Nov 302015

30% of my life spent working already... Time flies when you're plodding along...

30% of my life spent working already… Time flies when you’re plodding along…

On the 1st of December 2005 I started my first full-time job.

Tomorrow that will be exactly 10 years ago.

10 years of doing more-or-less the same thing; building quantitative models for financial institutions. First as consultant, then internally with a bank and finally as a freelancer (oh and there was a year in between for travel as well).

Ten years represents a big investment. And I’ve gotten to be quite good at what I do (as I should; 8 hours per day, 250 days per year, comes down to some 20,000 hours, enough to become a master twice over (according to Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers)). Yes, every new assignment, every model will have its own specific difficulties and challenges, but they still tend to be of the same type (““No I don’t know why that data point is missing…” and ”I need that analysis now!”). And I’m recognized as being good at this, at least if I consider what companies are willing to pay for a few hours of my time.

Now I’m considering moving away from all of this.

Does that mean that a 10 year investment is lost, wasted?

I most certainly won’t be spending my time trying to predict fraud losses anymore (I sincerely hope!). So yes, a lot of the specifics I won’t be using again.

I do believe however that a lot of the generalities are transferrable; people skills, self-confidence, project management, time management, people management (just not risk management!). In that sense it’s like picking up a new language: The more you already know the easier it becomes; ”Ah, this word is just like that other word in English. And this grammatical construction is similar to the one in Swahili!”

Secondly, it’s much easier to learn something new than it is to learn more of the old. There are guidebooks, people you can ask, websites to help you get from level 0 to level 1 for just about everything, but to get from level 9 to 10 you need to make your own mistakes and solve the problems the hard way.

If I keep up this rhythm I can have four careers in the normal allotment of 40 working years. Not sure whether that makes me happy or sad…
So for me doing something new after 10 years seems like a very logical step. Yes, I’ll be losing the very nice income I’ve been enjoying over the past few years. But money and luxery are a very inefficient way to happiness. Experiences and challenge are far more worthwhile (for me at least).

10 years. I had fun. I learned a lot.

Now it’s time for something new.

Have you made any radical changes in your life? How did that work out? Were they worth it?

Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

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