What lead me here? Years of blood, sweat and tears, burning the midnight oil, studying my ass off, surviving off 4 hours of sleep per night and a cold Pop Tart for breakfast, maintaining straight A's, while leading numerous philanthropic, volunteer or fundraising projects. Yeah, I wouldn't recommend it.
Add to that some historical wins at national and international S.T.E.M. competitions, and nerve wracking interview in front of a panel of 9 judges, and I earned a full four-year scholarship to the university of my choice, as well as three work terms at a bank.
It's definitely a career 180 from computers, web and industrial machining! I was so eager to start the work term, thinking I was finally gonna be the BEST white man I could be, the BEST eldest son I was expected to be.
By chance (or more likely by unfolding destiny if you've been following this series), my first work term was during the bank's national merger with another bank. I was thrown into the deep end, learning two sets of computer systems, financial procedures and required documents.
With no training, I contributed so richly to my bank that they personally requested me back for a second term. I was ultra organized, trustworthy, and light hearted. I had a finesse with staff and customers.
Fellow scholars who got their foot in the door the same way as me rose to senior manager and even Vice President positions within 3-5 years. For the first time in my life, I had connections in "high places," with supervisors who legitimately liked and respected me.
I could have glided seamlessly to the very top. I was even offered a position by a global competitor bank, in their international office no less, without even an interview because my reputation proceeded me.
Letting Go / Walking Away
But I let it all go. I came so close to securing my place in one of the culturally indoctrinated career categories of: doctor, lawyer, finance or failure, aka money, money, money or failure. But I didn't. I declined the third work term as well as the global competitor offer.
I felt completely nuts for saying no to free money falling from the sky, for super easy work that I could do with my eyes closed. Why, why did I make such a choice? Because I saw clear as day that working in a bank had near zero correlation with wealth, as in "Rich Dad" wealth (from Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad book). In fact, banks lulled people into debt, teaching them nothing about the asset column.
Also, I just couldn't stand being around so many whiny customers. These are grown ass adults, yet with such poverty consciousness, blaming the bank for their own disorganization, procrastination or lack of foresight. The customer is NOT always right! Most of the time, the customer is wrong.
It felt like I had a red carpet rolled out in front me, but I couldn't even put a foot on that carpet, because I knew I would cry myself to my grave with every step. A little melodramatic, yes, but you could also call it a clear and sharp intimacy with my soul.
Fears / Emotional Rumble
Dread from never hearing the end of it from the critics for leaving a perfectly good money job (in a culture where money is the only measure of success and self-worth)
Fear of being disowned by my parents for walking away from "money"
Worry that my scholarship sponsor will think I'm not grateful for the opportunity
Foggy disbelief that I'm throwing away such a straight path / ladder to the top
Pride that I was able to pass this opportunity on to a family member who benefited greatly
WTF are you doing in banking, didn't you get an engineering degree?
When are you getting married? What is wrong with you?
Why haven't you pumped out 2.5 kids yet? What is wrong with you?
Why can't you settle down like the rest of us? What is wrong with you? (Yup, definitely felt like a factory manufacturing defect that needed to be recalled.)
Why are you constantly changing? Why can't you sit still? (I wish I had the sovereignty back then to ask, "Why are you constantly the same? Why can't you move?)
Unfolding Destiny / Lessons
Grit: 10/10 | Grace: 6/10
Being different is hella hard. Being a trailblazer is hella lonely. Walking off the beaten bath is hella exhausting. But then what is the alternative? Conforming? No, thank you. Settling for less? Hell, no!
Never did I ever imagine that 11 years and 9 career re-inventions later, I would become a wealth mentor. Not because of what I learned as a bank officer, but I'm sure the broken cracks that I saw in the banking system planted seeds for me to create wealth a different way, my way.
Even though trailblazers will spend all their time questioning their own sanity, there is something to be said about knowing when a path is not meant for them, no matter the bells and whistles, red carpets and cash falling from the sky.
The greatest lesson and takeaway here is the indescribable freedom and "f*ck yeah" self-validation of knowing that I had it right all along. I chose right. I chose right for myself. It took many more years to prove this to others, but I chose right.
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
Sacred Brand Archetypes
Every customer felt so cherished when interacting with me. I was like the girl next door, who'd keep their money safe, with a tra-la-la smile on her face.
It'd be another 19 years before I fully comprehended the nature of our soul, which is to express itself organically, regardless of egoic control. Here, I thought that'd my soul would have expressed itself through the Sacred Brand Archetypes of Ruler, but nope. It expressed itself through the archetypes of Nurturer (primary) and Humanitarian (secondary). Who knew?!?
In this series...
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Computer Teacher (Part 1/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Web Developer (Part 2/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as an Industrial Machinist (Part 3/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Banking Officer (Part 4/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as an Aerospace Engineer (Part 5/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as an Energy Researcher (Part 6/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Systems Designer (Part 7/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as an International Aid Worker (Part 8/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Global E-Strategist (Part 9/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a United Nations Consultant (Part 10/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Web Design Agency (Part 11/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Success Coach (Part 12/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Wealth Mentor (Part 13/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as an Aerial Yoga Studio (Part 14/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Psychotherapist (Part 15/16)
My 16 Careers • Reinventing Identities as a Spiritual Guide (Part 16/16)