8.12.2005

RANT: The road less traveled

When asked about the motivation for his switch from being an Quantitative Analyst to a Quant developer, a collegue told the story of a chicken and a pig walking down a street when they spotted a colorful billboard depicting a breakfast plate of eggs and bacon.

The chicken stopped to admire the advertisement and said proudly to the pig: "Doesn't that picture make you happy? Doesn't it feel good to be able to give to folks that way?"

The pig replied: "Well, yes, but...for you it's a contribution. For me -- it's total commitment!"

He then asked, "What would you rather be: a chicken or a pig?" The point he was trying to make is that while it looked like he was downgrading his paycheck, when in fact he was upgrading his marketability (or, the survival ability in terms of the story). Being a Quantitative Analyst leads not only to a fat paycheck, but also to a total commitment in Finance - which leaves very little time to enjoy the paycheck (it's hard to make your rich clients richer - no kidding :(. The zero boundary between work and home also makes him rich in money, but poor in happiness.

Being a good Quant Developer makes it easier to play a contributing role. Yes, you take a pay cut, and you are not a front runner anymore, but you have more time for yourself, and you can also survive outside of Banking & Finance altogether leveraging your IT skills. And yes, you are far from being rich.

I guess it all boils down to what makes one happy and feeling secure.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

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