The signs were all there.
I wasn't a great student in college, but it wasn't the content of the work that killed me. It was the little things like attendance, being on time to things, paying attention to the instructor, setting aside time to study, and following the instructions provided.
I got no offers out of college - not that I tried; as a C student from a state school, why bother with formal undergraduate programs? But I never gave up, and now I'm a quantitative analyst in the sales trading arm of a top IB, and I'm looking to make a move next year that could almost double my six-figure salary.
So why the long face?
You've all read this before somewhere, but here it is again: life comes at you. Hard.
Some recent failures and family events have had me rethinking what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. The basic takeaway for me is that I'm not happy, and all the signs are there just as they were in college.
- I take days off. "Sick days" that are really "fuck this" days
- I don't have as many office friends as I used to. Lunch used to be fun, now I spend it reading Axios
- I get in a little later and leave exactly when I'm supposed to, no more "extra 45 minutes"
- I spend my time dreaming of some fantastic escape. Most recently I thought of opening a bar
I never used to be this guy. I used to be in early and out late, always on time, always in attendance, always focused. But it just isn't there anymore because of one thing: none of the people I want to be around are in this field. Everybody in banking has the same story: graduate around 22, party until 25, relationship until 30, get married, start going to wine bars, have some kids, nurse your travel/scuba diving/skiing hobby along the way, then open a 529 for your kids and live happily ever after.
I can't stand the fact that I can't talk about my Tinder escapades at work because some wife 3 rows away will be offended. And why can't I speak openly about smoking some dank shit? Hell, why can't I just light up any time I want? How come going to a lame Christmas party is an unspoken mandatory, as if pretending to be cool with my boss's boss's boss brings any meaning to my life other than him remembering me for a raise? The tattoo artist with 100k followers on Instagram is having a way better time than I am, and she owns her own business. The guy who moved to Thailand and runs a men's coaching business bringing in $90k USD annually experiences a quality of life worth 5X my measly existence in NYC, and he works an hour a day.
Some time last year I began developing a plan: I'd save up cash and switch to full-time entrepreneurship by age 35, and I'd be financially independent entirely by age 40. The idea was to put my skills to use as a consultant or to run a small trading operation. But I see now that that was just a subconscious admission that I wanted out. There's nothing I can't do now that I'd be better off doing at 35, added financial/social capital notwithstanding. I already did a tech boot camp that was intended to land me a cushy startup job I could ride out long-term, and somehow wound up in banking. I just wasn't listening to myself.
Has this happened to any of you? What did you do? I'm curious to hear the background of several monkeys in particular who I believe wound up deviating from some version of "the path": @thebrofessor , @Isaiah_53_5 , @GoldenCinderblock .
I currently have some financial burdens that prevent me from outright leaving. Right now the plan is to pay my shit off, get some bonus money in play, and finish grad school (one of my life goals that I'm actually passionate about). Once I have the financial capital, I'm looking to GTFO.