"I didn't take a hedge fund job and my amazing girlfriend left me"
I want to share my story as a cautionary tale for anyone who gets an amazing opportunity this year, but doesn't take it, whether from anxiety, imposter syndrome, or simply a misplaced excess of caution about their career.
I'm a London School of Economics graduate in my early 30s. I'm single, and I'm now doing a job that I don't find stimulating. I have also lost the love of my life.
If I'd taken an opportunity that was offered to me a few years ago, I think my life would be completely different.
I grew up in a small city in Northern Europe. I come from a low income family. When I was growing up, we lived on social support. I excelled academically and attended a top tier university in my home country before joining the LSE on a scholarship.
When I graduated, I started out by getting a job on the buyside in my home country. That bored me and so I moved back to London to look for something different. After a few months in the city I met an amazing woman and received an offer to work for a top asset management firm. For a few years, my life was amazing.
Then, the unexpected happened. During the pandemic, my team was restructured and although I'd had top performance reviews I was let go. A month or so later, I received an offer of a position at a top hedge fund in Mayfair. It was the kind of role I've always wanted, but my confidence had been dented and I wasn't sure whether I would fit in. I deliberated, and decided against doing the role. I took the job I'm currently doing instead.
I can see very clearly now that this was a wrong decision. It was turning point in my life and both my career and personal life have deteriorated since. I've had various other job offers in my current role - including at large banks and assset managers - but none are as good as the hedge fund I turned down, and I haven't taken them up. I feel disillusioned and stuck.
I have also lost my girlfriend. We lived together for nearly five years, but she accused me of becoming negative and changing from the positive person she fell in love with.
I can't change the past, but looking back I think I didn't take the job at the hedge fund because I was scared of failure. And yet, because I didn't take it and went for the safe option, events happened that I didn't foresee. My advice to people reading this is therefore to take risks with your careers. Believe in yourself. Life is short.
Carl Wells is a pseudonym
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