Remember, once upon a time there was a profession and a job for a lifetime. We've accepted this hoping that augmentation will compensate automation….I wrote about this here.
When we take a quick look at the highly specialized profession of a quant (again). we'll see that it's in danger to become replaced by quant finance technology.
What career steps can a quant consider, when this will happen?
Climb - become head of risk management, dive in - become a structurer of innovative financial instruments, surf - become a financial advisor, leap forward - build a next generation of quant finance technology.
Making such a decision it helped to know in which type of work you are in. And, I recommend a typology that's principles are not so different from the innovation types (of The Innovation Mesh)
Time Type - high performance jobs, real-time jobs and off-time jobs
Reality Type - factual (collecting facts), real (solving problems of a real behavior), ideal (provide methodologies or technologies), fancy (stimulate imagination or present things in a virtual reality)
Style Type - what interaction patterns does the job owner mainly use: manual processes, documents, interactive systems or al kinds of presentation.
Structure Type - this most important type describes how the job is integrated into the institution. How it works internally and externally. It describes, whether the job will survive (determined by the stable integration into linear workflows), how it will live in the inner competitive arena (determined by its application in multiple, parallel workflows), how it will be requested (determined by agility). The structure type provides information about how connected the development of the job and the institution are.
Content Type - it determines the classical job description. They provide information on market segments, sectors, areas of knowledge, ways of working, hierarchy levels...sometimes controlling ideas, conventions and obligations. I tend to distinguish Purpose Types (analyst) and Realization Types (statistician).
Innovators change systems that have caused problems (or create new things). Their innovation can even help that our systems become stronger when stressed. That is difficult work. To do it they need freedom and a high degree of self-organisatiuon and responsibility.
Make money or have fun?
Evaluating any activities, we run into difficulties when pressing emotional and rational criteria into a linear scheme. It provides much more insight to create a map where hygiene factors and motivation factors are orthogonal.
The bigger picture of work
Disputes about labor are often occupied by a broad dispute about the hygiene factors (time and money) - income. This is because they are metrical…motivation factors are difficult to quantify. Parts of the motivation factors are quantitative: margin to name one
In the financial system "Alpha" measures how much an economic bet has beaten the market - more precise, how much a risk-adjusted return beats a the return of a benchmark.
I "generalize" Alpha, denoting a qualitative and quantitative criteria for how much a work result is better than a benchmark. Alpha is then one of the motivation factors. But there are much more, let's summarize them under Self-realization
Simplifying, I identify 4 regions on a Self-realization / Income map of work
Slavery - in the low / low corner
Hobby - in the high / low corner
Factory in the low / high corner
Lab - in the high / high corner
Through the lens of innovators we're interested in factory vs lab work, but politicians should look deeper…some of them preach still "the dignity of slave work"...
Innovators do lab work, striving today for a breakthrough for tomorrow. The more this work is aided by connected AIs the more it may become factory work. Make the same things better and cheaper. We need answers before this will happen…and they're not found in "better marketing".