CFA Magazine, September 2016
Read the article as it ran here
Gayle Buff was good at her job in psychiatric nursing. Capable, confident, and with a deep interest in people, she rose steadily through her profession until she reached the point when she was ready to launch her own business as a psychotherapist.
“But I recognized that wasn’t what I wanted: it didn’t feel right,” says Buff. “I wanted to find out more about business.” And so, at a point in her early 30s when most people feel tied into their career choices no matter what doubts they might have about them, she changed direction completely. Today she runs Buff Capital Management, a successful investment advisory firm in Boston.
Not everyone has the guts to do this, to set aside a decade or more of accumulated experience and reputation and to seek another path instead. But many of us think about it. In fact, most of us experience a moment of doubt, at the very least, that perhaps we mis-stepped early in our career and might be doing the wrong thing. Perhaps it’s just a sense that it is time for a change, and that life is long enough to afford more than one career.
Sometimes this feeling might be prompted by a life-changing roadblock, a redundancy or an illness. Or it might just be a dawning that this is simply not the life one should be leading, a nebulous sense that there is a need for something different.
But should we act upon it? And, if so, how?