Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Friends – I’ve been away for a while. It’s been a busy autumn, winter and spring for me and our Swedish Risk Advisory team. I haven’t talked to you for some nine months but here you’ll get a sign of life from me. I’m going to tell you a story about how quickly time flies and how one can stay motivated after landing the job you really want.

The pace on the trading floor, the anticipations right before the Riksbank announces a rate decision and the chaos that follows, the people and the customers – all the things I fell for when applying to Nordea Markets – they are still there. But was has happened to me during the last two years? How’s my evolution been and how do I stay motivated now that I’m no longer a junior at an investment bank?

All those things I just mentioned that pulled me into finance are now my everyday life. It’s not a bad thing to say that it’s not as exiting anymore, now that I’ve lived with the trading floor for two years. But there are moments that still make the heart rush a bit faster, moments that makes my body produce a dose of adrenaline. These moments occur more seldom now, but there are other things that weigh up for it. As a junior member of our team I got to do a lot of analysis work, I spent my days looking at debt portfolios trying to figure out how to reduce the risk that costs increase to much when interest rates moved. Today, after two years of doing that, I get a rush from something totally different – from stepping into a meeting and explain to a customer how we can help them.

My first years at Nordea Markets have made me ready to do just this, to be the advisor that we think they should listen to. That’s quite a cool thought when you think about it. My customers know more than me about real estate, the value of a building or a stock, about how to run companies (I usually meet with CEO/CFO) and about life itself (since I’m “only” 27 years old). But I’m there to tell them about the one thing that I know more about – interest rate risk management, hedging, swaps, macro and rate levels. That is a pretty cool thought in my book This is exactly what keeps me motivated – this is my new trading floor-feeling.

I believe that all of us, both students who are looking for a career at Nordea Markets and my colleagues on the trading floor, appreciate different things at different stages in life. Two years ago I appreciated the pulse on the trading floor; today I appreciate the challenge in advising a customer on how to act in a market that is constantly changing. Finding these things, the things that keeps you motivated at all times, are essential – they make you grow and they make you appreciate your situation regardless of you being a 1st day junior or a 12th year senior advisor. Never ever settle, find the things that challenge you.

The words on the back of the Whole Earth Catalogue in 1971 – words later revived by Steve Jobs in his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 – are words that sums up my view on how to motivate myself to move forward in both career and life and I advise you to think about them every once in a while:

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Until next time.


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