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From The Wall Street Journal – Financial trader moves to waiter

A Finance Executive Walks Away to Work His Way Up From Waiter

By Dawn Falik

“Scott Gould went from trader to waiter—by choice.

Growing up in Florida, Mr. Gould enjoyed working in restaurants as a waiter and bartender. But he also liked working with numbers, and after graduating from the University of Florida, he went into finance. He got a job in New York as a fixed-income trader in 2000, and later raised money to invest in new markets and help develop avenues for investments.

He learned to do research and listen to customers. Every client wanted something a little different. One might want something aggressive; another, lower risks.

Life-Altering Moment

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Gould was working in his office near the World Trade Center. He evacuated after the first plane hit. As he walked down 36 flights of stairs, he saw the second plane fly into the tower.

It made him re-evaluate his career. “I had to think, ‘Do I love what I’m doing?’ and I couldn’t answer yes,” he says. “It’s not like I hated going to work, but we spend so much time working and it wasn’t exciting and I wasn’t running to the office on Monday morning.”

He kept thinking back to how he had liked working in restaurants. As a trader, he had taken clients regularly to Del Frisco’s, a steakhouse in Midtown Manhattan. On a whim, he called a manager he knew. He asked for a job.

Behind the Bar

There was an opening—as a server. He handed in his notice the next day, took two weeks off and started at Del Frisco’s in August 2002″.

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