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You’re Not Dead But You Ain’t Alive Either Sunday, 4 May 2008

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.

That was a phrase in the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman of the Sandman comics (which I absolutely love) fame. And that’s how i feel sometimes. Although i do not complain about my life, I don’t really find it exactly exciting either. It’s the same at the work front. Before joining the industry, i was full of hope and looking forward to a role in finance and investment banking. But soon after joining, I wondered if there’s any prospect for further advancement especially in other areas within the bank. Quite a number of people have left to try their hands in other areas of banking only because they have found it difficult to move internally. The common thing about them i noticed is that they have all got a number of years experience before jumping ship. While the thought of staying put in a back office role seems rather unpalatable and with precious time slipping past ever so quickly, maybe I don’t have much of a choice but to duely clock my time too.

Recently i’ve read about the ancient Chinese art of divinity called Ba Zi (translated as Eight Characters or Eight Pillars). It basically provides a snapshot of one’s life using one’s date and time of birth. An elementary check on my own showed that i’m prone to feeling discontented and conflicted even if there’s no reason to feel so. And that is actually pretty accurate. I’ve always been too sensitive about what I see and hear for my own good. And I’m always wondering if I am doing what I really want to do. I wondered if this explains the state of mind I’m in right now or the fact that I think I’m not doing something I want to that is causing my mild unhappiness. Yet, when I reflect upon my life, I realise that I have done and experience many things that not many people might have and so I should be rather contented. But this contentment is akin to being not dead and not alive. Conflicted, right? I think the best thing to do is to ignore all these feelings and hang on for a while longer to learn whatever I can before contemplating on my next step. I guess that’s the only logical thing I can do.


1. GB - Monday, 5 May 2008

You’re an intelligent guy DL so if your current role isn’t stretching you sufficiently, you should be planning your next move now. Of course, the plan could be to stay in your current role to gain experience, none the less it’s good to have a plan!

GB xxx

2. dragonzlad - Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Thanks GB =)
I have several plans in fact but not all are feasible due to monetary concerns. I also thought of leaving (but after clocking a year) to do (real) investment banking with a local bank as I was advised that it might be easier than a bulge bracket bank. I’ve also thought of joining the wealth management industry as it is booming in Asia right now even despite the subprime crisis. The unknown can be frightening (can I do the job? Do i really want to start all over again? can I manage the long hours and balance that with personal and family life? etc). I’m still weighing my pros and cons!

3. Hummingbird in Hyde - Monday, 19 May 2008

I do think 1 year is perfect time to master and stay in any role. I’m in my 2nd role since getting into London and my interviewers thought 1 year was just right. Good luck. x.

4. dragonzlad - Monday, 19 May 2008

Thanks Hummingbird. 🙂

5. Sir Wobin - Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Discontent is a standard part of human experience. Nothing will ever satisfy us indefinitely. Just as well change is also part of the standard package…

6. dragonzlad - Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Very true Sir Wobin. But some people have a knack of being contented and happy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t come easily to me!

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