Individualism and uniformity
November 10th, 2022

The continual dance between individualism and uniformity has been a fascinating topic to me. The such phenomenon exists in every walks of life and we need to make choices on when to embrace our personality and when to conform with others. Seeing Emre's post talking about the importance of individualism in job search reminds me of my job search journey last year. 

With over a year of crypto trading experience during the COVID involving trading spots, leveraged contracts, futures, and options, I came back on campus with a growing portfolio in the fall of 2021. During COVID, I received a lot of inquiries and admiration during the crypto boom since it was such a new industry and I had a couple of good calls on the majority of my investments. While people invested in traditional stocks and bonds, I achieved some jaw-melting profit trading crypto, making me feel proud of my individualism, being different, and, at times, more successful in trading.

In May 2021, crypto crashed with Bitcoin plummeting close to 50%, my proud individualism starts disappearing and some of my followers started running away and believed this market is full of scams. I started thinking if I should just conform to uniformity by embracing the traditional finance industry.

Coming back to campus, I started actively searching for internships in investment banking and believing uniformity is the way for me. However, in each interview I had, all I could talk about is crypto. On many occasions, the interviewers asked me why don't get a crypto-related internship, and I said "I believe traditional finance is more structured and safer." Clearly, this is the answer I came up with for the interview but my heart thought the other way. Later, talking to alumni from traditional finance, they gave me the same suggestions and asked me why not get an internship in crypto and see how far it goes. Making the choice between individualism and uniformity, I saw two paths lying ahead of me each leading to a different end.

Since then, I chose to embrace my individualism, going into the crypto industry. Through that time, I obtained a research position at a venture firm, became the business development associate at the world's largest investment DAO, grew my Twitter account to over 14K followers, and formed one of the largest NFT Bluechip holder communities in Asia with over 50K followers, 500 members, and providing podcast services interviewing different projects. These successes could never be achieved without my individualism. I was also blurred by my individualism many times last year to the point had thought about dropping out (since I also made some sustainable profits on NFTs trading). Now, I have realized the limitations of my individualism as I had been mostly using soft skills in the past. I want to develop my hard skills by attending graduate school and opening more possibilities for myself. 

Life really is a continual dance between individualism and uniformity. There is no right or wrong for either choice and one should never regret the choice one made on either since the only way to figure out most often times is just do it.

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