What do you do for work? Give us a few reasons why you love it.
I work for a company that underwrites commercial earthquake insurance on behalf of several global insurance companies. In particular, I am responsible for running a computer model that estimates the potential losses to our overall portfolio of business as a result of seismic events. I love what I do primarily because I have the freedom to be creative and implement new ideas. The company I work for is forward thinking and more technology driven than most in the insurance industry. I am fortunate enough to have a boss who is always willing to listen to my ideas and let me try things that we think will benefit the company.
Where do you expect to be in 5 years?
Because I’m sort of dreamer, when I say where I expect to be, it’s really where I would want to be or dream of being, and that may or may not necessarily line up with reality. So, in 5 years, I “expect” to be in the process of building up my own company after having ventured out on my own in pursuit of capitalizing on the right opportunity at the right time. But, it is very likely that I will instead still be working where I am now, perhaps with more responsibilities and new connections, which I would be very happy with. I am also very interested in furthering my education, so I do expect to be in some sort of graduate program as well in 5 years, perhaps working at a slower pace so as to correctly balance my work/family time.
Which is more important: talent or work ethic? Why?
Both are important, and either one alone at their extreme exclusion of the other is almost useless. If someone is exceptionally talented, brilliant, but they just never show up to work, or never give the results that you need in the timeframe you need them, you cannot utilize their talents at all. On the other hand, if someone comes in early every single day, works hard, stays late, but they don’t actually produce useful results or everything they do has mistakes and needs to be redone, you cannot utilize their work ethic.
How do you measure success at work? In life?
I am ambitious, and of course want to achieve as much as I can at work, and make as much money as possible at work as long as it doesn’t cause me to sacrifice time with my family. I enjoy trying hard and being creative, and it is good for me and good for my company. But for me, my personal measure of success at work is this: I do not find my identity in what I do for a living or how much money I make. My personal measure of success in life likewise means I don’t find my identity in anything I am in life or what I do in life. My primary measure of success is whether or not I am finding my identity in Christ. I am a religious person, so my answer probably sounds strange to many people, but for me the simplicity of it is everything. If I have my identity in Christ, everything else follows. I will be the best employee I can be because that is my duty to God, I will be the best husband and father because I am striving to live out the example God gave us in Christ. The striving for success takes on a different focus, and I am able to live joyfully without being consumed by the common pitfalls of striving for worldly success in the form of money, power or prestige. Those things on their own will never be enough and will not make me feel successful or fulfilled. It is said that when John D. Rockefeller was asked how much money was enough, he replied: “A little bit more.” I am convinced that without my primary focus being Christ, anything else in life will leave me always wanting “a little bit more.”