How many people, when they’re choosing their career path, do you think say to themselves, it’s either banking, or punk rock?
You’d probably *think* it’d be a scant few. But read how something like that happened to Henry Rollins, the lead singer of Black Flag, a big punk rocker in the 80s, who’s profiled in the National Post today. There are hundreds of people just like him.
Rollins went to a private boys school just outside of Washington, DC.
But he felt alienated by the people at private school, so he turned to punk rock.
He told the National Post:
“I was a nervous young person raised by a nervous woman at this place where everyone was a jerk to each other and punk rock made me go, ‘Screw these people!’ I never would’ve come up with that on my own.”
So he had the pedigree we now know is all but absolutely necessary if you want a good career like investment banking, but he rejected that path, or it rejected him, in favour of a rebellious career.
Obviously not everyone who grows up going to a private school falls into one of the two categories Rollins saw in his DC suburb, “these people” and punk rockers.
But just yesterday, we wrote a story about new research that shows how investment banks pick their employees. And the all-star athletes who went to the “top 5” Ivies that investment banks are looking for sound like they are the stereotypical people Rollins pulled away from when he turned to punk.
In other words, Rollins is like any of “rebels” who came from elite schools and suburbs where they didn’t fit in and have since become some of the biggest successes in their fields.
So it makes sense that if he had fit in, that’s probably where he’d be now.
“The music helped people like me — kids who were total failures, bad students, who couldn’t meet chicks, you know, every third kid — get our feet on the ground. Without punk, I’d probably be a be a banker.”
Heck, if Harvard grad Mark Zuckerberg didn’t invent Facebook, he’d probably be a banker, too.