Work hard, make money, send your kids to college, retire to Florida. it sounds nice in theory, but the reality of work in America is dramatically different from the American Dream we’ve all been taught to believe in.
“You aren’t paid by how hard you work, you’re paid by how hard you are to replace.”
“I used to work for a company in Montreal (Québec) that had an important partnership with NY and, you guys, you are INTENSE. This American girl spent three weeks at our office, and she proudly said she would stay in the office until 2 a.m. just to get the project/ do a certain transfer on time instead of waiting the next morning like a regular person (or just tell the client that we were humans beings getting good night sleep at 2 a.m., and postpone the thing.). For her it was perfectly normal, and she looked at us as if we were lazy for going out for beers after work and getting a life. All my American contacts were like that, to different levels, but from our perspective they were always “difficult” to work with because they did not have limits or boundaries with work…I was regularly receiving emails at insane hours from people working in the same time zone as I was, and one girl was impressed that we were NOT doing 12-hour days. In a way it was sad.”
“I’m American now living in the UK. I had the American work mentality when I moved here and everyone thought I was crazy. I felt so guilty taking any of my 25 paid vacations days a year. I would log into my work email whilst on vacation and got told off for it. I got pregnant and only took 6 months of my 9 months paid maternity leave. I eventually calmed down my workaholic tendencies and honestly I feel more balanced. I enjoy my time with my son and husband. We can plan vacations abroad 2-3 times a year and I’m able to shut off as soon as I leave work. Don’t even get me started on healthcare.”