As we get ready to dive into the holiday season, I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all of you who read Jenni’s Money Musings each month. This Thanksgiving, amidst the Costco trips and frantic house cleaning, I’m reflecting on what I’m thankful for regarding my personal financial journey. I hope it inspires your own gratitudes.
7 Things I’m Grateful for in my Financial Journey
1) I won the lottery ticket by being born in the US. My Taiwanese immigrant parents who worked hard, lived frugally, and emphasized education. Every leg up I’ve had in my financial journey stems from this fact.
2) I learned early on that a high-paying job you hate isn’t worth it. As a young adult determined to stand on her own two feet, I took a job as an investment banking analyst because it paid the most. But after getting an inside view on the lives of the senior partners, I realized it wasn’t for me.
3) By lucky chance, I ended up landing a tech job in Silicon Valley after my foray in banking. I spent a fulfilling 15 years there, working in a number of roles from San Francisco to Zurich and taking periods of extended time off to travel, pursue passion projects, and start my family.
4) I married a social worker who helped me have empathy for the other side of San Francisco – the side that grapples with homelessness, mental illness, and poverty. As an investor, I’m betting on the global capital markets. But as a human, I also see the consequences of capitalism and the harm caused by financial inequality.
5) I’m LGBT (yay!). Growing up in a conservative Asian American household, I was instilled with strict ideas around family, women’s roles, and proper career paths. When I came out, it shattered everything. This gave me the freedom to think outside the box when it came to designing my career and lifestyle.
6) Stepping out of the Bay Area hustle for a period has helped me take a more relaxed view on life. So much of our ideas about work, money, parenting, time, family expectations, etc are shaped by our culture, and it’s good to get a fresh perspective.
7) I’ve found work that lets me have the type of real conversations that I love. Let’s be honest – making a career change and starting your own business is hard. You face some dark nights of the soul. But when I get to help a client work through an issue that’s weighing on them – whether in money, career, or life – I feel like I’ve found my true work.