Perhaps we’ve all gotten a little hungry for meaning. Participation in organized religion is falling, especially among American millennials. In San Francisco, where I live, I’ve noticed that the concept of productivity has taken on an almost spiritual dimension. Techies here have internalized the idea — rooted in the Protestant work ethic — that work is not something you do to get what you want; the work itself is all. Therefore any life hack or company perk that optimizes their day, allowing them to fit in even more work, is not just desirable but inherently good.

    Millennials, Ms. Petersen argues, are just desperately striving to meet their own high expectations. An entire generation was raised to expect that good grades and extracurricular overachievement would reward them with fulfilling jobs that feed their passions. Instead, they wound up with precarious, meaningless work and a mountain of student loan debt. And so posing as a rise-and-grinder, lusty for Monday mornings, starts to make sense as a defense mechanism.


If you work at a company that actually supports you, then hustle can be a good thing. If you work at a company that needlessly exploits you, then you should be using your hustle somewhere else.

I work at a bakery. I do 10 hour shifts that are almost all hustle and hard work. It is by no means my dream job, but you know what?

- I have benefits, and I get paid pretty fairly.

- I have a positive work environment.

- I have a boss that has my back.

I am more than willing to hustle for her, pick up extra shifts, help out, come in for meetings on my days off. Good companies give back.

posted 364 days ago