I’ve seen so many posts on here bitch and moan about war stories or back to back to back all-nighters in the office prepping for a client meeting that ultimately didn’t happen or dealing with a huge jerkoff of a boss that I thought we could all talk about something a little more positive for our respective jobs. When did you know you actually belonged?
Wayne Gretzky was quoted early in his career as saying one of the greatest feelings playing in the NHL wasn't setting scoring records or receiving accolades but gaining that sense he belonged in the big leagues. As a teenager drafted to play in 1979, he didn't win his first Stanley Cup until 1984 but came in with pretty big expectations. Not to go off on too much of the “sports to business” tangent, but you could draw some parallels to a freshly minted ivy leaguer who joins a bank/pe fund/hedge fund as someone in a similar situation.
Did you ever have a moment that allowed you to really find that you’re in the right place and doing the right things?
I’ve had a few in my career. Early on, at any networking event I was definitely the awkward young guy that no one really wanted to talk to. Over time though as I made meaningful impacts in the work of others that are very highly respected in the industry I started to gain a reputation somewhat as a go-to guy here and there. Once I had the first deal close that I was working on, I think that might have been the best feeling in the world. I did something meaningful. I helped a guy cash out of his business and sold a great asset to a firm that might be able to really execute well on their strategy to grow going forward. That one is an easy one to pick out though.
A few years later I was invited to have a seat at the table of an off-site managing directors meeting to discuss firm strategy for the next 2-3 years. I didn't want to make myself look like an idiot so I figured I wouldn't have a prominent part here, just sit in and learn something. As it turns out they treated me like one of their own and seemed to genuinely value my thoughts on the various topics discussed. That was another great moment to remind myself that I’m making an impact.
What about all of you? Have you had similar stories where you pulled the rabbit out of the hat or had an otherwise amazing realization that you’re kicking some ass and people are actually taking notice of it? I would love to hear some positive victories in an otherwise high-pressure and high-stakes industry.