There have of course been other lives.
I started my working life in London in technology. My visa allowed me to freelance, so I was an independent IT consultant for 2 years. I earned my stripes at Anderson Consulting and JP Morgan. Surrounded by smart people, I did everything a junior techie should do. We worked hard but we worked smart. When we were finished, we went home. It was the most fantastic beginning and taught me teamwork, and how the machine works.
Next, I aimed for M&A on Wall Street. I didn’t realize the stretch but I got a break. Six weeks later – which felt like a lifetime but wasn’t – I was working 100 hour weeks at Rothschild. Here we worked hard and we never went home. It was all about face time. There was nothing about banking that resonated but I did my time. It was a calculated decision and it took grit. I could be boxed. I was stamped an achiever and it made every next step easier.
Later, I worked in consulting. I headed up an internal consulting division within an international media house, flitting between Madrid and New York. Later still, I built a telecommunications industry practice at a South African headquartered consulting company. I learnt that even in corporate you can be entrepreneurial. I learnt the power of networks, how smart passionate people pulling in the same direction remain friends, and how rewarding these relationships are. Lives continue to overlap no matter where one lands.