I am engineer and in my spare time I pursue a PhD. I developed as a consultant and recently I decided to become a quantitative analyst at an energy trading company.
When I was recruited for this new position I was told that they were expecting nothing but the best, so I felt that I could really develop there.
After getting some assignments and fulfilling those with state of the art tools and methods, I was called over by my manager and another mid range manager to tell me that I should lower the quality (A.K.A use simpler methods. I.e. linear two-variable regression instead of multidimensional deep learning) because "others" might feel threatened by the new developments. They also told me the they still were expecting to be mesmerized by my work.
I did talk to my peers to get a feeling of how was I being perceived by doing this kind of work, and they were alright with it, actually some wanted to learn and others already at my same or higher level. I want to stress that I am no math wizard, just a guy that does a state of the art review before proceeding with an assignment.
After this puzzling episode, I got a quite hard assignment. I did a bit of bibliography research and I found a paper describing the problem and proposing a solution. This solution involved some probabilistic math that I acknowledge that is not straight forward, but it got the job done.
After this I got called apart, this time by the company vice president. Same message; "Be average and lower the quality, you'll be happier, but we still expect great things of you"
I told the managers that it was very hard for me to do something "average" when I know the best. This is specially relevant because a part of my salary will come based on the financial performance of the tools I develop.
I also feel that if I deliver bad quality, I am not being honest with my self.
PS: I believe that all this comes because new methods represent more work for the company managers since they would have to catch up with them.