The Bigger Picture

I haven’t been blogging much the last few days, mostly because I haven’t been doing much. I’ve been spending a lot of time by the pool, walking the strip (through the shops and casinos) and playing online poker. I’m in holiday mode, entirely relaxed and rested, but I am looking forward to a change of tempo in the coming week. Emmy will be arriving here in a couple of days, which I have obviously been counting down to for some time. While I have enjoyed the trip on my own, the self-reliant being that I am, I’m still super desperate to have someone to share experiences with.

I have been building up to this blog for a while now and just kept putting it off. It won’t be for the faint of heart, so if you don’t really like me, stop reading now… but seriously, this could be an epic blog and is as much about me spewing this all out as wanting anyone to read it.

I decided to take this year off with the intention of achieving a few goals in my life that I want to do before I start a career, whatever it that may be. I was afraid that if I didn’t do things like come and play in the World Series of Poker, or go to a Red Sox game, I might never get the chance, at least not until a lot later in my life. Once I get back to Australia there are still a few things I want to tick off my life objectives list, the least of which includes running a marathon. With that being said, I still need to have one eye on the future and what I am going to do with my life beyond this year.

As I grew up, my vision of myself in the working world was always changing; I had a lot of interests which I could have seen myself going into career in. Sports writing, computers, multimedia, finance and probably a few others, but there was only one constant. I always dreamed of one day having my own business, being my own boss, working hard for my own dreams and passions. I figured that even if I went to work for a large or small company to begin with, that eventually I’d be equipped to start up my own business and spread my wings. Maybe that is still the plan, I don’t know. I’ve tried to set aside time on this trip to ponder the future and what I want from it, but I still haven’t really come up with much.

I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and I majored in Finance, an area that I find interesting and that I think I can be good at. I feel like my degree only gave me a glimpse of the theories and framework of the industry. Maybe it is a confidence thing, perhaps everyone feels this way, but I feel like I really don’t know that much. Well, it isn’t that I don’t know a lot of things; it is that I don’t have a depth of knowledge in any one area. When I think about so many things in my life, I get the feeling that I know a little bit about a lot of things, but there is nothing that I feel like I am anywhere near an expert in or at. Whether it is at the poker table, the pool table, making web sites, fixing computers or whatever, I know more than the average person, I know enough to get by, but I don’t know enough to be truly great at it. It could be that I haven’t stuck at something seriously for long enough, or have tried to juggle too many interests and never really tried hard enough to become well versed in one thing. Anyway back to Finance, the thing I loved most about it was the Financial Planning side of things, but my degree doesn’t allow me to become a Financial Planner, that would require further study which takes a number of years and it isn’t a path I am willing to go down. So what else could I aspire to within the sector? Well the next most appealing thing seems to be working within a banking or superannuation firm. That may be a path I choose to go down when I come to look at getting a job, but right now something just doesn’t feel quite right about it.

In my quest to find my future I decided to list down some criteria that I thought to be important in finding a job. Money didn’t feature in that list, of course I want to be able to support myself and whatever future family, but I’m a happy man with or without money. I don’t care about cars, designer brand names, mansion houses, don’t drink or have any other habits that cost a lot of money; in fact my number one hobby makes me money. That hobby is my business activities, including my web sites, my poker playing, sports betting and other money spinners. I will still have all those things to supplement whatever income I make from my job. Back to my list of criteria, maybe I am asking too much from these things, but I’ll list them all anyway. The two most important things to me are job security and the ability to leave work at work, both pretty self explanatory. I also would like scope for promotion, some sort of carrot on a stick, because I just know if I get stuck in a dead end job I’m going to be passionless and hate it. I’d also like to be able to work hard all week and then have the weekend to myself. There isn’t any amount of money or job that interests me more than having time to do the things I really want to be doing and that time will be on the weekend. I love sports, I love my hobbies, I’ll probably have a family some day, I’d like my weekends to be time for those things, nothing to do with work.

It may have come off a little self-defecating before when I said I feel like I don’t know that much about one thing, I did make myself a list of skills or qualities that I believe hold me in good stead though. The first of which is my organization, I take pride in being completely anal in just about everything I do. I hate being late for anything, I’ve never missed a deadline for a piece of work in my life. I’m neat, tidy, highly efficient, structured and routined. If you saw the spreadsheets I use to keep tabs on just about anything and everything you’d be shocked and probably feel a little sorry for me. It is what I do though, it’s who I am and wouldn’t have it any other way. Along the organization line, I am very good at organizing other people as well. I’ve always been the one in charge of putting together a poker night or a sports match, getting the cricket team together and all that. I think my organization will be invaluable whatever I decide to do career wise. I’m good at multi-tasking; I always have multiple activities on the go to keep my brain occupied and get restless when I don’t. I feel that I am hard working, I’ve always subscribed to the theory that you get out what you put in. If I can just find something that I am driven towards then I am willing to work day and night to achieve it. Unfortunately, I don’t feel as though I’ve discovered that in a job path.

At this juncture, you may be thinking that I seem to be passionate about poker playing and making money from it, is it a possible career choice? No. Poker is great, but it’s a hobby. There are plenty of professional poker players around, and I reckon I could cut it as a grinder/professional gambler, but it isn’t the lifestyle for me. It is good to know that I have it to fall back on, but it’s not want to do with my life. What about starting my own business of some description? I’d love to, but I don’t yet have any strong enough ideas, plans, models or skills that I could rely on to get something started. Hui and I have discussed a few ideas, some of which I think could work, but would require one of us to move cities to undertake. If I don’t go down that path sooner, I know I will later in my life if the desire is still there. What about further study? Well now that I have had some time off, it doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea. The thing is though, I could go and do it and then be at this exact same point at the end of it.

So where does all this leave me? Back where I started I guess. For now I am just going to enjoy the rest of my time away and get myself motivated on the career path when I get home. My leanings at this point would be to reignite my passion for Finance, the stock market, the suits and the corporate world. I need to immerse myself in business, try and make myself feel its pull and motivate myself to grow up and get a fricken real job. I’m still a young man, I know I’m not alone in trying to find my place in the working world. While that is comforting, it goes against every grain in my personality to be so disorganized and indecisive, especially in such a defining area. Thanks to those who are still reading, and to those that just skimmed to see if there is some sort of resolution. I’m sure that it will all work out for me in the end, even if it takes a while, it isn’t that important in the short-term, just so long as in the long-run I find something that is fulfilling.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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