- New York
Employee Stories: Steve Halprin4 May 2022
From a burnt-out commuter to a laptop computer.
As someone who drove to and from the city Monday through Friday for countless years, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic in both directions and working nine to five, I was always envious of the people I saw typing away on laptops in coffee shops and on park benches.
I spent my average workday in one room devoid of sunlight, with the same seven or eight people, and longed for some flexibility (and sunshine) in my life – the same flexibility that I assumed those laptop folks enjoyed.
I always wondered: what type of work are these people doing, and how can I become one of them?
I finally found my answer when I discovered investment writing.
After years of dealing with a somewhat passive-aggressive boss in an industry that offered no real opportunity for growth, I decided it was time for a change.
Having always had a background in writing, I thought I would give it a go.
While I had no prior financial writing experience per se, I was lucky enough to be given a shot and landed my first gig as an investment writer.
I began working closely with experts in the field and fully immersed myself in all things finance. I’m happy to say that I quickly excelled in my new career.
I continued working as an investment writer for a large New York City (NYC) asset-management firm for nearly six years.
And although I periodically traveled to and worked in the NYC office, I was finally one of those laptop people that I so greatly envied.During my time with the NYC outfit, I had heard repeated rumors of potential shake-ups and firings over the years, as is customary in large corporations. Nine times out of ten, these rumblings were merely false alarms.
However, one day, I got the news of a department-wide layoff (my department) from a reliable source, and knew that I’d better start looking for a new job.
A company-wide layoff led to a great new company!
Almost immediately following the layoffs from that big NYC asset manager, I spoke with a representative from Copylab, and instantly wanted to work there.
From my interviewer’s professional yet friendly and casual demeanor to Copylab’s quirky but informative website and signature shade of orange, I knew I had found my new home. I joined the US freelance roster and took on some ongoing fund-commentary work for one of Copylab’s top clients.
I must have done something right, because a couple of months into the assignment, the client sent my manager a note of unsolicited, glowing praise about me and my work. Not long after, I was asked to be Copylab’s team lead for the US writers – I said yes!
This new, full-time role included assisting the managing director with operational duties as well as handling various writing and editing tasks. After six months in the writer/team-lead role, my hard work was once again acknowledged and led to another new opportunity. This time, I was offered the position of Director of Strategic Operations for Copylab North America, and again, I gratefully accepted.
Copylab provides its people with opportunities to prove themselves and then recognizes and rewards their hard work and accomplishments. What a fantastic and incentivizing way to run a business!
This aspect of the company is one of my favorite things from an employee perspective – second only to the flexibility of working from home, a coffee shop, a park bench, or wherever my heart desires.
Since joining Copylab, I’ve learned so much, and continue to learn more each day. My colleagues are always available and accommodating, including the company’s founder and chairman. Not many firms can boast this level of accessibility.
In the relatively short time I have been a Copylabber, I have already been promoted twice and asked numerous times about my career interests and aspirations. What a stark contrast from my days of bumper-to-bumper traffic and dead-end jobs!