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The Shape of Your Career Path

One of our clients asked our portfolio manager in opportunistic strategies during the meeting today: the role of your team, even at junior level, seems to require a lot of complicated skills and experiences, how come you are comfortable hiring fresh grads?
Well I would probably answer for him: they’re cheaper to hire and more willing to work long hours…joking, but I was actually delighted to find out how the portfolio manager put his perspective into picture: let’s call it “the shape of your career path”.
Which is actually a sandglass.

In the beginning of your career, you are well positioned at a role where you can learn a lot of different things, covering different sectors, meeting many people both inside and outside of the firm, understanding more about the resouces your organization may offer, and establish a broader foundation on how the market (or whatever it is) works.
Your mid-career will be more focused on further building and enhancing a certain specific area of expertise, during which process you don’t only start to form your own views and insights, but also start to identify alighment of interst, certain networks you are closely associated with, and you might want to thrive to become the turn-to person on a given subject.
Finally when you reach a relatively senior level, you would begin to build on both the broader foundation, network and resources you formed earlier in your career as well as the deeper expertise you accumulated through years of hard work, dedication and good judgment. Your career will reach an entire new level if you could keep an open mind at this point, and be flexible with what you have already known and what you are yet to explore. You may start to lead a new functional group in a bigger organization, you may want to start your own division, establish your own distribution channel, or even your own new firm.
For most of the poeple still in the beginning: life will be so much brighter if you simply hold on to it. But the problem is: before getting down-to-earth with any specifics at all, people are scared away by how narrow the “career path” has become.
You might never know but you should, it could be an entirely different world the second half of your journey.
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