By the time I’d left, I’d spent nearly ten years doing it. Every morning, I was awake shortly after five o’clock. Before seven, I was at my desk, at least one cup of coffee already drunk, and several more on their way.
The day I finally quit was like any other, but the week preceding it wasn’t. Earlier that week, an arrogant and important client had sworn at me. Specifically, he’d told me I was stupid, “f-cking stupid”. But that wasn’t what bothered me. On trading floors, everyone gets sworn at. What incensed me, to the point of very taboo tears, was that he’d hung up on me. I don’t know about you, but there’s something so profoundly ill-mannered about putting the phone down on someone else’s voice. It’s just completely…dismissive.
Anyway, having spent the last several years frustrated and near my own boiling point, it was this act of dismissive arrogance that pushed me to the edge. And it was a third shot of tequila that evening that finally pushed me over it.
“If you stay in banking,” my best friend Meghan said to me that night at a Mexican bar in Manhattan’s West Village, “one thing can happen.” She paused for effect, and went on. “But if you go, anything can happen.” Stunned into silent contemplation, I looked out the window at the blizzard that was putting its finishing touches on blanketing the city in a soft white.
This blog is part of a series about changing careers and following dreams. To read prior posts, click on the following links: