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Isn't it sad....

#1 Isn't it sad....
29/04/2009 09:57


Isn't it sad how people go their separate ways after a while?

I was just googling some ex-colleagues from my MBB days. Some have done unbelievably well for themselves, others seem to have disappeared into the background.

It makes me think... there we were, all those years ago, as a bunch of doey-eyed grads, thrown together in a team spending 80 hours a week together and uncountable all-nighters. It was like a little family... a group of peers... "Best Friends Forever!!" But look at us now... one of them living in a mansion with his own speedboats and a second home in the Virgin Islands... another at the top of an investment bank... another lecturing in California... another that swapped between MBB firms and is now back at college retraining to be a doctor... one who is now a director of a big company in the USA and no doubt has an enormous house over there... and the rest of them, gone various ways and working in various run of the mill industry jobs....

I guess I'm just having one of those days where I sit back and reflect on what I've achieved. I've done OK... but busting my guts out to pay the mortgage on a small flat isn't exactly the high-flying, jet-setting, powerful executive lifestyle I envisaged when I set off down this route. Comparing yourself to others is of course a sure route to unhappiness... but, it really does make me think, where did it all go off course?? Having said that, the best things in life are free.. and boy am I glad for the 'free' things I have in my life. I can hardly complain about money - not rich, not poor - but I guess it all just got me thinking about what I expected when I was 21, versus where I am now.

I dunno... *shrug*.... how do you guys cope with situations where former 'friends' appear to have soared ahead in so many ways? It's not jealousy, it's just.. well, it makes you feel like a loser in some ways I guess. As Oscar Wilde once said, "Every time a friend succeds at something, a little bit of me dies". I guess he was on to something - it certainly does invoke an emotional response when you see your former peers 'soaring' ahead in certain ways. But then again, maybe I'm just in an overly-nostalgic mood today.

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#2 RE: Isn't it sad....
29/04/2009 10:12

anon to Nostalgic (#1)

i thought i was doing OK, but a recruitment agent just told me I hadn't achieved much (not quite those words, but nearly)

cheers mate

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#3 RE: Isn't it sad....
29/04/2009 12:37

YoY to anon (#2)

happiness is what's important and it sounds like you have that so you've done ok

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#4 RE: Isn't it sad....
29/04/2009 15:07

nok to YoY (#3)

He/she doesn't sound very happy to me... does that mean he/she hasn't done ok?

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#5 RE: Isn't it sad....
29/04/2009 15:37

Nostalgic to nok (#4)

I'm happy overall... just feeling a bit inadequate and nostalgic at the moment. I look at what some of my ex-peers have achieved and wonder what they did right and what I did wrong. The stuff that really matters is all in place.. and I have done OK financially (not good, not bad)... but am just left flabbergasted at how my ex-peers all now have top jobs and huge houses, speedboats (!), ranches in the USA, 7-bedroom homes in Sevenoaks with electric gates on the driveway etc... and here I am still stuck in London slowly chipping away at a huge mortgage on a tiny flat. I don't even know what I should be thinking about it all, let alone what if anything I should be doing!

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#6 RE: Isn't it sad....
29/04/2009 21:03

The Contender to Nostalgic (#5)

I wouldn't get too bent out of shape about it. On a typical day out you'll see people driving extremely expensive cars and you'll see people driving old bangers. When you're looking at those who have 'more' than you then pay some attention to those who have less and there are loads more of them.

Wealth, copious partying and shagging are 'easy fun', they're not fulfilling in any real sense and aren't really anything more than a quick fix. Same as the guy who goes out, buys a new flash phone/car/house/watch/suit/boat and as soon as he has it he's already wondering about what to buy next. Consumerism does not lead to satisfaction despite everything you are constantly told.

I would advise opening your mind and trying a few different things. Experiment with different social circles a bit, talk to people who seem balanced or actually happy, try to get involved in some charitable work. Most people who do charitable work find it extremely fulfilling because there's somethign inate (or at least extremely common) in human nature that makes you feel good when you work hard to improve someone else's less privalidged life.

Life has meaning so get off your ar$e and find it before it passes you by. Good luck.

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#7 RE: Isn't it sad....
29/04/2009 22:53

reality check to The Contender (#6)

@ the contender - great response. I second that fully

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#8 RE: Isn't it sad....
29/04/2009 23:06

could have been a..... to reality check (#7)

contender - best post on here for a long, long time. Could not agree more!

Consultancy is just nonsense, ultimately.

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#9 RE: Isn't it sad....
30/04/2009 09:46

Anarchist to could have been a..... (#8)

But is it as much nonsense as IB? Consulting or IB? FIIIIIIGGGHT

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#10 RE: Isn't it sad....
30/04/2009 09:56

anon to Anarchist (#9)

take up a martial art - I'm a bit bored at work and did so - great fun, it's nice knowing you could despatch your client with a few good kicks. I'm over 40!

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#11 RE: Isn't it sad....
30/04/2009 14:30

recruiter too to Nostalgic (#1)

As a recruiter in consulting for 15 years I recently looked at where my recruits from the mid 90s had ended up. Half had disappeared (ie I couldn’t find them by Googling or LinkedIn) so whether that meant they were so fabulously wealthy that they had to keep a very low profile or were doing so because they had dropped off the career radar who knows. Of the remainder, TWO out of a population of over 100 had achieved partner level leadership posts (ie very well off but not hedge fund manager territory). The remainder were mid level folk whose careers had plateaued. I accept that Nostalgic’s starting point was a much better gene pool and I accept that this may actually be an adverse comment on my placement skills! However ultimately the overwhelming majority of people, even those with the best starts, don’t make it.

To focus on Nostalgic’s point: it’s easy to focus on the handful that appear to have done well: if you are feeling a bit glum because you are doing the comparison game try looking at the masses who haven’t!. Hope that cheers you up

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#12 RE: Isn't it sad....
30/04/2009 23:00

justathought to recruiter too (#11)

good comments by all and, if i may add, remember one thing... at the end of the day we're only here temporarily. Im yet to hear of someone who passed away and withdrew old the dough in their a/c etc to take with them..

life is relative.. just make the best of your unique situation and remeber we;re temporarily.

my 2 cents..

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#13 RE: Isn't it sad....
01/05/2009 09:20

anon to justathought (#12)

The question is who took the right path there then? The guy who's career has plateaud may be working in an industry role working 9-6 spending lots of time with the kids and keeping a good marriage with a modest lifestyle and the partner may be a terrible parent never spending time at home. Stereotyping a bit there but only a bit. Reaching the top of the ladder isn't 'the top' for everyone.

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