Tuesday, May 5, 2015

why a Chinese geek prefers NY/Ldn over other financial centers

1) On Wall St, many Chinese techies lament about glass ceiling. Many in their mid 30's can't move to leadership. Even if you have talent beyond technical,  even if you invest in non-technical areas, you may hit that ceiling.


Even among those who rose to entry level VPs, there's a dearth of further promotions. I could be wrong, but i feel 2nd promotion is harder than the first. Indian techies and locals seem to be luckier, causing complaints among the Chinese techies.

Reasons? Factors? Root causes? Many say that in any hierarchical command organization the majority race would dominate the upper echelon, though I notice many exceptions.

Many suggest "inner circle" or "old boy's club". Do you get invited for house parties? Are you a fan of Superbowl?

I hear many techies say they prefer non-manager, pure tech roles to people-management roles. Some say the latter is stressful. I guess the former is easier "control-wise". You finish "your job" and can go home and sleep well.

Some geeks are not keen/ambitious about manager roles, so they don't feel the pain or the ceiling. So Wall St is perfect for them.

In Asia, a non-manager geek often feels threatened for survival...

2) Wall St (and Si Valley) rewards tech specialists better than other financial centers. Respected, not by some vague gestures or lip service, but by hard cash. See http://bigblog.tanbin.com/2011/07/specialist-vs-generalistmanager-spore.html

Remember the 4 stages of Contribution? An individual expert is valued /to the extent that/ she can "contribute through others" -- some form of (knowledge) leadership.

3) On Wall St a geek can remain hands-on till 55 or 60. Less age discrimination.

4) the valuable and tough, ground breaking, money-making, really important technical work takes place in the trading hubs like Ldn, NY, or Chicago -- Trend setters. If you measure the financial impact of an engineer (outside Si Valley), the hedge funds probably come out top but they employe much smalller number of techies than big banks. Anyway, most of the important work is in the trading hubs -- upstream.

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About Me

New York (Time Square), NY, United States
http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanbin