I was one of those high school seniors that posted on WallStreetOasis in the ye olde days when it was known as ibankingoasis.com, and well, despite my earlier enthusiasm for the job, I decided to quit this week.
I wanted to both share my story and get some guidance/perspective from the community.
Top bucket second year analyst at a large investment bank (RBC, Wells, etc) in one of their best groups. No buyside offer, but was in later stage interviews with a few large, well-known hedge funds. A few older analysts have placed well, and I was not concerned about my exit options.
Why I Quit:
The job wasn't fun and I wasn't happy. It wasn't to the point that it was unbearable, and last week wasn't a particularly bad week, but I felt that the job was beginning to change me as a person. I used to salivate at the thought of working on live deals, particularly deals for large, well-known companies, and well, after closing north of ten deals, you learn that a deal for a $1 billion EBITDA company isn't so different from a deal for a $30 million EBITDA company. It's all the same steps, and the smaller client isn't necessarily less demanding. In fact, they might require more hand-holding due to their lack of financial expertise. I was irritated and stressed. I would wake up and say to myself "F*ck. Another day?"
Speaking to associates at larger funds, their lives weren't much better. Sure, their hours were better and their pay perhaps double mine, but when their MDs said jump, they would still ask how high. It was far from the lifestyle I wanted. Reassessing, I don't need very much money to be happy. Afterall, I'm 23. All I want to do is have fun, meet people, explore the world and try not to become someone's father anytime soon.
Still, I believe that banking is an excellent first job. I've learned a lot, not just how to number crunch, but how to deal with rich, old men (clients, believe it or not, analysts do interact with clients), handle demanding and often times unreasonable bosses, and navigate my way through the corporate jungle.
I feel great. My health is returning. The dark circles under my eyes are slowly fading, and it is nice to see the daylight again. I've been catching up with friends and going to the gym for two hours each day. My only "work" nowadays is reading 4 Hour Work Week.
Currently, I am considering startup ideas or perhaps joining a startup. Anyone have any interesting suggestions on what to do? Sorry for the longwinded post. Just trying to figure out life after banking.