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  #1  
Old 08-05-2019, 05:05 PM
anothermathteacher anothermathteacher is offline
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Default Enjoy exams more than job?

In my company, I'm a bit anomalous in that I enjoy studying for exams significantly more than I enjoy the day-to-day job.

Is there anyone else out there like me? Is this a sign that I'm in the wrong job/career? I like the skills that I'm picking up as an actuary and, again, I do enjoy the material on the exams. Yet, I find that I could do without much of the daily work.
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:58 PM
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lit041000 lit041000 is offline
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let me spoil the ending here. I had the same experience. "the math is awesome but my job is boring." Fast forward to passing my last exam. That left me with "my job is boring". So I went on a quest to find an interesting job.

What I found was the interesting jobs in corporate DO exist but they are small numbered. They exist on the small R and D teams doing the cool shit. If you can interview your way into them, great! Getting the interview is no problem if you're already internal. I interviewed with 5 teams doing really cool work but didn't get an offer.

I only rarely met actuaries using advanced math or cool predictive modeling. Most of us donks are doing basic business reporting. As you advanced, you get out of the reporting and get into people managmenet and sitting in meetings. no thanks.

One way I've seen people pivot is to get a masters in data science and join a data science team. No need to finish actuary exams.

I just quit work to join a masters program in product design so my vision is my job will be interesting in the future.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:14 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Originally Posted by lit041000 View Post
let me spoil the ending here. I had the same experience. "the math is awesome but my job is boring." Fast forward to passing my last exam. That left me with "my job is boring".
OP, this isn't necessarily your future, but there's a good chance it is. Would suggest that you look at the people you work with that have 5-10 years of experience. If you think their jobs look interesting, then great, because that's probably what you're on track for. If their jobs are also boring to you, then you need to figure out how to be on a different track - which might be as drastic as lit, but doesn't have to be.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:46 PM
Pamela Wells Pamela Wells is offline
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I disliked studying for most of the exams. In part, that is due to the fact that I don't learn as well through self-study. I learn much better in a group environment, where I can discuss and bounce ideas off of other people.

I also really liked my job, throughout the exam process and post exams (and currently). In part, that's due to me having somehow ended up in a string of somewhat less "standard" actuarial roles. I've done a lot more special projects and exploratory work than the average actuary... without really needing to go the data science route.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:53 PM
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Lucy Lucy is offline
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Originally Posted by Westley View Post
OP, this isn't necessarily your future, but there's a good chance it is. Would suggest that you look at the people you work with that have 5-10 years of experience. If you think their jobs look interesting, then great, because that's probably what you're on track for. If their jobs are also boring to you, then you need to figure out how to be on a different track - which might be as drastic as lit, but doesn't have to be.


This is why I left the pension field. I looked at what my boss was doing, and what his boss was doing, and decided that wasn't where I wanted to go. I ended up in p&c, which might not be something you would like, but I enjoyed it much more, and have stayed here.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:58 PM
clarinetist clarinetist is offline
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I quit the field after a year. It wasn't a good fit for me: I couldn't deal with the corporate politics, and could not stand dealing with memory issues with Excel and Access on a daily basis. I was irritated that I felt like I was doing things inefficiently with Excel and Access as my only tools, and having performance reviews being based on opaque internal politics and being judged based on point-and-click cell formulas took me over the edge mentally.

A lot of people are probably reading this and are attributing it to boredom: in my opinion, it wasn't the boredom that got me. It was that I knew I was doing things inefficiently through no fault of my own. You know it's bad when the highlight of your job is doing modular arithmetic in Excel.

One of the happiest days of my life that I've had, honestly, was getting accepted to grad school in stats. I've had my ups and downs since then, but I am much more efficient at data-related tasks than I was 5 years ago.

And on top of all of that, I'm going to be faculty this fall. I had to make a brief trip down memory lane since (it's a necessary evil, that's why) I'm teaching Access and Excel, along with SQL and R in one semester. As I was writing the Access and Excel units, I couldn't stop thinking that I'm glad that I don't have to deal with Excel's and Access' limitations anymore.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:14 AM
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Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Lorenzo Von Matterhorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermathteacher View Post
In my company, I'm a bit anomalous in that I enjoy studying for exams significantly more than I enjoy the day-to-day job.

Is there anyone else out there like me? Is this a sign that I'm in the wrong job/career? I like the skills that I'm picking up as an actuary and, again, I do enjoy the material on the exams. Yet, I find that I could do without much of the daily work.
I think I would categorize myself as a person who enjoyed the process and grind of taking exams more than my day-to-day. That doesn't mean it's the wrong career for me. Now that I'm finished, I work 40 hours a week with great pay and enough time to do whatever I want outside of work without having to study. Work/life balance is much higher on my list of priorities in life than thoroughly enjoying my day-to-day duties.

Bottom line is we (mostly) work with insurance products. If we're being honest with ourselves, I would say that we could agree that is mostly uninteresting in the broad scheme of things. It's up to you to decide how your daily work ranks on your list of priorities and make changes accordingly.

Also, if you like the exam process, you can volunteer with the SOA after getting your FSA and write or grade exam questions. That could satisfy your enjoyment for exam material after you're finished taking them.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by anothermathteacher View Post
In my company, I'm a bit anomalous in that I enjoy studying for exams significantly more than I enjoy the day-to-day job.
That was me. I was in pensions. When I turned 40 I left actuarial work.

The field I'm in now isn't more mathematically challenging, but I like the field a lot more.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:28 AM
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I love taking tests. I picked the QFI track and I actually can say I really enjoy the exam material.

I find that I love investment work, because its the most math-ey (AKA quantitative). I guess my advice to you would be to pass your tests, stay humble and branch out when you have more experience.

Its hard to keep that in perspective, at least for me.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:42 AM
anothermathteacher anothermathteacher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n27 View Post
I love taking tests. I picked the QFI track and I actually can say I really enjoy the exam material.

I find that I love investment work, because its the most math-ey (AKA quantitative). I guess my advice to you would be to pass your tests, stay humble and branch out when you have more experience.

Its hard to keep that in perspective, at least for me.
Good to hear that you're enjoying the QFI track. I have that pegged as the track that I'd most like to pursue.
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