Become a bit fed up with goldman sachs and knew the

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become a bit fed up with Goldman Sachs and knew the head guy at Morgan Stanley, tried to facilitate a switch for me. Now and then, headhunting firms would get in touch. Sometimes they’d call through the switchboard and say it was “your friend” or “your cousin”; sometimes they’d give a made-up name such as “John Spencer.” I’d think to myself, “Who’s John Spencer?” Then I’d pick up, and the headhunter would say, “Can you put me on privacy?” And I would know immediately what was going on. As soon as I pushed the Privacy button, the headhunter would say something like “Hi, it’s Bob Simons. I’m a headhunter representing Credit Suisse. This is the position we’re looking to fill. I’d like to talk to you about it.” Then he’d usually say, “Can I get your cell phone number? I’ll call you in the evening or this weekend.” I never followed up. In my whole career, I never once met or interviewed with another firm. I guess, in retrospect, I bled GS blue. I took loyalty very seriously, and didn’t want anyone to think otherwise. On the other hand, almost everyone I knew at Goldman interviewed somewhere else at one time or another. The MD who was counseling me was a very reasonable guy, and he was simply acknowledging the truth: the firm didn’t repay loyalty in any way; they would fire anyone at any time. It was increasingly becoming a numbers game. If you’d been there ten years, fifteen years, twenty-five years, the only sure way to guarantee they were valuing you correctly was to mark yourself to market by shopping yourself around the marketplace. Sometimes I wondered why I was so dedicated. I could easily have told my bosses, “You know what? I went out there, and my fair value is $900,000 instead of $700,000—take it or leave it.” But I never wanted to do that, because, as stupid as it may sound, it wasn’t all about the money to me. I wanted to succeed at the best firm on the Street. I didn’t want to shop myself around to find more money in a lesser firm. Maybe I should have, for my family’s sake if for no one else’s. But because I didn’t, I almost certainly got paid less than I could have been paid. And sometimes I wondered: was I being loyal to a shadow?
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——— I caught up with Corey Stevens later in the morning. He pushed as hard as Phil for me to accept the London job, stressing once again that going to London would put me on the track toward upper management. Then I got word from Beth that Goldman might offer me the expat package, the supplemented salary the MD in London had spoken of. I knew the way these things worked: this was a wink-wink. “Might” meant “definitely.” I called my family. My sister was very supportive; she thought I should do it. My mother said exactly the same thing. “I really don’t want this to derail your coming over to America,” I told her. She promised it wouldn’t. My brother was encouraging, too. My dad was a bit more hesitant, but only a bit. He asked if I was committed in the long term to staying in America. Of course I was, I told him.
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