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贫穷是否导致我们无法坚持原则

更新时间:2018-11-14 20:39:18 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Are we too broke to stick to our principles?
贫穷是否导致我们无法坚持原则

Would you quit your job on ethical grounds? Last summer, a dozen Google employees did just that.

你会因为道德原因辞职吗?去年夏天,十几名谷歌员工就因为道德原因炒了老板的鱿鱼。

According to several reports, they ditched the prestigious technology firm over its involvement in a project named Maven. The project involved providing data processing to US military drones, there was also a broader disagreement over the way senior leadership dealt with the ethical underpinnings of their work.

数份报告显示,他们之所以选择离开这家声望卓著的高科技公司,是因为谷歌参与了一个名为Maven的项目,涉及向美国军用无人机提供数据处理技术。此外,关于高层领导如何处理工作中道德伦理的问题也存在更大的分歧。

Many of us face a more common ethical dilemma – would you turn down an attractive salary because you couldn’t bring yourself to agree with a company’s position on, say, the environment, animal testing or simply the way it treated customers?

许多人都面临着一个更普遍的道德难题——你会因为与公司立场不同而拒绝一份有吸引力的薪水吗?比如说对环境、动物试验等问题的看法,或者只是对待客户的方式。

If you answered yes, data suggest it is likely that you are a millennial. Study after study claim this cohort, more than previous generations, are motivated by ‘making a difference’ through their work. Many of those who leave jobs seek a better ethical or cultural fit, it is claimed, even when doing this involves taking a salary hit.

如果回答是肯定的,那么根据数据你很可能是千禧一代。许多研究表明,这一代人比前几代人更希望自己的工作能让世界变得更好。据说,许多人辞职是为了寻求更高的道德或文化认同感,即使这样做会减少收入也在所不辞。

But is this true? In reality who can afford to make that choice?

但这是真的吗?实际生活中,谁有资本做出这样的选择呢?

The cost of leaving

离职的成本

Millennials are often described as “the job-hopping generation”: several studies flag our unwillingness to stick with steady work or follow a predictable ladder climb. Some traditional industries are having a hard time retaining their youngest recruits: a 2017 study of the Institute of Student Employers shows that 46% of graduates in the UK leave their first employer after just five years.

千禧一代总是被叫做“跳槽一代”。研究表明,我们千禧一代不喜欢一成不变的工作,也不愿按部就班地往上爬。一些传统行业难以留住最年轻的一批员工。2017年,英国学生雇主协会(Institute of Student Employers)的一项研究显示,46%的英国毕业生工作仅五年后就跳槽。

The widely held perception is that many leave to ‘pursue their dreams’ or go backpacking around the world.  But rejecting the corporate career path to go off travelling or kick-start your own business is a fairly drastic and costly decision. Only a few can really afford to make it.

人们经常认为,许多人离职后会去追逐梦想,或者背包环游世界。但是,放弃职业生涯去旅行或创业是一个相当激进且代价高昂的决定,只有少数人能真正负担得起。

Research shows consistently that having ‘employment gaps’ lowers the average salary — for some, by thousands of dollars per year — and can decrease future job quality and satisfaction.

研究显示,“就业缺口”(指就业者数月或数年处于非就业状态)不仅会拉低平均工资,有的人每年会损失几千美元,还有可能降低未来的工作质量和满意度。

Christian Byfield, a Colombian former investment banker and consultant, left a string of well-paid but “not fulfilling jobs” in banking and insurance, and started travelling around the world, he said on a TedX Talk in Bogota. “A lot of things started to happen because I started to follow my heart,” he said. After a couple of years of financial insecurity he eventually became a travel influencer with a huge audience.

哥伦比亚前投资银行家、顾问比菲尔德(Christian Byfield)放弃了银行和保险业数份收入丰厚但“没什么成就感的工作”,开始周游世界。他在波哥大的TEDx演讲时表示:“我开始听从自己内心的呼声后经历了很多事。”过了几年收入无保障的生活后,他终于成了旅游圈中有影响力的人物,拥有大批粉丝。

But Byfield is an exceptional case – most of us still have to think about our wallets when we make job decisions. For all the lip service we pay to ‘making a difference’, evidence shows the primary driver for selecting a job is still the payslip. The most recent Deloitte survey on millennials underlines that 63% of millennials consider the financial reward a very important factor in weighing up a job offer – the highest ranking one. Research by Triplebyte, a start-up which recruits technical talent for technology companies, found 70% of those who get two job offers choose the highest paying one – exactly as our parents’ generation would have done.

但是大多数人在做工作决定时仍然要考虑钱包,比菲尔德只是个特例。尽管嘴上说要有所作为,但证据表明,工资仍然是我们千禧族选择工作的主要驱动力。国际会计师事务所德勤(Deloitte)最近针对千禧一代进行的调查表明,63%的千禧一代认为工资是衡量一份工作最重要的因素。Triplebyte是一家为科技公司招聘技术人才的初创公司。该公司的研究发现,面临两份工作的选择时,有70%的千禧一代会跟我们的父辈一样选择薪酬较高的那份。

The financial downsides of making this kind of change do not make a lot of sense for most of us. “It is not true that millennials do not want stability,” says Lee Caraher, author of the book Millennials & Management. In fact, we need financial stability more than our parents did. In many countries, we carry the burden of increasing student debt. The fallout from the economic crisis further delayed our economic progress and our big financial decisions.

对大多数人来说,这种改变致收入下降并没有多大意义。《千禧一代与管理》一书的作者卡拉赫(Lee Caraher)说:“认为千禧一代不喜欢安稳,这不是真的。”事实上,我们比父母更需要稳定的收入。在许多国家,千禧一代所承担的学生贷款不断增加。十年前的经济危机至今余波未了,使得我们改善自身经济状况的步伐拖慢,并影响我们做出重大财务的决定。

In general, some recent research questions whether millennials are actually ditching secure jobs at a higher rate than our predecessors did. In the US, Pew Research’s latest statistics show that we are just as likely to remain in work than Generation X members were at our age – a study among many others that also signals high turnover is not really a millennial novelty at all.

最近有研究开始质疑千禧一代放弃稳定工作的可能性是否真的比父辈们高。在美国,皮尤研究中心(Pew Research)的最新统计数据显示,与X世代(1966-1988年出生的一代)当年的同年龄者相比,我们千禧一代不跳槽的可能性还要高一些。研究也表明,职业高流动率根本不是只发生在千禧一代身上的新鲜事。

María Reyes, who did not want to use her real name, is a 26-year-old category manager in a retail chain in Colombia. When she started as a trainee she felt the corporate culture clashed with her expectations and beliefs. “The company does not care about people at all”, she says. But she stuck with the job. She even signed a two-years exclusivity contract in exchange for an expensive training course abroad – which would have to be repaid if she left the firm.

玛丽亚·雷耶斯(Maria Reyes)(化名),今年26岁,是哥伦比亚一家零售连锁店的产品种类经理。她刚开始实习的时候,觉得公司文化与她的期望和信念格格不入。她表示:“公司根本不关心员工。”但她还是坚持了下来,还签了一份为期两年的独家合同,以换取昂贵的海外培训课程。这意味着她一旦离开公司,就必须偿还这笔费用。

Eventually she was promoted to her current position, where her internal conflict deepened. Her job is liaising with providers and “trying to make money at all cost, without any regard for the other party”. She does not like to hustle for every penny, especially at the expense of smaller companies that depend heavily on her decisions. “I believe both sides should win in a business, not only one of them,” she says.

最后,她终于升到了现在的职位,但内心更纠结了。她的工作是与供应商联系,“不惜一切代价赚钱,完全不考虑对方”。她不喜欢为了每一分钱而拼命工作,特别不愿意牺牲那些严重依赖她决定的小公司。她表示:“我觉得做生意双方应该共赢,而不是仅其中一方得利。”

But the problem is she’s relatively senior for someone so young. If she were to apply for a similar job elsewhere, she doesn’t think she would be successful. She doubts she would even get an interview and says there are not a lot of job openings in her field – making changing jobs unwise.

但问题是,相比其他像她这样年轻的人,雷耶斯已经算爬得很高的了。她觉得自己在别的地方找不到差不多的工作,说不定连面试机会都没有。雷耶斯还说她所在的行业职位空缺并不多,所以换工作并不明智。

It gets even worse when millennials start to grow up, have kids and take on mortgages. Marcela Cardona, who did not want to use her real name, began her career in pharmaceuticals hoping to help people through her work, but soon felt overwhelmed by the many ethical dilemmas and questionable situations she says she witnessed. “This is a business and its goal is to make money, not to help people,” she says. She soon started a masters in bioethics, pursuing a bigger sense of the human implications of what she did — and perhaps a new career.

当千禧一代长大、有了孩子,还要开始还学生贷款,处境将更艰难。卡多纳(Marcela Cardona)(化名)最初从事制药业,希望自己的工作能帮助别人,但很快她就因亲眼目睹许多道德难题和令人不安的事而感到不堪重负。她说:“这只是一门生意,目标就是赚钱,而不是帮助别人。”卡多纳马上就要开始攻读生物伦理学硕士学位,希望更深入地了解自己所做的事情对人类的影响,并考虑选择一个新的职业。

But when she became pregnant things changed. With a daughter to support, she could no longer afford to change track. She switched jobs hoping things would improve, but she encountered the same issues everywhere she worked. She remains very unhappy with her job, “but you have to be practical”, she says.

但当她怀孕后,一切都变了。因为要抚养女儿,她再也不能随意改弦更张。卡多纳换了份工作,希望情况能有所改善,但无论在哪里工作,所遇到的问题都是一样的。她仍然对现在的工作很不满意,“但人总得看清现实”,她说。

Some have it better than others

人人平等并不存在

Not all job markets are equal – some sectors have more flexibility. Some skills are in higher demand, meaning more jobs to choose from. Engineers in Silicon Valley, for instance, are highly prized and get to be demanding about their workplaces, says Ammon Bartram, a co-founder of Triplebyte.

但就业市场并非人人平等,某些行业的弹性较高。市场对有些技能的需求高一些,有这类技能者的工作选择也就会较多。举个例子,Triplebyte公司的联合创始人巴特拉姆(Ammon Bartram)表示,在硅谷,技术工程师供不应求,因此他们对工作场所的选择也很高。

He says people in non-technical areas, like public relations or legal services, won’t have as many options as programmers. And when it comes to a sabbatical, the cost of taking one is less if you are a talented engineer. “If they are technically strong, engineers do pay something in ‘career progress’, but they generally get back to (the level) where they would have been.”

他说,从事公关或法律服务等非技术领域工作的人选择没有程序员那么多。如果你是有本领的工程师,那么暂时不工作的休假成本会较低。“工程师们如果技术高超,虽然会在‘职业发展’中付出一些代价,但通常会回到应有的水平。”

Yet in other fields like social sciences or communications, where salaries are lower and jobs scarcer, making a decision is a lot more difficult. In general, the better safety nets people have in place – savings, assets or professional qualifications – the easier it is to take decisions that involve sacrificing their salary.

然而,在一些工资较低、岗位较少的行业,比如社会科学或交通运输,做决定要困难得多。一般来说,职场上安全感高的人,比如有储蓄、有物业,或有专业资历,他们就比较容易作出牺牲工薪的决定。

Making a difference?

想要有所作为?

For many millennials, a more feasible solution is to align their work more closely with their values from the outset. Both academic and industry research suggests that this generation want the people they work for to be ethical, committed to diversity and playing their part in making the world a better place.

对于许多千禧一代来说,将工作与价值观结合起来是一种更可行的办法。学术研究和行业研究都表明,这一代人希望他们效力的老板和公司能有道德感,崇尚多样性,并参与社会让世界变得更美好。

Older generations “never asked why and did what they were told”, according to Caraher. Young workers, however, need to ensure they have a good grasp of their employers’ values and their role in the organisation. “They want to matter in their job, they want to understand they make a difference on their team.”

卡拉赫说,老一辈的人“老板叫干啥就干啥,并不会追问为什么”。然而,年轻员工觉得必须了解雇主的价值观和自己在机构中的角色。“他们希望在工作中发挥重要作用,要知道自己能帮助到工作团队。”

Psychologists have consistently found that the extent to which a worker’s values are compatible with their employer’s plays a crucial role in determining employee job satisfaction and company profitability.

心理学家一直有这样的发现,员工与雇主的价值观相符程度决定了员工的工作满意度和公司的盈利能力。

Some companies, particularly big ones, work hard to communicate their values. Having a strong brand makes it easier to attract people who are a good fit for the company, says Bartram. But smaller companies “have to do things to stand out, and one of the most effective strategies is emphasising the positive social impact of their work”.

一些公司,尤其是大公司,致力于传播公司的价值观。巴特拉姆说,强大的品牌效应更容易吸引适合公司的人。而规模较小的公司“必须采取行动才能脱颖而出,最有效的策略之一就是强调其工作对社会的积极影响”。

The good news is that employee pressure can bring tangible change. Many big employers work to fulfil these demands through philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, and by setting out ethical positions more explicitly. Offering “a moral compass”, says Caraher, is increasingly important in attracting younger talent.

好消息是,这种员工压力可以催生实实在在的改变。为了满足这些需求,许多大企业积极开展慈善事业,承担企业社会责任以及设定更明确的道德立场。卡拉赫说,提供"道德指南针"在吸引年轻人才方面越来越重要。

If anything, the outcome of the Google affair brings some hope. The company did not renew project Maven amid employee opposition and ditched a lucrative Pentagon contract partly, it says, because it did not align with its “AI principles”. It was a sacrifice – but one the tech giant could afford to make. Some of its workers, it seems, could also afford to put their values first: their livelihoods were not as vulnerable and they had good employment prospects elsewhere.

如果要举例子的话,谷歌事件的结果让人看到了一线希望。该公司表示,鉴于员工反对,不再续签Maven,部分放弃了一份利润丰厚的国防部合同,因为它与“人工智能原则”相悖。这确实是一种牺牲,但完全在这家科技巨头的可承受范围内。谷歌的一些员工似乎“有资本”把价值观放在第一位,因为他们并不为生活所迫,在其他地方也可以找到好工作。

But for most of those who feel their work conflicts with their values, the bad news is that ‘making a difference’ and ‘pursuing your passion’ are financial decisions. And those are better made with a clear head and the cold hard numbers in front of you.

但不幸的是,对于大多数觉得自己的工作与价值观冲突的人来说,想要"有所作为"和"追寻兴趣"要考虑金钱问题。因此做此类决定时最好结合自身财务状况,三思而行。

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