management positions, only 37 per cent wanted a job with more responsibility and among mothers with children under 18, just a quarter said they would choose full time employment if money wasn’t an issue. The survey didn’t question men but it’s unlikely they’d think very differently.
Even if wanting it all is immaturely unrealistic, we live in a culture where who you are is defined by what you do. But not everybody aspires to set foreign policy or fly private and that’s not so bad. College students who are trying to decide what to do with their lives get so caught up with choosing a money path, they don’t consider the kind of lifestyles they would like to lead in the future. If they did I’m sure even high achieving students wouldn’t be so excited by finance and consulting, where part time can never be an option and job insecurity is a permanent state. But a friend I lost touch with because he was too busy studying in college is an opthalmologist now and he comes to the gym at the baffling hour of 1 pm. There are almost no emergencies since nobody ever dies of an eye ache. Medicine is out of fashion because qualifying is so frustratingly tedious but if you are inclined and choose the right specialisation, it offers plenty of money and loads of leisure. I keep hearing cheesy, wholly unbelievable lines like if you enjoy what you do it’s not work. Given a choice, many of us would opt for big, fat, lazy, quantity time doing absolutely nothing, any day.