Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sacrifice (Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Tolerate my Job)

Like most people, I hate my job. Maybe "hate" is too strong a word. "Dissatisfied", "disillusioned", "dismayed" may all be more appropriate. The absence of career opportunity or development, the lack of personal satisfaction, the very limited opportunity for advancement or incentives - all contributing factors which make me think "what the fuck am I doing here", every day?

I know I'm not alone. 

I once worked with a guy who abandoned his promising career in corporate finance to head up the R&D team of a highly profitable investment research institute in the UK. He loved it. They loved him. He made a shitload of money, and got to work on some really interesting and challenging engagements. Then his work visa ran out, and he went back to his homeland. He's pretty much where he started - a pencil pusher in the undeniably benign world of corporate finance and banking. 

Now this guy is super smart and could have chosen any number of avenues to further develop his career. Hell, he could have probably become a silent partner in any one of his clients' firms. Started his own consultancy. Invest his considerable savings into the money markets and become a full-time trader. Whatever. Instead, he decided to play it safe and return to a full-time role with a bank where his income is guaranteed. Why? 

I don't know. 

Maybe he's learned to curb his natural drive, and plan for the future. Think about it: he spent the last 7 years aiming for the top, and when he got there, he decided "fuck these people - I can do better than this". I'm not sure but I suspect he's probably sitting back in his cushy day-job and formulating his master plan for world domination. Despite his limited income opportunities at the bank, I have no doubt this guy will be a millionaire many times over before he's 40. 

"Sacrifice" is too laden a word for gifting a few years of your stale career in exchange for planning and implementing higher goals. 

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