Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

If you’re gonna screw up, do it while you’re young

Posted by Trixter on December 28, 2010

I’ve been quiet for a while due to dealing with changes in my professional life.  I normally don’t talk about work in my personal blog because I don’t want to misrepresent my current or former employers — when you have a family to support, you don’t shit where you eat.  But I owe a lot of people an explanation as to where I’ve been for roughly 18 months, so I’ll summarize:  I took a job in the trading industry, and while it had some awesome positives, it was the wrong environment for me and I was very unhappy there. The last four months in particular had me so depressed that I broke through the “eat to fill the pain” stage to the “stopped eating entirely” stage and started losing weight and sleep.  I started to doubt myself and my abilities, worrying that I wouldn’t be able to earn a living for much longer. After an ultimatum at work, I put myself on the market and 5 weeks later I accepted a positon in a large commercial industry. And I’m a lot happier — not because of leaving the trading job, but because I was able to recognize a bad fit, was willing to crawl out of my emotional hole, and rebooted my situation.  (The Winston Groom quote seemed appropriate, hence the title of this post.)

I also got a spiffy new Samsung Galaxy S variant (Epic 4G) which has data access no matter where I am (2g/3g/4g/wifi) and has a slide-out keyboard and other bells and whistles, so I have no excuse not to update the blog once in a while, even from a moving commuter train.  Which, guess what, I’m doing right now!

7 Responses to “If you’re gonna screw up, do it while you’re young”

  1. Accatone said

    I’m very glad to hear that you are happier now, and that you crawled out of your emotional hole. As 14th Dalai Lama said, “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

    Please do update your blog once in a while, because it has always been a pleasure for me to follow the writings of the people I admire.

    By the way, happy new year! “And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” — Rainer Maria Rilke.

  2. Alexandre said

    Hello Trixter. I can understand your situation. Good look in your projects.

    But… I´m very interested in MindCandy 3… there are some news about?

    Tks and Regards!!!
    Alexandre from Brazil.

  3. BarZoule said

    Hey Trixter! I didn’t know about your work situation, sorry to know it went so bad, but glad to know you’re now back on track!
    One day you’ll have to explain me what is the trading industry and how it made you so depressed.

    • Trixter said

      Well, the short version — and I think my former co-workers will agree somewhat — is that working for a trading firm is kind-of like being in a very positive but dysfunctional family. The industry itself is necessarily chaotic, and the people who thrive in that industry tend to be just a hair chaotic themselves ;-)

      I’m not dissing my former trading family — I have the utmost respect for them and what they try to accomplish daily. There are a lot of very clever people working there, who come up with some very clever solutions to interesting problems. It was just a bad fit for me. I excel when I have a few projects that are within my realm of expertise that I can concentrate on — hyperfocus on, even. I produce my best work that way. At the trading firm, I was pulled in several different directions at once and I wasn’t used to that. I also took on some new roles that I had never attempted before, and had to come to terms with not being very good at some of them. (In others, I felt I excelled, but small companies usually need near-excellence from every employee because of their size).

      In any case, I continue to wish them the best, and I stay in regular contact with some of my former co-workers.

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