Millennials: Are you sure you want that corner office job?

One thing that’s undeniable about millennials: They’re a ferocious bunch. You will be hard-pressed to meet a millennial in this industry who isn’t angling for that corner office job at the tender age of 25.

Corner Office

They know what they want–and they work hard to get there.

And I applaude that. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a big dream and working like hell to chase it. In fact, that’s a mindset I hope to instill in my children. Dream it. Do it.

But here’s the thing, millennials: Be careful what you wish for.

That corner office job? That comes with a pretty hefty price tag.

Ever think about exactly what that corner office job entails? What it requires of you? What it will mean for your life?

I think many folks, including those outside the millennial generation, think of that CMO or senior vice president job they want so badly and they think of the positives.

The bigger salary.

The credibility and respect they’ll get.

The power they’ll have.

But, rarely do people discuss and think about the drawbacks.

Let’s count them:

* The long, long hours. Unforgiving hours.

* The relentless pressure from management and senior executives to perform.

* The days in back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings (but still having work to do at your desk).

* The loneliness of no longer having as many (if any) peers.

* The toll the job may take on your family or personal life.

* The fact that you are usually the first one in the office each morning and the last one to leave.

* The fact that happy hour is a thing of the past.

* The fact that you will eat lunch at your desk for the rest of eternity (IF you eat lunch).

* Those pilates classes you hit over the lunch hour–yeah, those are history, my friend.

* And, politics–oh, the politics.

I don’t say this to scare you off. Only to paint a realistic picture of these senior-level jobs–because I don’t think many other folks are doing this. They only paint the rosy picture of what these jobs look like–they don’t talk about the dark sides.

Still want that corner office dream job?

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25 comments on “Millennials: Are you sure you want that corner office job?

  1. MattLaCasse says:

    JasMollica Hey buddy! You doing well? We’ve got snow in the forecast again this week. Someone forgot to tell God this ain’t Buffalo.

  2. JasMollica says:

    MattLaCasse Doing well! Loving the photos of the baby you post. She’s adorable! 🙂
    Don’t worry Ma Nature is playing the joke here too.

  3. PRMurewa says:

    tressalynne arikhanson I think most millennials expect the unforgiving hours and the missed family celebrations with the corner office.

  4. PRMurewa says:

    tressalynne arikhanson we still want it. We’ve seen too many success stories to not want the corner office. #npprsa #newpros #youngpros

  5. arikhanson says:

    PRMurewa That’s good, because I don’t 😉 Price tag far too hefty…

  6. arikhanson says:

    PRMurewa I think part of it has to do with life circumstances, too. As those change, so does your perspective.

  7. PRMurewa says:

    arikhanson what if you substitute executive CMO position with an entrepreneurial CEO position. Isn’t that still a corner office position?

  8. PRMurewa says:

    True! RT arikhanson PRMurewa I think part of it has to do with life circumstances, too. As those change, so does your perspective.

  9. tressalynne says:

    PRMurewa I hear you, Murewa, but what looks good now, may not look so good in 5-7 years ;). cc arikhanson

  10. Nikki Little says:

    Not sure I ever want that corner office, but I know I want to figure out what “my all” is (hat tip to Heather Whaling for her “Define it All” project”). And “my all” definitely includes balancing a family and a career. I don’t know in what capacity yet because I’m all of one month into being a new parent, but I’m determined to find balance and to make it work. And I don’t plan on getting rid of my management position simply because I’m now a parent.

  11. PRMurewa says:

    tressalynne arikhanson quite true.

  12. _angelojones says:

    tressalynne arikhanson I have to admit, I never considered the con’s of the corner office. This article really made some good points. #PR

  13. tressalynne says:

    _angelojones That’s exactly why I always like “devil’s advocate” articles–makes you think 🙂 arikhanson

  14. LandonCLedford says:

    nikki_little arikhanson Nope. 🙂

  15. nikki_little says:

    LandonCLedford Corner office isn’t for everyone, and it’s not the only way to define success. cc arikhanson

  16. MattLaCasse says:

    JasMollica Shenanigans I say. SHENANIGANS!!!

  17. colinize says:

    So, what’s the alternative? Other then setting out on your own?

  18. markdgmz says:

    catherinekaram I have the corner cubicle!

  19. catherinekaram says:

    markdgmz So do I! You just have more window than I do.

  20. rockstarjen says:

    For all the reasons you list, the other big costs may just be other parts of your life, and your health. I know most of us don’t think of it that way when we’re in our twenties, but things fly by if you let them. Work was my life. If things were great at work, I was on the moon. If  we had a bad day, I was depressed. If all of your energy is going to your job, with no room for anything else – fun, love, activity – it eventually takes its toll. You may want it, once you get it pay close attention of whether or not it *truly* is what you want.

  21. arikhanson says:

    @colinize Not everyone can have the corner office. That’s why it’s the corner office. I don’t think you have to be the VP or CMO to be successful. Plenty of people who I deem pretty darn successful work at the account supervisor or manager level and they’re leading what I’m guessing is a pretty fulfilling life.

  22. arikhanson says:

    @Nikki Little That’s the “life circumstances” part, which may be the biggest factor, really. Like @rockstarjen said above, when you’re 25 the world is your oyster. Work is your life. When you’re 35 with 2 kids, things are a whole lot different. When you’re 55 and your kids are older but you’re taking care of your parents, they’re different again. Life just intervenes sometimes–and we all have to adapt.

  23. KevinWatterson says:


  24. kimberlymccabe says:

    I’m not sure it has to be that way. I have seen people in senior positions have balance in their work and personal lives. It is entirely possible and perhaps, like any position, depends on the company you work for.

  25. AdamPalmMe says:

    The stress is at a new level, that’s why they make more money. It’s worth it though!