About six months ago I took my first full time job out of undergrad at a major investment bank in NYC. From a few months before graduation, and continuing with an ever increasing frequency since, people have asked if I’m nervous about losing my job. The easy answer is always, ‘no, I think my position is relatively secure’ – and indeed, without going into the justifications here, I think it is. There is, however, always the chance in this market that anything can happen and so I’m aware of the possibility that my job isn’t as secure as it might have been 18 months ago.
In the first few months of my life in “the real world” I spent a night or two lying awake contemplating the different ‘worst case’ scenarios: I lose my bonus and keep my job; I lose my job and get a new one; I lose my job and move in with my parents until I get a new one. I had one eye on Google Finance every day in September and October, and, unhappy with the near-instantaneous refreshes offered by Google’s real time updates, I must admit to on more than a few occasions tapping the F5 key obsessively. “Oh my god!” you might say (and I did), “How do you sleep at night?!” Here is where some perspective kicked in.
I’m 22 years old. My only expenses are rent and food. So my bonus is wiped away? So I don’t buy a TV next august. So I lose my job and find a new one? So I find something new and perhaps a little different to learn about. So I lose my job and move in with my parents? So I take the time to develop my interests while I wait out the job market for some new opportunities.
These are difficult times for a lot of people, and my sympathy goes out to those for whom real life obstacles get in the way of adjusting expectations so easily. I consider myself fortunate to have launched a career at such an historic time. Relatively speaking, I have little material on the line, and so my focus should be on taking advantage of a learning environment that comes around about once a century.
Now I get my market updates from a co-worker who sits in the bullpen adjacent to me. When something exciting happens I can usually count on him to shout it out. If it sounds interesting I’ll check it out on Google Finance. Hours go by (!) without me going to the site otherwise.