There’s a trend and belief in the FIRE world that the purpose of work is to earn enough to be able to quit and then focus on doing the things you love. Inherent in this belief is the assumption that work is unfulfilling, unlovable and a drudge.
I’ve been in investment banking IT for over two decades now. This is a result of my first job being in a bank, and the rest following the same path. It is probably too late to change now; no other employer will credit my experience sufficiently. There are times I wonder what my career would have been like if I’d joined a startup or a product firm as my first job, but in the cold light of day, I have little to regret.
A lot of that comes from the projects I’ve worked on. Most of my career has been working in front-office capital market teams, building pre-trade, trading and post-trade systems. I find the field endlessly fascinating. There’s so much nuance to how each product and market operate, and so much variation in how each bank has taken the same objectives and patterns and grown their garden of systems organically. The systems themselves are complex, the bar for reliability high, and the rate of change in products, growth and regulations tremendous. I could be in the same role for five years, but doing completely different things every year.
This thought came to mind as I settle into my new role. There’s over twenty years of learning I have to come to terms with; the architecture diagram is forbiddingly large and complex, but instead of feeling trepidation, I feel excited for the opportunity to learn a relatively (for me) new field and build enough knowledge that I can shape my firm’s approach to it.
All this, and getting paid well for it :)
Image Courtesy Ian Schneider on Unsplash