Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell’s research finds that “there is an asymmetry in the way people compare themselves with others. We tend to look exclusively at those better off than us, rather than contemplate our position within the full range of outcomes. When the lot of others improves, we react negatively, but when our own lot improves, we shift our reference group to those who are still better off. In other words, we are never satisfied, since we quickly become accustomed to our own achievements. Perhaps that is what spurs people to earn more, and economies to grow.”
Not very often that I feel too strongly about ‘most’ feminist agendas because I see an ideal world to be accommodating for both genders, as opposed to equal for both genders, but financial freedom and financial ambition is something I have felt very strongly about and all of it came back to me when I came across an article on LinkedIn called ‘Message for Women in Business: Its Okay to Love Money‘. This struck a cord with me as I remember being told, ‘its not your job to earn money’. Well, its noone’s birth right to do or don’t, its a choice – a choice people, men and women, should be able to make. Both men and women can choose to dedicate their time to building a fortune, or volunteering to something humanitarian, or both.
What makes me sad about this article, is that its intended for women only, which makes sense because men who love money are called ambitious, powerful, even arrogant (God knows when that became a compliment?). Now, by no means do I suggest earning money with wrongful means is justified (however you might define that), but its okay to have financial goals, ambitions and to work for it, for everyone, if that’s what makes you happy because at the end of the day, its not just money you’re trying to earn, its the ability to live well, experience life and make things happen.
Yes, we’re all at that point of year (well, some of us), when we prepare to get our theses/ dissertations/ research papers in and not like most, I was quite excited about having to write my very OWN piece of work which will probably be the most important piece of research I have ever done but as we know, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies – not just graduation gowns and distinction certificates; its sleepless nights and thoughtless hiccups.
But as I come to the completion of my work I have started to realise that the hardest part of writing one is not finding the right topic (which too is trick because it’s difficult to find the balance between inspirational and realistic) or the right supervisor (which too is absolutely essential) or the sources. Infact it is the moment when you start to write things in your study which are completely novel and new, which noone has yet spoken of, about or for. I love writing essays – I understand how to structure them, how to make them rock solid by having genuine sources etc – And this practice makes me scared when I start to write something which is not out of any paper, journal or book, for which there could be no reference but my brain. While this feeling is exciting and the sole reason what makes writing your own research project so exciting, at the same time it brings the feeling of self-doubt and fear. Sometimes analysing my results, I think to myself ‘I hope I am not being stupid’ and well it’s a bit unsettling of a feeling.
That apart, I couldn’t be unthankful, I got a wonderful supervisor, a reasonable topic and a smooth journey – hopefully I can finish it off in time and the effort is reflected on the grades and who knows what else!
Almost through my Masters’ degree, it is obvious to think of my options ahead. The process is tedious, especially as I went for my Postgrad right after the completion of my Undergrad, which means I got no full time work experience, even though I made it a point to be no less of work experience when I graduate so I capitalised on every opportunity that came along. Like many others I feel I belong to the academics and research, for my interest, aptitude and the practical aspects of it. So, whenever I was spoken to about my future plans, I said academics was what I wanted to pursue, but things are changing. Now when I am asked about my future plans, even though I know that I at some point wish to do my PhD, my answer is not the academics. Now I am thinking about what I want to do to make myself ‘ready’ for that and after coming across a very interested TED talk, my curiosity and questions were answered.
The researcher said, in order to create, you need to stop learning. Einstein discovered the laws of physics when he was suspended from education. So, may be you need to give your mind the space to think of gaps in the knowledge or to create something worth researching. But this is only the beginning of the list, there are so many other reasons why you need to go into the real world and get some ‘real’ experience, before contributing to creation of knowledge. And by ‘real’ I do not mean internships and work experiences. Having spent years in the industry you would know that life really doesn’t work by the book, and any theory/ research is only fair if relevant and applicable. I wonder what an entirely theoretical research would do for anyone’s utility? Also, I think the brains need a break from being ‘told’ and there is a sense of purpose in just knowing that every single day you contribute to something and make things happens in the bigger horizon. And if you work for long enough, you would have all the more reasons to come back to academics (they say you miss the student life!).
It is ‘that’ time of the year, yet again. And probably the last one in a really long time, atleast until I start my PhD. Exams are not too far away but this time I have my research to work on, which makes it all the more interesting and stressful. I am although getting used to racing time every single day. Might not be my idea of the perfect life but it sure is challenging and exciting. It got a little bit more interesting when going through literature for my thesis I came across this book called the ‘Prosperity without growth: Economics for finite planet’ and I remembered quoting this in my personal statement, when applying for this degree. At that point, I had no idea I would be writing or reading about this book again as it was only something that inspired me on personal level. Now this meant something (or I am just over-worked).
I say that because I was not among one of those who ALWAYS knew what they wanted to do professionally, however I have learned so much about myself and what I want to do as the time has gone by. So, knowing that something that inspires you, has actually been incorporated into the ‘bigger picture’ of your achievements and life is definitely a reassuring feeling. It lets you know that every little milestone has led to something true to your curiosities and motivations, and hopefully where you’re headed is too.
In my perspective being rewarded, influential and recognized for your achievements are the major factors that make your efforts worthwhile, but reassurance has started to mean more in this respect. It is good to know what you are doing has a positive influence externally and be rewarded and praised for that contribution but being reassured that it really is in line with your aspirations, concerns and desires is just beyond satisfaction.
Cry over the hefty fines issued by FCA of over £470M in 2013 alone, one after another since mid last year really doesn’t surprise. It has been happening for a while now and despite the recovery in growth and economic indicators, the fear of penalties haunts the existence of most financial institutions. Now, here’s the perspective not many seem to be taking much notice of, the fines are if anything justified – extreme for sure, but that’s the kind of attitude that’s required for a truly deterrent impact to take effect.
Second is the idea of dynamic v static effects. All colossal changes seem impossible and painful in its initial stages, there is letting go of old habits, learning new things and getting used to them. And a change so radical is ought to be painful in the beginning, but it will only lead to a system more reliable, sustainable and greater (reasonable) profitability. This profitability doesn’t only emerge from the reliable operations, but also the investors trust in the performance of these financial institutions post-regulatory enforcement. Especially, as UK seems to be the most concerned one at this point about rising of regulatory standards. This although worries at the same time! Some foreign banks have already started to face trouble adjusting to the new UK regulatory standards, especially as their home bases including the SEC have still not put the matter under such great scrutiny. The regulatory standards for sure are a painful, yet fruitful move for a more sustainable future; however the regulatory discrepancies in a global financial space could be a problem. I think the transition might be longer than expected!