Every now and again I have to write about how wonderful my husband is because A) he likes it, B) it’s true, and C) I have to say something when I’m in this much awe.
Oliver is a smart guy. We met on APDA, the American Parliamentary Debate Association, in college and, though I somehow managed to beat him twice (both flukes), he was about 10X better at debating that I was. (Although it is worth noting that the one time we partnered together we made it to quarterfinals, better than either of us achieved on our own.) Whether the topic is politics, philosophy or literature, he always has something intelligent to say and somehow manages to absorb the entirety of pop culture on his morning subway commutes, so that he is always abreast of relevant societal issues.
Oliver’s particular talent and interest lie in finance and, according to everyone he works with, he’s the perfect employee. Senior traders not even in his division go out of their way to mentor him. His boss, though he’s aware that Oliver has been trying to switch jobs for a year and a half, goes to great lengths to secure Oliver as an employee for whatever temporary period Oliver is willing to stay.
But he’s been trying to switch jobs for a year and a half. Yikes! This is a long, long time in the finance world. He interviewed for a foreign equity job in Hong Kong, a trading job in London, and a position at a private hedge fund in Connecticut. For some reason, every one of these potential opportunities has fallen through, even though he has glowing reviews, even though he is doing all of the right things. He nearly accepted an offer in a different division at Morgan Stanley in New York but changed his mind after a week and regrets it sorely. He was “too experienced” for the job in Hong Kong (is there such a thing?) and as yet, he hasn’t heard back from the London office.
One night this summer I was complaining about the lack of positive feedback for writers (me in particular, of course). Oliver pointed out that he hasn’t gotten anywhere with the job search either. Empathetic wife that I am, I immediately countered that he has at least gotten an interview for every job he’s applied for. Then he quietly informed that this is not the case, that he fills out countless applications for jobs at other firms every week and never hears back, or receives a very terse email rejection.
I was stunned. A year and a half he’s been doing this without complaining. A year and a half! If don’t get a pat on the back and a tummy rub for my hard work at least once a day, I come to a sputtering collapse.
Today Oliver heard back from the hedge fund he applied to. It was by far the most promising opportunity to fall into his path so far; the company values so much in line with ours that it seemed almost to good to be true; they value honesty and self-improvement, and actually act on these values. The firm was deciding between two positions for Oliver: one that he wants which is based in creative research, and another that he does not want which is based in analytics.
Well, he got the call, and sure enough, they want to interview him further for the job he doesn’t want. Oliver called me this morning utterly deflated and beaten. I weakly asked if there was anything I could do to help and muttered some condolences.
By the time I skyped him this evening, Oliver was positively chipper. Again: stunned. I asked what changed.
Oliver: I decided not to wallow. This is an awesome company, and I appreciate how open and honest they were with me. They were willing to talk to me for a half hour about why they think I’m better suited for this position than the other one. No finance firms do that. Maybe I’ll like this position more than I thought.
He went on to say that he heard Navy seals are told that when they are sure they cannot go any further, they have used about 40% of their energy.
He went on further to say that being away from Zoe and I for the holidays has filled him with immense gratitude for the joy we bring into his life and he cannot wait to see us when we get home tomorrow.
Anymore stunned and I’ll be dead. Talk about giving thanks.