A high-flying investor and columnist has sparked outrage after calling millennials “soft” for opting for a healthy work-life balance over sacrificing their social lives for their jobs.
Christopher Joye, an investment portfolio manager and well-known columnist for the Australian Financial Review, boasted in his most recent article about working late into the night when he was a young man.
Mr Joye said he spent more than 90 nights and went without sleep for several consecutive days while working for Goldman Sachs investment company in London in 2000.
The investor said a “world-class performance” at work was needed to bring down Australia’s seven per cent inflation rate – and criticized millennials for choosing a more balanced lifestyle.
His column sparked anger among many millennials who argued that Mr. Joyce promoted an unsustainable lifestyle – and that peak performance at work came from a good night’s sleep.
Christopher Joye, a portfolio manager and AFR columnist, did some feathering after claiming to have spent more than 90 nights working at Goldman Sachs in London in 2000 (Mr Joye is pictured in the Qantas Chairmans Lounge)
Mr Joye stated that to reduce Australia’s high inflation, workers need to be more productive to justify accelerating wage growth
Mr Joye insisted that Australia’s high inflation rates “will in turn require a radical mindset change from entitled millennials who have never experienced high inflation, high rates or a prolonged recession,” he said.
‘During my first 12 months of work at Goldman Sachs in London in 2000, I spent over 90 nights – that is, I worked two days in a row without sleep.
“World-class sports teams, military and professional teams are obsessively committed to excellence, which doesn’t always fit easily with the ideals of the gentle work-life balance of people in their 20s and 30s.”
The investor said if Australia slipped into a recession it could be the shock needed to show millennials what “world-class performance really requires”.
Goldman Sachs, where Mr. Joye worked, has previously been in the spotlight for the demands it places on its employees.
In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine described the big investment bank as “a great vampire squid that wraps itself around the face of humanity and ruthlessly stuffs its funnel of blood into everything that smells of money.”
While some Twitter users used Mr. Joye’s column to bash millennials, members of the younger generation were outraged by the investor’s attack on those striving for a healthy work-life balance.
Several millennials said a company exploited staff by making them pull all night: “You shouldn’t need world-class performance to have a roof over your head.” Pulling 90 nocturnal nights in a year sounds like a really shocking way to live to be honest,” someone said.
Another added: ‘The work-life balance is not ‘soft’. It’s smart to do. It doesn’t have to be sacrificed for world-class performance.”
A third said: ‘Sorry mate, twenty-somethings and thirties won’t burn themselves on the altar of capitalism.
“But in London you always have your time!”
Some Twitter users were outraged by the portfolio manager’s attack on a healthy work-life balance, which has become a priority for Gen Z and millennials in recent years
One millennial said he was “significantly happier” by focusing on life instead of work.
‘Why would I? The system has been manipulated, I’ve seen little benefit from breaking my a**, so now I prioritize spending time with my young family while doing only the bare minimum at work. I am significantly happier,” he said.
Another agreed: ‘Minimum wage, minimum effort homie.’
One employee pointed out that Goldman Sachs paid junior staff well – with an employee in the ‘analyst to associate’ category in London getting the equivalent of $130,000 to $260,000 AUD, plus bonuses and benefits.
“It’s unrealistic to expect an investment banking work ethic for a McDonald’s salary,” they said.
Mr Joye said a commitment to excellence at work doesn’t always align with the ‘soft work-life balance’ of Australians in their 20s and 30s (stock image)
Many said night owls were evidence of an employee being exploited by their company. Others said that excellence can only be achieved with a good amount of sleep
However, some millennials agreed that they needed a push—or at least a ban on avocado toast.
As an intergenerationally smitten Boomer, I tend to agree with Chris. When I was in public accounting, I got the memo of an 80-hour work week every tax season.
‘Partners now find it very difficult to find personnel around “the soft work-life balance ideals of people in their twenties and thirties”.’
Mr. Joye currently works as a portfolio manager at Coolabah Capital, an investment firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and London.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Joye through his employer for comment.
WHAT IS A MILLENNIAL?
Born 1981-1996 (27-42 years old)
Growing up: 1998-2006
Product of change: Millennials grew up in a time of major technological change, globalization and economic disruption, leading them to have different behaviors and experiences than their parents.
Digital Natives: Exposure to technology since early childhood has led to technological sophistication, resulting in a sense of immunity to most traditional marketing and sales pitches.
They are used to gain instant access to price comparisons, product information and peer reviews.
Work-hard, play-hard attitude: Millennials are team-oriented, honest and like to build friendships with colleagues, but also want to have a life outside of work.
Of course, most millennials want to work at a company that values this desire for balance and openness. They enjoy high levels of two-way feedback
Stability anxiety: Despite the perceived benefits of working as a freelancer or consultant across the board, nearly two-thirds of millennials said they prefer a full-time job.
Health conscious: Millennials spend time and money exercising and eating well.
Being physically and mentally healthy topped the list for most millennials surveyed when asked what would most help them live happier, more fulfilled lives.
Experience economy: More than half of millennials surveyed would rather spend money on an experience than on possessions (only 22.6% valued material goods over experiences).