Because of my background in economics, the tale of Lehman Brothers, has been drilled into the back of my brain. I was studying Global Banking in 2008, so the collapse provided for excellent fodder for my lecturer, who consistently ran over time.
However for those that do not know who they are, the gist of the story is that they were one of the first of the financial institutions to fail in 2008 during the unravelling subprime mortgage crisis.
My reaction to this was a little peculiar, I am a little ashamed to admit this, however I felt a little bit smug. Around five months prior to their collapse I attended a very intense interview for an American company. Although the job advertisement was a little cryptic, the salary that they were offering popped from the screen like a carrot dangling above my head.
So along I went to this interview, one of many I had attended during this time. I sat in the waiting room, nervously reflecting on my resume and strengths. The interviewer was nice enough, he asked few questions and I asked if he would be able to tell me who this company was? He told me that wasn't possible, I asked if I could take a guess? The look on his face when I said Lehman Brothers was so satisfying. He said that I was the only person to have guessed who the company was. Surely my fantastic googling skills would transfer to financial analysis? I had it in the bag.
He asked a few more questions and proceeded to leave me with the most difficult problem solving questions I had ever encountered. He set a timer for one hour on the desk and left me to wonder what on earth I was doing?
It is probably one of the only times in my life that I have felt defeated. These questions was so perplexing, it would have been more productive to have counted the threads in the carpet. That too would have been just as difficult, so I did the only thing I knew how to do. Write whatever came to mind and spend the rest of my time staring out the window and deciding what I could do.
Here's what I worked out:
- I certainly did not want to clean windows on skyscrapers. I watched a man dangle from the building across from me, flinching every time he swung from floor to floor.
- I hate problems, they are just that, problematic and frustrating. Why would I want to become a professional problem solver? Some might argue that's what an economist is, however I think they are best described as scientists of life. Puke! My political econ tutor would be proud.
- I love fashion, economics, blogging, the internet, entrepreneurship and information. It was no surprise that my favourite subject at university was Information Economics. It delved into social media and the new economy and studied how the flow of information is best utilised.
- These loves would be very difficult to combine. However I would do my best.
Moral of the story..don't do what you think sounds impressive. It will more than likely crumble around you. Try and figure out what it is you like doing, seeing, listening to or reading about and try to form a job that way.
So what are the things that you love? Do your interests sum to your career? Try listing them below, it's always advantageous to write things down. It will help you to visualise things and form a clear picture.