• Sharebar

I just wanted to reply to a few of the comments on my first post... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/life-after-i...

1. I don't know what else I could do
The picture on this post is an entry I wrote in my journal one hour after walking of the door of the bank.

You don't have to know what you want to do, you don't have to have it all figured out already. People in IBD, in my experience, tend to be unusually risk averse, therefore before quitting (or starting) they want to be able to do some mathematical calculation of happiness in banking = x + y + z, happiness in something else = A + B + C, they want it assured, they want the plan tight and nailed down. I was the same, before the extremity of the situation I was in pushed that mentality out of me. I'm advocating a different way of approaching life, and that's based on the knowledge you can do anything.

You can do anything, no matter how ridiculous it might sound to you now. If you spent even half the hours you spent getting into banking working in anything else you could achieve success in that thing. You've already done it many times in your life, you learnt to walk, talk, you made friends, you got various CV enhancing things under your belt, you can do something else!

A lot of people said they don't know what their passion is. Genuinely, neither did I, music was a coincidence and one that could only have happened with the freedom I had after breaking the chains which weighed me down and clouded my mind and 'self'. When I quit, I didn't know what I would do, but I knew that I could do 'something'! My musical ability isn't a lucky accident, and I've developed ten fold since I left banking as a result of eating, drinking and sleeping music. If you don't know which direction you want to take that's okay, just have faith you'll find out.

2. How do you find your passion?
Pack a backpack and travel. The more you move, the more you move. You will blow your mind meeting the most weird and wonderful people in the most unbelievable situations. You'll meet people living lifestyles you never dreamed possible, based on totally alien values. Then you'll find your place.

3. A job is a job, I got bills to pay
I can't speak for the pressures that come with having a family, and I can't begin to imagine how this changes the equation. I have to stress that I'm in a place with no dependents, and that's kind of the only group I feel qualified to talk to. Though that said, I have to make one key point. This isn't a choice between having money and poverty. Leaving banking doesn't mean you're broke! You don't 'need' the amount of money you think you do, and you aren't as poor as you fear when you step out of the box of your comfort zone. This is fear talking louder than reason, and like I said and keep saying, it takes faith in yourself. You CAN do ANYTHING, you can achieve success in this, and probably will become richer (in more ways than one) as a result of doing something you love and are excited about, though I don't think this ought to be the motivation. Love and passion and happiness comes first, huge money is a nice perk (not one I've experienced yet!).

As a small side note, my brother recently quit a job and started his own business (in a similar industry to the one he worked in) at 34 years old with a family - it's a much bigger risk, but he wanted to be a role model to his child and he's doing well, because he's got more motivation and drive and fire in him than he ever had before.

4. I love banking, your being condescending
To those happy in banking; I didn't want to sound condescending, I just wanted to put some force behind my words. I'm addressing you as the intelligent people you are, I'm not shitting on you, I'm just telling MY story and the lesson I've learned from my time in the industry. Banking helped me find my perspective of the nature of a lot of things; money, prestige, success, material, love, happiness, passion, satisfaction etc. I came to realise that it offered significantly less than what I felt it promised, and took significantly more. I'm sure that there are empassioned happy bankers, and my tip my hat to these people, but experience tells me that this is a very very rare breed. I met far more people who were unhappy but felt trapped. I'm talking to those people, and telling them it's okay to feel this way. Life is short, react, take a leap!

Conclusion
The point I'm trying to hammer home is people are able to do much more than they believe they can, much more than they believe is even possible, and they get there by changing that belief. Perhaps I'm ramming that point too hard. I just really really believe in it. You can do anything! Anything!

When you make a decision with all your passion - this is who I am, this is where I want to be - the world will get out of your way, and you'll discover happiness! That's all I wanted to share. I really don't want to offend anyone who is already happy, I don't want to patronise intelligent people, I just wanted to tell people my experience, my story and my perspective and share some lessons I'd learnt.

All my love, sincerely,
Stephen

4

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Comments (26)

  • Nefarious-'s picture

    We all appreciate your posts, but I have to be the douchebag and do this as it is a huge pet peeve of mine and you have been doing this consistently through your posts.

    "Your" shows possession and "You're" is a contraction meaning "You are."

    Please, for the love of god, use them appropriately.

    You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

  • ken_wso's picture

    Thanks for sharing, Stephen

  • HFFBALLfan123's picture

    You did live in London, which is kind of a shithole, maybe some correlation between that and unhappiness... Otherwise, awesome write-up, kudos...

  • BeenPrepping's picture

    why werent you able to save more than 15,000?

  • UFOinsider's picture

    Thanks for sharing and good luck. Look back on your time in IBD as a learning experience. Your 20's aren't supposed to be the high point of life, they are the starting point of adult life, remember this. Also, take the same self honesty with you to music: it's a business, make no mistake about that, and there's more pure talent, unbridled ambition ...and desperation... there than any other profession. My family history is in the arts and while not everyone makes it to global theater, you don't want to be the 40 year old working in a bar until they 'make it', so choose your path wisely. Between vagabond and banking slave, there are a huge spectrum of options that, sadly, aren't often discussed. You're in your 20's and you can take some risks, realize this will change. I once WAS YOU (not banking though, another focus) and can say with certainty that you will change as a person. You will grow in directions you can't forsee now, and the same desire to be rich and famous (which banking apparently didn't satisfy quickly and easily enough for you) will also be subject to alteration. There is nothing wrong with wanting to 'make it big', and if I sound a little jaded it's because (1) I haven't yet (2) it's not the only thing in life and (3) you will find that there's more to life than fortune and fame. Don't define yourself or your happiness by how much you achieve. Personally, I'd rather live a long and fulfilling life than have a billion dollars, be on the cover of a magazine, or bang a thousand women (I just need one). I sense that some part of you has come to terms with this, but you are young and naive and I actually envy you: you see the world with fresh eyes and I live within a somewhat hardened mindset. My point of view has certain benefits as well, which you will discover as you get older and your priorities change.

    Ultimately, I don't doubt that you will be successful at what you choose to do. I simply want to add that keeping the big picture of life in mind, even if in the very back corner, will serve you better than any career achievement, in banking, entertainment, or anything else. WHY you do things will matter every bit as much as WHAT you do.

    Drop a post here at some point to keep us posted. You're an interesting person and I wish you the best of all possible luck.

    Get busy living

  • happypantsmcgee's picture

    The image of you playing piano in the lobby of your bank, suit all wrinkled and tie undone after another 20 hour day before you get into the cab to go home, longing to quit would be a great music video.

    I expect royalties

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • In reply to Nefarious-
    anonymousman's picture

    Nefarious-:
    We all appreciate your posts, but I have to be the douchebag and do this as it is a huge pet peeve of mine and you have been doing this consistently through your posts.

    "Your" shows possession and "You're" is a contraction meaning "You are."

    Please, for the love of god, use them appropriately.

    Haha dude I only did it once, but I apologise! Corrected! I can hear my old English teacher writhe!

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  • SC911's picture
  • M Friedman's picture

    yelllowww diamonds in the rough

  • Powa23's picture

    Thanks again and keep them coming ! As many people here on WSO are college kids, I'm sure they'll appreciate a spectrum of views

  • Downeasta's picture

    Great post man, I wish you the best.

  • cyoungmark's picture

    This post actually answered a question I've been dealing with personally and actually made a post about recently. I've decided focus more on building and managing a fund; I have extreme passion about the markets and this post helped me realize banking/accounting (or anything from the sell side) isn't the right way to express that passion.

    Thanks for the help sir. I also thought it was humorous how the piano in the lobby was like foreshadowing your future career; a book could be written about your story.

  • finger_me_elmo's picture

    +1 you aren't a sheep like many people on this forum

    Whats the matter? Scared of my little red fuzzy anus? Don't be shy,let me show you the way, give me your hand and I will take you to paradise <3

    Kind Regards,

    ElmElm

  • Aero's picture

    anonymousman:
    I just wanted to reply to a few of the comments on my first post... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/life-after-i...

    1. I don't know what else I could do
    The picture on this post is an entry I wrote in my journal one hour after walking of the door of the bank.

    You don't have to know what you want to do, you don't have to have it all figured out already. People in IBD, in my experience, tend to be unusually risk averse, therefore before quitting (or starting) they want to be able to do some mathematical calculation of happiness in banking = x + y + z, happiness in something else = A + B + C, they want it assured, they want the plan tight and nailed down. I was the same, before the extremity of the situation I was in pushed that mentality out of me. I'm advocating a different way of approaching life, and that's based on the knowledge you can do anything.

    You can do anything, no matter how ridiculous it might sound to you now. If you spent even half the hours you spent getting into banking working in anything else you could achieve success in that thing. You've already done it many times in your life, you learnt to walk, talk, you made friends, you got various CV enhancing things under your belt, you can do something else!

    A lot of people said they don't know what their passion is. Genuinely, neither did I, music was a coincidence and one that could only have happened with the freedom I had after breaking the chains which weighed me down and clouded my mind and 'self'. When I quit, I didn't know what I would do, but I knew that I could do 'something'! My musical ability isn't a lucky accident, and I've developed ten fold since I left banking as a result of eating, drinking and sleeping music. If you don't know which direction you want to take that's okay, just have faith you'll find out.

    2. How do you find your passion?
    Pack a backpack and travel. The more you move, the more you move. You will blow your mind meeting the most weird and wonderful people in the most unbelievable situations. You'll meet people living lifestyles you never dreamed possible, based on totally alien values. Then you'll find your place.

    [b]When you make a decision with all your passion - this is who I am, this is where I want to be - the world will get out of your way, and you'll discover happiness! That's all I wanted to share. I really don't want to offend anyone who is already happy, I don't want to patronise intelligent people, I just wanted to tell people my experience, my story and my perspective and share some lessons I'd learnt. [/b]

    All my love, sincerely,
    Stephen

    I'm a little confused, as the bolded part seems inconsistent with the above. You're saying you can make a drastic decision like to quit a banking job if you apply all your passion to it. However, before you say that you don't need to know what your passion is before taking that step, that you can find your passion with your new found freedom. Could you please explain?

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    MBAApply's picture

    UFOinsider:
    Thanks for sharing and good luck. Look back on your time in IBD as a learning experience. Your 20's aren't supposed to be the high point of life, they are the starting point of adult life, remember this. Also, take the same self honesty with you to music: it's a business, make no mistake about that, and there's more pure talent, unbridled ambition ...and desperation... there than any other profession. My family history is in the arts and while not everyone makes it to global theater, you don't want to be the 40 year old working in a bar until they 'make it', so choose your path wisely. Between vagabond and banking slave, there are a huge spectrum of options that, sadly, aren't often discussed. You're in your 20's and you can take some risks, realize this will change. I once WAS YOU (not banking though, another focus) and can say with certainty that you will change as a person. You will grow in directions you can't forsee now, and the same desire to be rich and famous (which banking apparently didn't satisfy quickly and easily enough for you) will also be subject to alteration. There is nothing wrong with wanting to 'make it big', and if I sound a little jaded it's because (1) I haven't yet (2) it's not the only thing in life and (3) you will find that there's more to life than fortune and fame. Don't define yourself or your happiness by how much you achieve. Personally, I'd rather live a long and fulfilling life than have a billion dollars, be on the cover of a magazine, or bang a thousand women (I just need one). I sense that some part of you has come to terms with this, but you are young and naive and I actually envy you: you see the world with fresh eyes and I live within a somewhat hardened mindset. My point of view has certain benefits as well, which you will discover as you get older and your priorities change.

    Ultimately, I don't doubt that you will be successful at what you choose to do. I simply want to add that keeping the big picture of life in mind, even if in the very back corner, will serve you better than any career achievement, in banking, entertainment, or anything else. WHY you do things will matter every bit as much as WHAT you do.

    Drop a post here at some point to keep us posted. You're an interesting person and I wish you the best of all possible luck.

    Pretty much agreed.

    It's interesting because I saw my own attitudes change as well over time. I went through a similar thing as Stephen did (I won't bore you with my story, but it's a similar sort of "screw this shit, I'm going after my dreams"), and it's been about eight years since that time. And yes, the 20s are hardly a golden era - it's just the beginning of what is hopefully a long adult life.

  • MBAApply's picture

    Stephen,

    I am glad you have found your calling, you're going after it, and that you feel great about it.

    What I will say though is this. Deciding to "go after your dreams" is a simple and profound principle to live by, but over time trying to follow through on that dream is where things get much more complicated and ambiguous. If it were that easy to actually realize what you dreamed about, everyone would do it. I used to shit on people who didn't follow through on their dreams (or struggled to know what they really wanted) - and while I *still* encourage folks (especially risk-averse finance/corporate/MBA types) to take more risks, I totally understand if they are unwilling or afraid, because that fear while in some cases is unfounded, in other cases it is a very understandable instinct based on survival. It's f*cking hard. As UFOinsider said, there are multiple ways to have a happy and fulfilling life - pursuing your dreams is just *one* way.

    Stephen, I wish you all the best. I really do. I made a similar leap a while ago. Just know that making that initial leap, as hard as it is, is the easiest part. The hardest part will be sustaining it -- and oftentimes that has little to do with talent or even passion/willingness. You've just gotten engaged, maybe even just had the wedding - but it's the marriage that is the hardest part. The "I do" is just the beginning. There WILL be times in this journey where it will test your willingness to stick with it (and there's no shame in hanging 'em up either if you feel it's not worth it).

    Over time, if you haven't already, you WILL meet other musicians and industry folk who will be just as jaded and contemptuous of what they do as bankers/ex-bankers are of finance/Wall Street. Even in film/music/tv/entertainment, a lot of performers/artists still struggle to find meaning or fulfillment in what they do, and there are still a lot of hard tradeoffs one has to make between paying the bills and doing the kind of work that got you inspired to take the leap in the first place.

    If you are going to stick it out for the long-term, know that it has nothing to do with talent, hard work, or even "who you know" -- and it has everything to do with how you respond to despair. Because like just about any musician, actor, writer, filmmaker, etc. - you will face many of those moments both creatively, financially, emotionally and physically.

    Whatever happens, I hope you can learn that the most rewarding part isn't whether you've achieved "success" by any measure - but that it was the process itself of going after what you really believed in, which will give you a wisdom about yourself that hopefully you can carry on into other aspects of your life as you get older and/or find other interests on top of music as well.

    Whatever your level of external success, you'll be in for one hell of a ride - and as much as banking sucked and how miserable it was for you -- be prepared for what will be an even tougher life that could be filled with even greater moments of misery and despair simply because you're now doing something that you absolutely love - and when you care about something that much, any setback will only amplify how you feel no matter how steely you are on the outside. "Going after your dreams" especially that of an artist is a very hard life, but one that *can* be worth it if you love it enough. Having said that, I would hope that you can be open to the fact that whatever it is you're looking for (fulfillment, happiness, meaning, etc.) may not necessarily be what you think it is now. That open-mindedness will give you the best chance of not becoming so jaded that you not only lose the love of "pursuing a music career" but lose the love of music itself. That's the saddest part - seeing people who hate the "industry" or making a living from it to the point where once they leave, they stop playing altogether.

  • Voltaire X's picture

    What I took from this was that you should be yourself. Don't try to fit someone else's model of what "successful" is, do your own thing. You shouldn't go into finance just to be cool or rich, but at the same time you shouldn't quit your job to become a musician to be cool or rich, either. Do what you WANT to do. Also, this makes me want to stay the fuck away from corporate finance at all costs.

    The way I look at things, I can always go into finance and quit later. I can always quit. However, 15 years from now, I don't want to be sitting around thinking to myself "What if I did pursue my goal of becoming a trader? Where would I be today? Would I have liked it?" There's really no reason for me not to try it out. Worst case scenario, I quit and find another career. Maybe as a journalist running around the front lines of whatever middle eastern country is being overthrown. Maybe I'd start my own medical marijuana collective. Who knows.

  • In reply to Aero
    anonymousman's picture

    Aero:
    anonymousman:
    I just wanted to reply to a few of the comments on my first post... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/life-after-i...

    1. I don't know what else I could do
    The picture on this post is an entry I wrote in my journal one hour after walking of the door of the bank.

    You don't have to know what you want to do, you don't have to have it all figured out already. People in IBD, in my experience, tend to be unusually risk averse, therefore before quitting (or starting) they want to be able to do some mathematical calculation of happiness in banking = x + y + z, happiness in something else = A + B + C, they want it assured, they want the plan tight and nailed down. I was the same, before the extremity of the situation I was in pushed that mentality out of me. I'm advocating a different way of approaching life, and that's based on the knowledge you can do anything.

    You can do anything, no matter how ridiculous it might sound to you now. If you spent even half the hours you spent getting into banking working in anything else you could achieve success in that thing. You've already done it many times in your life, you learnt to walk, talk, you made friends, you got various CV enhancing things under your belt, you can do something else!

    A lot of people said they don't know what their passion is. Genuinely, neither did I, music was a coincidence and one that could only have happened with the freedom I had after breaking the chains which weighed me down and clouded my mind and 'self'. When I quit, I didn't know what I would do, but I knew that I could do 'something'! My musical ability isn't a lucky accident, and I've developed ten fold since I left banking as a result of eating, drinking and sleeping music. If you don't know which direction you want to take that's okay, just have faith you'll find out.

    2. How do you find your passion?
    Pack a backpack and travel. The more you move, the more you move. You will blow your mind meeting the most weird and wonderful people in the most unbelievable situations. You'll meet people living lifestyles you never dreamed possible, based on totally alien values. Then you'll find your place.

    [b]When you make a decision with all your passion - this is who I am, this is where I want to be - the world will get out of your way, and you'll discover happiness! That's all I wanted to share. I really don't want to offend anyone who is already happy, I don't want to patronise intelligent people, I just wanted to tell people my experience, my story and my perspective and share some lessons I'd learnt. [/b]

    All my love, sincerely,
    Stephen

    I'm a little confused, as the bolded part seems inconsistent with the above. You're saying you can make a drastic decision like to quit a banking job if you apply all your passion to it. However, before you say that you don't need to know what your passion is before taking that step, that you can find your passion with your new found freedom. Could you please explain?

    Hey man,

    Perhaps a poor choice of words on my part. What I'm saying it that when you make a decision, firm and solid, you say who you are and where you're going to go. For me that was saying I am better than this life, I am capable of a happier life and I'm going to go and find my dream. I didn't know whether that would be writing (a big passion of mine) or music or travel or poker or starting a business. I didn't know which of these I'd do, which I'd enjoy or find success in. I accidentally fell into the music thing, and here I am giving it my best shot. I don't know if I'll still be doing this in 12-18 months, but I know that I've got a list as long as my arm of stuff I'm going to do before I find myself back at a desk for 15+ hours a day!

  • In reply to anonymousman
    Aero's picture

    anonymousman:
    Aero:
    anonymousman:
    I just wanted to reply to a few of the comments on my first post... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/life-after-i...

    1. I don't know what else I could do
    The picture on this post is an entry I wrote in my journal one hour after walking of the door of the bank.

    You don't have to know what you want to do, you don't have to have it all figured out already. People in IBD, in my experience, tend to be unusually risk averse, therefore before quitting (or starting) they want to be able to do some mathematical calculation of happiness in banking = x + y + z, happiness in something else = A + B + C, they want it assured, they want the plan tight and nailed down. I was the same, before the extremity of the situation I was in pushed that mentality out of me. I'm advocating a different way of approaching life, and that's based on the knowledge you can do anything.

    You can do anything, no matter how ridiculous it might sound to you now. If you spent even half the hours you spent getting into banking working in anything else you could achieve success in that thing. You've already done it many times in your life, you learnt to walk, talk, you made friends, you got various CV enhancing things under your belt, you can do something else!

    A lot of people said they don't know what their passion is. Genuinely, neither did I, music was a coincidence and one that could only have happened with the freedom I had after breaking the chains which weighed me down and clouded my mind and 'self'. When I quit, I didn't know what I would do, but I knew that I could do 'something'! My musical ability isn't a lucky accident, and I've developed ten fold since I left banking as a result of eating, drinking and sleeping music. If you don't know which direction you want to take that's okay, just have faith you'll find out.

    2. How do you find your passion?
    Pack a backpack and travel. The more you move, the more you move. You will blow your mind meeting the most weird and wonderful people in the most unbelievable situations. You'll meet people living lifestyles you never dreamed possible, based on totally alien values. Then you'll find your place.

    [b]When you make a decision with all your passion - this is who I am, this is where I want to be - the world will get out of your way, and you'll discover happiness! That's all I wanted to share. I really don't want to offend anyone who is already happy, I don't want to patronise intelligent people, I just wanted to tell people my experience, my story and my perspective and share some lessons I'd learnt. [/b]

    All my love, sincerely,
    Stephen

    I'm a little confused, as the bolded part seems inconsistent with the above. You're saying you can make a drastic decision like to quit a banking job if you apply all your passion to it. However, before you say that you don't need to know what your passion is before taking that step, that you can find your passion with your new found freedom. Could you please explain?

    Hey man,

    Perhaps a poor choice of words on my part. What I'm saying it that when you make a decision, firm and solid, you say who you are and where you're going to go. For me that was saying I am better than this life, I am capable of a happier life and I'm going to go and find my dream. I didn't know whether that would be writing (a big passion of mine) or music or travel or poker or starting a business. I didn't know which of these I'd do, which I'd enjoy or find success in. I accidentally fell into the music thing, and here I am giving it my best shot. I don't know if I'll still be doing this in 12-18 months, but I know that I've got a list as long as my arm of stuff I'm going to do before I find myself back at a desk for 15+ hours a day!

    Ah makes sense. More like you can make a drastic decision if you apply all your conviction to it. Thanks for the clarification.

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  • Hank Rearden's picture

    If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

    " If you have built castles in the
    air , your work need not be lost;
    that is where they should be .
    Now put the foundations under
    them." - Henry David Thoreau