Peak and Bubble

During the tax return prep, I found my total income declined 10+ percent last year. This is primarily because of the stock price drop.

Next year or the year after, my income will fall, possibly another 10+ percent, this time because of lower performance ratings1. I had a long tenure in my last team and my previous manager gave me a high rating. As I moved to a new team starting a new role, the good rating is unlikely to sustain.

This is not a pessimism. It’s just a phase I have to go through. It happened the last time I moved, although, unlike this time, the stock growth softened the impact. That won’t be the case this time.

A slightly pessimistic twist: I’m not sure if I can “recover” my rating. I think my nice rating reflected a good opportunity I had, which is not common these days in hindsight. Also, my energy level has fallen for years. I’ll do my best to keep up, but don’t expect much.

This means that: 2021 was probably the year when my income hit its peak. I won’t see that price tag again in my career.

This might sound sad, but I am not that disappointed. I rather feel a kind of gratitude. The tech sector has been in a longstanding bubble, and we are all the tulips. I’m glad I was able to experience this bubble. It wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t here. This is a sheer fortune.

And now, the party is coming to an end2.

The bubbles did feel nice. They were just a bit slippery, as are their residues. From now on, I have to walk a bit more slowly so as not to stumble.


  1. In addition to an extra stock price fall which is pretty much possible.
  2. Another party is starting, but I don’t think I’m in the room.