3 Visas, 2 Jobs, and 1 Year Later… I’m Heading Home

The countdown is on (and yes, I will be bringing my frequent use of puns with me) for my return to Canada.

It’s been over a year, and two awesome experience since I moved down. In case you, the reader, are unsure about what those experiences were – let me remind you. I got the chance to work with RBC Capital Markets on the Equity desk during 2011. During that period I got exposed to some of the smartest equity minds I have met, and got to work with a great team on the desk.

In 2012, I joined a great group to tackle one of the biggest problems in the US – a broken equity market.

Although I loved the last experience especially (I have never learned so much in such a short period of time), I felt it was time for me to return home. Let me share with (and define for myself), why:

  1. Being an outsider sucks: this is something you can’t really appreciate unless you have lived somewhere permanently on a visa, but living in a foreign country on a visa… sucks. You are subject to employment, there are tons of limitations on what you can do, you have lots of restrictions on renewing/extending, you have to deal with delays at the airport, and it’s just an all around headache. The annoyance of visa’s had begun to wear me down; it was time to return back to where I didn’t need a visa: Canada.
  2. You won’t miss things, you will miss people: everyone has seen the movie where the main character is leaving. They go to their favourite restaurant/ice cream store/area and reminisce, “Man, I will miss this place.” WRONG. In my experience living and working abroad, you will miss people, not places. And let’s be honest, I am sure WAY more people miss me… (ha)
  3. Roots develop quickly: if you don’t have intentions on staying somewhere, be careful how long you stick around (that’s actually pretty applicable to almost anything now that I think of it – habits, people, etc.). Roots develop extremely quickly – you build a group of friends, find favourite restaurants, get into some activities, find a gym, and before you know it, picking up and moving becomes hard. I realized how rooted I was starting to become, and I figured it was time to cut that one off at the pass.
  4. More Risk: after you quit your first job, you will find it liberating. It’s like getting shot for the first time at paintball (for those who haven’t played) – the fear of how much it will hurt is actually a lot worse than how much it actually hurts. The same comes for taking risk. When you’re at your first job, it is very easy to become paralyzed by fear – it took you so long to get, you had to interview so many times, and the market is bad right now, and whatever else you tell yourself. However, for me, I understand more than ever that my 20’s are the years to take EXTREME risk. It’s like serving in tennis – you use your first ball to try something fancy, and take tons of risk – if that fouls, then use your second for a more conservative shot. Why would you be conservative if you know you still have another ball?

So, what am I most excited for? Probably to see everyone again, catch up, and find out what awesome things everyone has been up to. I am excited for the familiar sights and sounds of the city. I am excited for poutine, and maple syrup. But more than anything, I am excited to be heading home.

See everyone soon,

Blair Livingston

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3 thoughts on “3 Visas, 2 Jobs, and 1 Year Later… I’m Heading Home

  1. Hey good stuff Blair. Good luck with the move back, I know the feeling of constant transition it seems but I’m sure you’ll find something new…that silver lining!

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