January 7th, 2008
Pity the doctors and lawyers. They slogged through countless, sleepless years of higher education and amassed astronomical student debt only to realize that they’re no longer envied and revered by the rest of us poor working slobs.
According to yesterday’s New York Times, “some doctors and lawyers feel they have slipped a notch in social status, drifting toward the safe-and-staid realm of dentists and accountants.” What’s more, MDs and ESQs “only” make six figures, when much sexier-sounding hedge funders and webpreneurs (some of whom didn’t even go to college — gasp!) are making millions.
Call me callous, but I find it hard to feel sympathy for anyone who chooses a profession just because they think it will sound good at a dinner party. (Why does the Sunday Style section measure everything against the dinner-party yardstick?) This might have something do with the fact that when I was in school, everyone and their grandmother (mine included) regarded Lawyer or Doctor as the holy grail of career choice. As for flexible, creative, entrepreneurial work? That’s what stoners and slackers did.
So score one for the so-called slackers. And note to the Times: Not everyone under 30 in the brave new entrepreneurial workforce wants to be the next Web 2.0 bazillionaire. Some just want to do work they can stomach, have some time left over to spend with the people they love, and avoid a hefty dry cleaning bill in the process.