This is always a weird subject matter to bring up, but lets just do it anyway.
If you look at someone in my Mother’s generation, she would point out that with diplomacy, comes great status. My Father would have argued otherwise. My Mother relished in her new fake status of wife of, when my Father became Ambassador. She loved that doors were opened for her, they were always invited out, and she got special treatment everywhere she went. She forgot that, we were living in a developing country, and most of those doors were opened simply because someone wanted something from my Father.
When I began working at Foreign Affairs, there were 3 things I noticed. 1.)No one in the capital cared about me as a person, they cared about my job. i.e. they either wanted it, or wanted something from the department. I gained no real friends. 2) My Mother loved that I had the potential of giving her a “fake status” again. Yeah, well, I love my Mother, but she is pretty focussed on the shallow. 3) No matter how hard I worked, my bosses got the glory, they got the praise, the respect, and doors were opened for them, not me.
Anyone outside of the government looked upon diplomats as nothing more than champagne drinking, canape eating idiots, who did no work. There was absolutely no status outside of the government circle, and I mean non. I was actually spat on once.
In this weird world, it wasn’t about your income (the rest of the world may operate on that notion), but on your title. If you could pack your c.v with fancy titles, you had more status, more pull, and you were on the inside.
Growing up, I had no notion that I had status of any kind. Maybe because, my Father never thought he personally had any. He always thought of himself as the gatekeeper, or the temporary holder of a job that was bestowed on him. He himself, realized that when you become Ambassador, the stress far outweighed any status that you thought you might have in the lower levels.
When I began to open my eyes to the inside of the environment I was working in, I didn’t want status. I wanted happiness.