Friday, 23 May 2008

"Under Pressure" - Queen and David Bowie, 1981

My first career was as an oil trader. It's been responsible for financial security in the future (well, we hope anyway...), a lot of wonderful friends all around the world, and -- although indirectly -- for my meeting and marrying John. My final day as an oil trader was on the 28th of June 2002. Now I teach other people about oil trading, hedging, how a refinery works, etc., etc.

I have both great memories and terrible memories of my trading days. Students often ask me if I miss it. I honestly can say that I don't as much as I thought I would. I miss being so incredibly connected to what's going on the world; John will tell you that I'm still a news junkie. I miss constant communications with trader friends. I miss the excitement of my former job, but only those times when I analyzed situations correctly and made money for the company as a result. Those times that I goofed up -- or just got unlucky -- are very forgettable. Some are more than forgettable. Some are the source of today's nightmares and stress-dreams.

All of this has been prompted by something I bumped into on the BBC's website yesterday afternoon. Of course coverage of the rapidly-rising price of oil is all over the news right now. So in reading an article here at work, I bumped into a BBC piece from last month called "What is it like being an oil trader?". It's not a bad article, really. It's a pretty good description of what I used to do with my days...apart from the fact that I tended to use phone calls much more than IMs to communicate with other traders.

So if oil trading was career number one and teaching about oil and oil trading is career number two, I'm wondering what I'm planning to do with myself next...when I've finally grown up.

Wishing all my UK and UK readers a great 3-day weekend...



At 23 May, 2008 21:37 , Blogger Expatmum said...

Most of my friends who were trading in the 80's have fairly pickled livers these days. How's yours?

At 25 May, 2008 17:58 , Blogger Janet said...


As far as I know, mine's fine.

I would sometimes walk around cocktail parties drinking ginger ale out of a whisky glass. The guys would assume I was drinking the real thing. I would learn all sorts of interesting things (business AND personal!) over the course of an evening as a result. And more importantly, I could actually recall everything the next day!

Not to say that I didn't enjoy glasses of wine from time to time, too!


At 27 May, 2008 00:03 , Blogger bronx boy said...

Just back from Cancun so catching up with you.
Having worked side by side for a few years I know your trading talents both commercial and technical and believe you are/were one of the best!
You don't ever want to grow up - always keep a little bit of child inside of you.

At 27 May, 2008 12:31 , Blogger Janet said...

MOST kind of you, BB. Thanks. (You weren't so bad yourself, you know!)

Hope you had a good trip to Cancun -- assume it was vacation?



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