Not everybody yearns to climb the career ladder. As Ian Wylie explores in an excellent piece in last Saturday's Guardian newspaper, there are many highly-qualified individuals who happily reject the strictures of the Western work ethic and work only to live.
Being happily underemployed runs counter to the prevailing wisdom that passion should be as common in the workplace as in the bedroom. These people are passionate - just not about their work. They reserve their passion for pursuits outside of work, whether it's amateur dramatics, playing in a band, film-making, painting or rock-climbing. So long as they earn just enough to service their debts and finance their hobbies, the happily underemployed are willing to forgo working a "fulfilling" 80-hour week for fun, satisfying lives outside the office.