? Trade craft/union shit is how you make comfortable living with a chill lifestyle. Dentistry/dermatology, anesthesiology as mentioned earlier, seem chill for high pay.

Professional school is the only way most people can hit high salaries. If you're happy making 80-100k for the rest of your life (adjust accordingly for inflation), obv don't go to professional school. If you ever want to break 200k, either be a union crane operator in NYC or professional school it is.


I think for me, the worst parts about biglaw aren't really the hours. It's the fact that 90% of the work is done sitting behind a computer screen without talking to anyone. On the rare days when I spend most of the time on calls/meetings and or in court, the job is really enjoyable even if I bill 13 hours. If only six of those hours are doing some sort of writing/e-mail, I'm pretty happy. The other days, however, are just a grind. It's hard writing paper after paper just to make your hours all while doing so efficiently and not talking to anyone.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Certain specialties in medicine are much more stressful than others (like surgery, OBGYN). And some of them have pretty easy residencies if you're looking at hours alone (like psychology, anesthesiology, etc).

The main issue with medicine is that it takes way too long to finish, the debt is obscene, there's a shitty ROI unless you're an orthopedic surgeon or whatever, there's a lot of bureaucratic paperwork, workload is increasing due to corporate takeovers, and if you don't love working, it's probably the wrong field to be in since the average working hours are still longer than 40 hours per week and you don't even make money until your 30s. The average doctor only makes like 200-300k, which IMO is shit given how much schooling, debt, and time is involved. I mean, c'mon, programmers make 200k in California starting out of college if you're decent.

It's much better to just go into nursing or become a PA or whatever if you want to go into healthcare. Nurses make pretty good money for their education and they work in fewer hour shifts. And they can easily switch practice areas, unlike physicians who would have to do residencies all over again unless you want to work in some shitty urgent care clinic. Even in the South, nurses can easily make 70-80k with just 2 years of schooling. If you do that at age 22, you'll have a less stressful life than a doctor and probably net out with a higher ROI.

Lesson learned kids - don't go to grad school unless you LOVE spending your life working/wasting away your youth on bullshit. These professions don't pay nearly enough to make it worth it. At the end of the day, a job is just a job. Unless this "profession" is your calling and your only passion (and I mean this literally), there are much easier routes in life to make a comfortable living than doing professional school.


Just a few corrections: Doctors that make 200k+ work far, far more than 40 hours/week. Source: dad was a doctor.

Starting programmers in SF (not Cali generally) get just a touch over 100k generally. The jobs offering fat bonuses and high pay are about as abundant as above-market law firm jobs. Sure, you could get rich with equity at a startup, but just lol at "just do startup bro." Their hours are just as long as biglaw, if not worse. (Google says "Average" programming pay in SF is 80k, but I had friends starting around 130k.)

Had more nursing major friends than I can count in UG. Caught up with some of them. If you're doing psych, it's pretty chill. If you're in an high-pressure environment like ER, biglaw is 100x preferable. Most other ones suck too. Try spending long ass hours giving dying people sponge baths and cleaning their shit bins.

Union crane operators in NYC make 500k, according to some NYT article, so maybe do that? Trade craft/union shit is how you make comfortable living with a chill lifestyle. Dentistry/dermatology, anesthesiology as mentioned earlier, seem chill for high pay.

Professional school is the only way most people can hit high salaries. If you're happy making 80-100k for the rest of your life (adjust accordingly for inflation), obv don't go to professional school. If you ever want to break 200k, either be a union crane operator in NYC or professional school it is.


As noted above, this reoccurring debate is all based on a lot of anecdotes and YMMV. But I do think we get a lot of 24 year olds weighing in on how things are, so I think it's important to balance that out with other perspectives.

I have several friends, generally the smarter and more capable of my friends, who are now breaking into the $115,000-$150,000 area. That's pre-bonus. With bonus they're starting to hit more like $140,000-$175,000. They're all getting around 30 years old and have been working for years now. They don't have professional degrees or even prestigious UG degrees. None are developers or coders or even really that technical. They're just smart, responsible, take ownership of things, started at the bottom and have been working for 7-8 years now.

Mostly they work in startups, former startups, growing private companies and stuff like that. Mostly in the Bay Area. They DO NOT work anywhere close to my hours. They work mostly 9-5ish. They'll also probably continue getting at least modest promotions and raises over the next decades of their careers. The idea that people in startups work around the clock is greatly exaggerated IME, with myself and the vast majority of my friends working in the Bay Area. And they often get paid in cash, not just equity.

This doesn't necessarily prove anything but I think it's important to note that it's far from impossible to make decent money while working reasonable hours.

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Re: How many hours is too many?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Certain specialties in medicine are much more stressful than others (like surgery, OBGYN). And some of them have pretty easy residencies if you're looking at hours alone (like psychology, anesthesiology, etc).

The main issue with medicine is that it takes way too long to finish, the debt is obscene, there's a shitty ROI unless you're an orthopedic surgeon or whatever, there's a lot of bureaucratic paperwork, workload is increasing due to corporate takeovers, and if you don't love working, it's probably the wrong field to be in since the average working hours are still longer than 40 hours per week and you don't even make money until your 30s. The average doctor only makes like 200-300k, which IMO is shit given how much schooling, debt, and time is involved. I mean, c'mon, programmers make 200k in California starting out of college if you're decent.

It's much better to just go into nursing or become a PA or whatever if you want to go into healthcare. Nurses make pretty good money for their education and they work in fewer hour shifts. And they can easily switch practice areas, unlike physicians who would have to do residencies all over again unless you want to work in some shitty urgent care clinic. Even in the South, nurses can easily make 70-80k with just 2 years of schooling. If you do that at age 22, you'll have a less stressful life than a doctor and probably net out with a higher ROI.

Lesson learned kids - don't go to grad school unless you LOVE spending your life working/wasting away your youth on bullshit. These professions don't pay nearly enough to make it worth it. At the end of the day, a job is just a job. Unless this "profession" is your calling and your only passion (and I mean this literally), there are much easier routes in life to make a comfortable living than doing professional school.


Just a few corrections: Doctors that make 200k+ work far, far more than 40 hours/week. Source: dad was a doctor.

Starting programmers in SF (not Cali generally) get just a touch over 100k generally. The jobs offering fat bonuses and high pay are about as abundant as above-market law firm jobs. Sure, you could get rich with equity at a startup, but just lol at "just do startup bro." Their hours are just as long as biglaw, if not worse. (Google says "Average" programming pay in SF is 80k, but I had friends starting around 130k.)

Had more nursing major friends than I can count in UG. Caught up with some of them. If you're doing psych, it's pretty chill. If you're in an high-pressure environment like ER, biglaw is 100x preferable. Most other ones suck too. Try spending long ass hours giving dying people sponge baths and cleaning their shit bins.

Union crane operators in NYC make 500k, according to some NYT article, so maybe do that? Trade craft/union shit is how you make comfortable living with a chill lifestyle. Dentistry/dermatology, anesthesiology as mentioned earlier, seem chill for high pay.

Professional school is the only way most people can hit high salaries. If you're happy making 80-100k for the rest of your life (adjust accordingly for inflation), obv don't go to professional school. If you ever want to break 200k, either be a union crane operator in NYC or professional school it is.


It really depends (re: bolded). My spouse makes well above that and works 32 hours per week as an MD. We're all just applying anecdotes here, so I'm not going to "lol, but MDs only work 30-40 hours per week and roll in $300k salaries." It might be true in some cases, but MDs, JDs, and other professions are far from monolithic.



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