I was fortunate to enter the foreign exchange (FX) business in the late ‘70s. Even though FX trading is one of the world’s oldest professions, it suddenly became very meaningful to international investors and multi-national corporations when President Nixon floated the dollar by removing it from the gold standard. FX lacked the defined “old boy” structure, so promotions and opportunities were based on performance first. Working in a meritocracy has allowed me to grow professionally and personally—doing what I enjoy. I try to create that environment for my team. I have found that if you are consistent in your behavior, clear in your expectations, and have integrity regarding your interactions with people, getting results becomes an easier task. In addition, having a passion for your work, an ability to continue learning, and a sense of fun, will keep everything new and exciting. Most importantly I have found that looking for ways to re-invent yourself and your career keeps you from getting tired or complacent.
In every challenge I have found opportunity and growth. Everything that has been a struggle has turned into a learning experience, where each hurdle has brought both expected and unexpected benefits. I have learned that taking risks and “being in the game” is the only way to encounter opportunity and obtain results.
To me, success at work is enjoying what you do and being able to take ownership of a business or a role, so by my definition I consider myself successful. I always caution people that work success is only a part of the equation. To be truly successful, I believe you need to be able to balance your career with family, friends and outside interests. While not an easy task, I believe that this balance is something that is “job one” in terms of being good at what you do and happy with whom you have become. I do think you can “have it all.”
One’s lifestyle is governed by balancing things that you love to do with things that are necessary to do. Steer yourself into a position where both are satisfying. A career is more than a job; it’s a way to express yourself to the world and be creative in your own very special way. Enjoy every moment.