How excellent

More than half of millennial fathers want to be demoted into a less stressful job in order to be better fathers, according to a report released on Monday.

As experts warn of a “fatherhood penalty” for men who want to be more involved in the upbringing of their children, 53% of millennial fathers told researchers they wanted to move to a less stressful job, while 48% would take a pay cut to achieve a better work-life balance.

Off you go then.

46 comments on “How excellent

  1. I find that looking after my daughter always feels like time off. Who knows, perhaps if I were a full-time stay-at-home parent, work would feel like time off.

  2. Indeed. Although I’m a little older than our famous “millenials”, I have considered something similar. Several problems, however, come to the fore.

    Firstly, living expenses. Going down to working 80%, for instance, takes a massive chunk out of disposable. Personally I’m in a position to do that (and more) if I want to, by a lucky/canny decision taken 18 months ago. However I can’t due to workload (and we’re not in a position to hire an extra person, and sub-contracting is just a can of worms for what we do).

    Secondly, it’s often the case that, if there’s an income shortfall that has to be made up, the other partner is not in a position to do so, due to them not wanting to, or not being able to (e.g. due to edumacational choices).

    Thirdly, a lot of people find that if they go down to 80%, they end up doing about the same amount of work, but are paid 20% less for it. Oops.

    Fourthly, social pressure. Part of our “male privilege”, i believe, to be expected to work 100%+.

  3. Millennials: The Shite Generation.

    Lots of Fathers might feel the same way–but if they are already on the lower rungs and have any ethics they have to keep working.

    Also crocodile tears from the CM toiletpaper of the Gladrag. Who illustrate the article with a picture which, if found on some fathers computer, would have the CM femmi-controlled pukes of Yewtree rushing to an arrest.

  4. Good fathers make sure there’s food on the table and a roof over their heads. Next they make sure the future is provided for including enough money for retirement so they aren’t a burden on their children, either directly or by having to pay higher taxes.

    It’s selfish to take pay cuts and time out at the expense of those responsibilities.

  5. Wanting to do something is one thing. Doing it is something else.

    Do you think their wives would actually let them?

  6. @BinD – 1st para – indeed. 2nd para – not necessarily. If you’re in the lucky position in which you have sufficient disposable income to trade money for time, why not?

    ISTR it was the LHTD who claimed, to much well-deserved derision here, that people only sought to maximise their income, rather than their utility. The kind ot tradeoff we’re talking about here is rather an example of the latter, is it not?

  7. I’d love to know what stressful jobs half the young blokes in the UK want to flee from. The country producing a lot of test pilots & combat troops these days? Or a lot of pussies?

  8. I guess I’m an old-fashioned guy, in tune with BIND. And let’s face it: work has a lot to do with fulfilling the need to test yourself in a competitive environment.

  9. They want the “less stressful” job on the same money.

    Aren’t millenials people in the thirties? How much stress and responsibility will most have at that age? Are we just talking about having to get up early and catch a train here?

  10. Abacab –
    Thirdly, a lot of people find that if they go down to 80%, they end up doing about the same amount of work, but are paid 20% less for it. Oops.
    yup lots of back to work mums complain of this who take a friday off and 20% pay cut. (and still do the work) the trick is to look at your contract. if it says 40 hours a week 8 hours per day, say i’ll work an extra hour in the morning and an extra in the evening 4 days a week. You do same work, same pay but one more playday. I know I know not always possible of course it requires an understanding boss/ flexible HR policy/both.

  11. Rob, it’ll be a two-step process, I suspect. Offer to work part-time today, demand more benefits tomorrow.

  12. “Aren’t millenials people in the thirties? How much stress and responsibility will most have at that age?”

    Mid-career is, for many “intellectual”-type jobs (lawyer, programmer, the dreaded management consultants) the time when you’re expected to make your mark and perform at a high level. You’re not quite yet moving into management roles which can (but not always) soften the workload (in quality and/or quantity), replacing intellectual tasks with management ones. But you’re often expected to take on further tasks above and beyond your core activities, without necessarily being compensated for them. And you’re not old/senior enough to tell people to Foxtrot Oscar.

    Been there, done that, now working in a small firm without any of that BS.

  13. Mr Ecks – “Lots of Fathers might feel the same way–but if they are already on the lower rungs and have any ethics they have to keep working.”

    Marriage was always an exchange of sex for security – mostly financial these days. Now that women have unilaterally withdrawn their half of the bargain and insisted that sex is not something you can expect with marriage, younger men are re-writing their half too. They are working less. These men are 20% poorer than Baby Boomers were at the same stage in life. Why work hard for a mortgage if the soon-to-be-ex-wife will take it all?

    I should applaud this but I don’t think society can afford it.

  14. As a stay at home husband I can appreciate getting out of the house. Money isn’t as great as when I was a working professional but the stress is a whole lot different too.
    I have the dog to walk, I have movies to watch, I have the washing up to do occasionally.
    Yes, probably a lot less stress than when I had a boss that was the exact opposite of a people person without actually having any management skills or technical ability.

  15. I’d love to know what stressful jobs half the young blokes in the UK want to flee from.

    To be fair, working in a major corporation is extremely stressful. Bear in mind it your job has nothing to do with being competent and delivering something useful and everything to do with arse-licking and being “on message” with thick and often vindictive management whose incompetence can easily make your life a misery, and you’ll see why. Being micromanaged by a complete retard is stressful, until you stop giving a shit.

  16. @ SMFS
    The millennials are on getting for twice as highly paid as the baby boomers, those born in 1946-9, were at the same age. They are worse off than those born a decade earlier.

  17. Martin – “Yes, probably a lot less stress than when I had a boss that was the exact opposite of a people person without actually having any management skills or technical ability.”

    This.

    Tim Newman – “Being micromanaged by a complete retard is stressful, until you stop giving a shit.”

    And that.

    Traditionally men put up with all sorts of cr@p because they had wives and children that depended on them. Something else that gave their life meaning. Now, of course, marriage is much less important and the children are only yours until the Court order arrives.

    We need men to suck it up and do these jobs. We are going to miss them when they are gone.

    But on the whole, why should men put up with this sort of thing? This generation may be effeminate wastes of air, but they are responding sensibly to incentives.

  18. “Adrienne Burgess, chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute,”

    *What* makes me suspicious? You may well ask!

  19. john77 – “*What* makes me suspicious? You may well ask!”

    You don’t need a penis to be a father! H8ter!

  20. “To be fair, working in a major corporation is extremely stressful. ”

    In spades.

    And don’t think that being a high performer shields you – it makes you high-profile, and when there’s more work to be done, guess who’s going to be doing it?

    Oh, look, another project – Muggins over there will do it. On top of the 3 we’ve already given him. And then, at appraisal time, we can criticise him for not meeting the over-inflated production target on his core work because he had to spend too much time on side-projects. And he’ll worry about it cos he cares and he’s motivated. Right up to the moment when he f*cks off out of the blue and we’re all standing here wondering WTF just happened. I guess his face didn’t fit, or he wasn’t sufficiently on board with the mission statement or something. Whatever it was, it was nothing to do with us.

    Meanwhile, over in the corner there’s some miserable old cnut who does the minimum of the minimum, always has excuses, costs more than he brings in, and yet we’ll let him plod along happily cos dealing with him is too much hassle. Something not unnoticed by the chap from the previous paragraph.

  21. Did they not bother to gather statistics on how many would be allowed to do this by their wives?

    Martin…”probably a lot less stress than when I had a boss” You think you don’t have a boss now?

  22. “To be fair, working in a major corporation is extremely stressful. ”
    Oh fuck off TimN.
    My first career was dealing on the floor of the LSx before they had computers to help with the arithmetic & keeping tabs on a couple hundred position. Since then I’ve single handedly run a succession of small business – where the downsides not a poor appraisal but losing your shirt. The current project’s been a steep learning curve – but I relieve the tedium with a spot of property speculation. The only actual stressful thing I’ve ever done was work part time in a bar. Customers on a busy night can be demanding.
    These days I see a lot of people – if Lady Fortune doesn’t smile & they earn, they don’t have a roof over their heads & food for their kids. That’s stressful.
    Rest of it’s first world, self referential, bollocks.

  23. What abacab says.

    But have these millennial dads actually tried spending time with their little ones? (Older kids are in school all day, so I assume the article only refers to kids under 5.) It’s mind-numbingly tedious. I look forward to Monday mornings when I can have adult conversations that aren’t about whose turn it is to change the nappy.

    From the article:

    A game-changing first step would be government creating a new, properly paid, extended period of paternity leave.

    No, that’s not what the people surveyed said they wanted. Tedious though it is to play with a two year old, spending time with a zero year old is even more dull (for most fathers).

    Separately, consider the employer’s point of view. They’d much rather have one person working 48 hours a week than two people working 24 hours each. One person means one set of training, one set of orders to give, one set of personal issues to manage. Two part-timers means twice the overhead. (This is also why the ever-rising minimum wage has removed a lot of part-time jobs from the market.) No wonder employers aren’t jumping at the opportunity. How would you feel if you employed a builder to build an extension, and after signing the contract he told you he would only work three days a week because he wanted to spend the other two days with his kids?

  24. I’ve settled for a job which is not part-time, but not time+ either. Flexible hours means that I can get home in time to have decent ‘family time’.

    The downside is having to get up at unmentionable-in-the-morning, but it hasn’t killed me yet!

    I’d love to be a house husband, but unfortunately didn’t chose a rich enough spouse 🙁

  25. BiS,

    You are equating high stakes with high stress. That is not always the case: being kept permanently off-balance and not knowing what is expected of you from day to day is more stressful, for me anyway, than a task that is high-stakes but clearly defined.

  26. “Two part-timers means twice the overhead” probably more, unless you’re very good at avoiding hand-over Fuck-ups.

  27. @Tim Newman, “You are equating high stakes with high stress. That is not always the case: being kept permanently off-balance and not knowing what is expected of you from day to day is more stressful, for me anyway, than a task that is high-stakes but clearly defined.”

    Indeed. The ever-moving goalposts environment, the risk of a higher-up suddenly getting a sad on about you for no apparent reason, never knowing when the next great idea (e.g. time-consuming project) was going to randomly come down from on high, never letting the framework settle before making change for change’s sakes, and objectives that are outside your control. Oh, and expectations of growth where there is little to be had while preventing us from advertising on our local market – indeed, absolutely no interest in what’s happening on our market. Never once did anyone ask what the effect of the removal of the CHF-EUR floor might have on us or on our clients.

    I swapped that for a much-higher-stakes alternative in a heartbeat – cos I’m effectively my own boss (even though on paper I work for someone else), manage my own time, set my own “objectives” in my head, and generally crack on with just doing my work without worrying about any of that nonsense.

  28. To clarify – by “objectives that are outside your control” I mean ones over which I could exercise little influence, i.e. which took no allowance for the amount of work incoming.

  29. Just an example:

    BigFirm: I had an objective based on number of billed hours which was 36% over what accounting reckoned on internally (and which was already challenging enough and needed all your contractual presence time to acheive), together with a target for turnover which had been based on pre-recession figures based on 2 people. One quit, and the objective remained.

    My only lever to pull to influence this was the number of billed hours I did, within what the clients supplied. I could not influence them on if they did expensive fixed-fee things or not. I could advise them to do so, but actually advising them of something not in their interests is against the professional code of conduct. And even if I did advise, they could (and would) ignore me.

    And I was supposed to get out and get new clients. But was already occupied 120% just doing normal billed work. And our advertising presence on the market was so poor that people thought we were a subdivision of the local market leader. But head office didn’t want to do anything about that, and we had neither budget nor permission to do it ourselves. Oh, and hard-sell and being part of a non-swiss group were not appreciated by potentials…

    And add to that unbillable, uncompensated side-projects on top.

    Now: do the work the clients send. If it’s lots, work harder. If less, take more time to go to events etc.

    You might just say that what I suffered was just poor management, and you’d be right. It was extremely poor management that made you think they were completely insane.

  30. Woman’s Hour had a piece on this. They said that more men taking paternity leave would help equalise the gender pay gap.

    Thus they inadvertently admit it’s a not a gender gap, but a pregnancy/childcare gap and confirming that, yet again, Tim is right.

  31. Dunno Tim
    Being permenantly off balance & not knowing what’s expected of you (next) seem to be a feature of going it alone. Also what makes it such enormous fun.
    And having that salary cheque turning up at the end of every month sounds like a handsome compensation for a tad of uncertainty.
    There was something said in these comments, couple weeks ago, stuck in my mind. “If you constantly find yourself working at the limits of your capability, maybe you need to find a job you can do well.”
    And maybe the problem’s taking it all too fucking seriously. But then, when the ambitions are the latest Audi coupé & the skiing holiday & the big house with the long drive. All needing paying for & all dependent on the whims of some asshole up the corporate ladder ….
    Maybe it’s time to take a look at what’s important in life.

  32. In my experience, stress has very little to do with the work itself and everything to do with the people you work for and with. Toughest, most high-profile job I’ve done in the last few years, with overtime and a tough deadline and very high stakes if we missed it, was not remotely stressful. Job I was doing this time last year was pretty easy and nowhere near as important, and an absolute fucking nightmare.

  33. @S2 – yes, exactly that. One of my most stressful jobs was the one where I was twiddling my thumbs with constant paranoia that it was likely to be last-in-first-out if the bills couldn’t be paid.

    @BiS – Having been going it *almost* alone, I conversely know exactly what’s required of me now. I know that the framework next week will be exactly the same as it is this week. I also know that I’m in the lucky position to have got my living expenses sorted to the point where I could function semi-indefinitely on half-salary if it went wrong. And most of all, this is *my* problem. Any problems are real, I can influence their solution, and they’re not synthetic management constructs or due to management causing us to hire 6 people when we’ve only got local work for 3 (yes, srsly), for instance.

  34. @ S2
    “In my experience, stress has very little to do with the work itself”
    Usually – until one finds one finds one needs to work 100 hours a week to do the job (or you’re called “John Watson”).

  35. @ abacab 1.12pm
    That killed my father and two out of three of my favourite bosses. The guys allocating work-load were(like me) not intelligent enough to estimate their ability to cope with yet more work and kept adding until the last straw broke the camel’s back, whereupon my father and one boss they took “early retirement” and died young, the next died in harness in his earely 50s.

  36. S2/Tim Newman,

    This is generally why I prefer to work in medium-size companies. In many ways, you work harder, but there’s a lot less stress. Useless, bureaucratic and sharp-but-useless types thrive in big companies. They slow down the process.

    Oh, but you can’t bypass them or go elsewhere. You’re still expected to deliver by your manager despite these fuckers throwing spanners at you. You say “well, server admin say it’ll take 2 weeks before we get the server” and they still say “but we have to deliver in 3”.

    Small places? The rules just get rewritten. The boss will drive down to PC World and buy a PC that day if necessary (the new development server in one place I worked was literally that, as time=money).

  37. Child-centred parenting is as bad as child-centred education. Millenials are self-absorbed because they are the product of child-centred parenting followed by child-centred education.

    In my experience, one parent should be slightly less close to the child. Maternal empathy with the child means this has to be the man, because mothers find it difficult to discipline their own children – and little boys don’t seem naturally to recognise women as authority figures. ‘Wait till I tell your father about what you’ve done!’ doesn’t work if daddy is an emasculated, wimpish co-parent. I was involved in bringing up my daughter, but always at one remove, as it were.

  38. @ BiW
    Ageed!
    One of my favourite examples is getting a ‘phone call from a client of my main client after 7 pm one evening demanding that I produce a report to be published on RNS at 7 am the next morning. I explained that I didn’t have access to the RNS feed from home (I didn’t have access to it in the office either in case I said something embarrassingly truthful) but he insisted. So I sent my report to the office a bit after 1 am and the boss (who, unbekownst to me, had brought a sleeping bag into the office because he had a business dinner that ended after his last train home) formatted the report and sent it off to the London Stock Exchange to be published at 7 am.

  39. @ Theophrastus
    In my experience, my mother did virtually all the discipline: my father never once hit me (nor, I believe, either sister). I never hit #1 son and only once spanked #2 son when he kicked me in the balls since I reckoned that failing to teach him that was unacceptable would get him killed at a fairly young age.

  40. Theophrastus – “Maternal empathy with the child means this has to be the man, because mothers find it difficult to discipline their own children – and little boys don’t seem naturally to recognise women as authority figures.”

    And because, like so much else in the West, family life is set up to cater to women’s preferences. Women prefer to do all the good things with their children. They prefer to delegate all the bad things to their husbands. So the mother gives them their favourite treats for dinner. The father hands out the discipline.

    It is not that women are adverse to punishment. Ask any boyfriend. It is that they prefer to be sneaky about – so pushing the husband to beat the children while coming around after and promising to protect them from said husband.

  41. Dr John Rosemond would have a cow. Life is not about the children. Marriage is not about the children.

    Tell the crummy kids to go play in the street.

  42. I don’t understand putting up with bad bosses, perhaps I’m very lucky.

    Other than the normal Army shouting for effect on the drill square I was treated well. When I got seriously messed around I left.

    The next time I had a problem was when when of the team I as part of got promoted to be our boss. No problem, I thought, but when one day we did what we’d always done he bawled me out in public. No problem, I waited until we were alone and explained to him, calmly and quietly, if he ever did that again I’d deck him. He was bigger than me, but he never did it again. (I had a very large mortgage at the time so losing my job wouldn’t have been ideal, but I couldn’t afford to let him get away with it either)

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