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4/30/12

It is time...

...After 6 years Tier2sta is also leaving the industry....

Why? A lot of what Mr Ridley states is true...

  • This thing's not as lucrative as most people imagined, definitely not so now that so much of the above base comp is deferred / deferred stock
  • Banks don't know what business model actually works, they have no idea how to get their ROE back up to where it was pre-2008
  • IBD teams are too thin, at officer level it means there is not enough depth in resource / quality resource below you to do effectively the things you want to do without constantly stepping down to clean up, mop up, fix, re-do.../li>
  • The glamour isn't what it used to be, and because of the increased levels of stress generally it is less fun
  • My contacts are as good as my business card in most cases (there are exceptions but a large proportion of clients I have interacted with see me in exactly the same way they see my peers at other banks, these are not deep and meaningful relationships and they are driven by the product my bank can offer)
  • My sector knowledge is superficial (I covered the same sector throughout). I could never learn about the sector properly through IBD. The more senior I became the more frustrating this became

So I am stepping down. Been a good ride. Some fond memories. But I think now is the time to try something else.

Peace...

Comments (103)

4/30/12

Obviously this site is industry weighted but I think you younger guys will see that by the time you're in your late twenties you will have friends in every profession go through the OP's transformation. "This seemed interesting---> now it sucks. I thought the money was good ---> now not so much. I learned a lot at the beginning ---> not anymore. When I started here things were different! (even they weren't)"

Banking is certainly rough, and the industry has seen an exceptional level of tumult, but dissatisfaction/apathy with a job you've been doing for 3-5 years is industry agnostic. Do the best job you can, wherever you end up, and the next thing will be a lot easier to come by.

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In reply to IlliniProgrammer
4/30/12

IlliniProgrammer:

Come to Wall Street. Spend two years working your butt off; spend another two if you can spend your weekends having fun. Enjoy a glass or two; just don't get drunk on it. Cause the hangover is a real bitch.

I feel like this should be a slogan somewhere

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

4/30/12

You guys are killing me here. I'm currently working at a at a pretty reputable f500 financial firm. But was looking to get a job in ib or pe here in the next couple of months. Just feel like the job is too easy and I'm looking for more of a challenge.... Thoughts about my situation?

In reply to PaulOwen
4/30/12

PaulOwen:
You guys are killing me here. I'm currently working at a at a pretty reputable f500 financial firm. But was looking to get a job in ib or pe here in the next couple of months. Just feel like the job is too easy and I'm looking for more of a challenge.... Thoughts about my situation?

Enjoy it! Make the job more interesting. Ask good questions and climb the ladder in front of you.

The smart hard-working guy in a room full of average people eventually becomes the leader. The smart guy in a room full of smart people is a grunt.

The problems at an F500 in the industrial sector, utilities, oil companies, pharma; these problems are all real and very important and really do affect people's lives and livelihoods. There is a very close connection there. That new power plant is going to reduce SO2 emissions by 50%, leaving a cleaner environment. That new drug for blood pressure is going to save hundreds of lives. That new tractor will make life easier for thousands of farmers. We NEED smart people at F500 companies, and that's where the money is EVENTUALLY going to slosh back to.

I feel like this should be a slogan somewhere

I should probably give partial attribution to a set of comments Jay Leno made about Hollywood. He was basically saying that it's great to work in hollywood, but you shouldn't define yourself by it. When you are spending 60-70 hours+/week at work, it is very easy to define yourself by it, and that's how you start to get drunk on wall street.
In reply to IlliniProgrammer
4/30/12

IlliniProgrammer:
TheSquale:
You should be right...
Another questions, why some decide to stay in IB in spite of all what Tier2Sta said for example.
Are these people so driven by money that they forget everything else ?

Some of these people find work/life balance. Good for them.

I think that boutiques are going to become a lot more competitive for top talent as many do offer a significantly better work/life balance both at the analyst level and particularly at the Associate/VP/MD levels. If the gap in compensation continues to shrink, the lifestyle at a boutique looks that much better.

Caveat: Not all boutiques have a great work/life balance, some are sweat shops. Choose wisely...

4/30/12

If you do not like your work then get out, of course. I congratulate the OP and others on taking their life in hand and doing something to change themselves. I hope it works out for them.

However, as someone who has been in the business for a decade, loves my work, and plans to do it until the day I die (provided my brain still works) I see the volume of these stories as a great contrarian indicator that we finally are seeing a bottom in the financial industry. In 2008 people laughed at me when i said the industry was in for a bad run on this forum. Wall st always over-fires, it'll be over in 6 months, u r a perma-bear, etc etc. Now here we are almost 5 years later, the S&P is near 1400 (w financials amongst the best performers), the economic data is slowly improving, and the consensus here seems to be that the best move is to become a farmer, tech entrepreneur, or street musician. Outside WSO in the real-world this is also the first year that I have heard people getting fired "throwing in the towel" and saying they are not going to try to re-enter the industry...in 2007-09 I heard none of that. This is classic market-clearing behavior...the definition of capitulation.

I am not a farmer, cant play the piano and unfortunately I surely am not the next Zuckerberg but I am a trader and I have been taught to always be wary of a lazy consensus view.

In reply to Bondarb
4/30/12

Bondarb:
If you do not like your work then get out, of course. I congratulate the OP and others on taking their life in hand and doing something to change themselves. I hope it works out for them.

However, as someone who has been in the business for a decade, loves my work, and plans to do it until the day I die (provided my brain still works) I see the volume of these stories as a great contrarian indicator that we finally are seeing a bottom in the financial industry. In 2008 people laughed at me when i said the industry was in for a bad run on this forum. Wall st always over-fires, it'll be over in 6 months, u r a perma-bear, etc etc. Now here we are almost 5 years later, the S&P is near 1400 (w financials amongst the best performers), the economic data is slowly improving, and the consensus here seems to be that the best move is to become a farmer, tech entrepreneur, or street musician. Outside WSO in the real-world this is also the first year that I have heard people getting fired "throwing in the towel" and saying they are not going to try to re-enter the industry...in 2007-09 I heard none of that. This is classic market-clearing behavior...the definition of capitulation.

I am not a farmer, cant play the piano and unfortunately I surely am not the next Zuckerberg but I am a trader and I have been taught to always be wary of a lazy consensus view.

Awesome.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

4/30/12

Good luck to both of you.
I can relate in some ways, and I think your mid to late 20's is a great time to reassess and redirect your life/focus/talents if you feel the need.
You get to sort things out in your head when there is less at stake and you have more options.

4/30/12

Thanks for writing. Best of luck!

4/30/12

Those are some wise words illin, I can't deny that. Now I'm even more stuck. Literally have the cover letter and resume ready to go. Just don't know if I would be throwing a great opportunity away. I have connects very high up in the company too. Killin me.

4/30/12

Maye bondarb. But I'm not seeing 24-year-olds or 40-somethings quitting here. I'm seeing guys in their late '20s quitting. This is pretty typical of what happens on wall street. People have always come to Wall Street on the four or five year plan, and they leave after that. You and I both know that this is nothing new.

I think what's really going on here is the age of the forums. A lot of guys found the site in 2006 when they were interns. So now it's a year of school and five years in industry later. Four or five years was a nice round number for us to promise ourselves when it was over. Now that date is approaching and our subconscious is forcing us to think about getting out.

You come to Wall Street, you live like a monk, you work like hell, you accumulate your savings, then you take it somewhere outside NYC where a dollar is still a dollar, and you spend it there. After five years of savings, my lifetime utility is now maximized by taking the money and working elsewhere, outside NYC. If Wall Street were booming, maybe I would have added a year; if it were TRULY a bottom (total comps down 60%) like 2003 was for programming, I might have knocked one year off.

In reply to PaulOwen
4/30/12

PaulOwen:
Those are some wise words illin, I can't deny that. Now I'm even more stuck. Literally have the cover letter and resume ready to go. Just don't know if I would be throwing a great opportunity away. I have connects very high up in the company too. Killin me.

Give it six more months. Ask good, polite, smart questions of your higher-ups. When someone scratches their head and says, "Hey, we've never thought of that", take the initiative and try to prove out whether or not your idea could work. That will draw some positive attention to yourself, and leave you in a good spot to ask to be transferred into a role within the firm that you're more interested in- especially if it's related to your research.

Most corporate executives and higher level managers are as smart as bankers. Some of them are probably much smarter. They like to be surrounded by other smart people and they like to give opportunities to smart people who take initiative.

The nice thing about working at a F500 firm is that it doesn't take as much work to show initiative; it doesn't take as much intellect to show brilliance. There are smart people everywhere, but a smart person at Occidental Petroleum tends to stand out a whole lot more there than he would at JP Morgan.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
4/30/12

IlliniProgrammer:
I am thinking about getting out, too.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527023048...

If I work in finance at Exelon/ Commonwealth Edison, I'll be able to come home, flick the light switch, the lights turn on, and I can smile about what I do. If I work at Northern Trust and log in to check my bank account and see interest getting deposited from bank loans, I'll be happy. If I work at Pfizer and wake up on Saturday morning and read in the New York Times about our latest cancer drug, I'll be happy.

Money is good. Work is good. But as you hit your mid to late 20s, you begin to snap out of chasing castles in the sky and start getting the first inklings of your mortality as a few small hints of gray hair show up, as a few light wrinkles appear, and clocks begin to carry way more symbolism than a piece of furniture should. You look at the money you have in the bank, and it doesn't make you as happy as you thought it would have made you at 22.

What makes you happy? Friends. Hang gliding/golf/sailing/ things that get you out of the city with friends. Remembering the things you did in college that helped make the world a better place. The arts (sometimes). Spiritual stuff. Money is nice in that it gives you freedom and financial security, but it's not a substitute for the human experience. Kids would probably make me happy too, but they're an 18-year-commitment.

Come to Wall Street. Spend two years working your butt off; spend another two if you can spend your weekends having fun. Enjoy a glass or two; just don't get drunk on it. Cause the hangover is a real bitch.

+1 IP

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
4/30/12

IlliniProgrammer:
Maye bondarb. But I'm not seeing 24-year-olds or 40-somethings quitting here. I'm seeing guys in their late '20s quitting. This is pretty typical of what happens on wall street. People have always come to Wall Street on the four or five year plan, and they leave after that. You and I both know that this is nothing new.

I think what's really going on here is the age of the forums. A lot of guys found the site in 2006 when they were interns. So now it's a year of school and five years in industry later. Four or five years was a nice round number for us to promise ourselves when it was over. Now that date is approaching and our subconscious is forcing us to think about getting out.

You come to Wall Street, you live like a monk, you work like hell, you accumulate your savings, then you take it somewhere outside NYC where a dollar is still a dollar, and you spend it there. After five years of savings, my lifetime utility is now maximized by taking the money and working elsewhere, outside NYC. If Wall Street were booming, maybe I would have added a year; if it were TRULY a bottom (total comps down 60%) like 2003 was for programming, I might have knocked one year off.

Maybe the OP can speak for himself but I dont think he came into the industry planning to leave in 5 years. On his list of reasons for leaving the industry I dont see "this was the plan all along". And I have absolutely seen 40 year olds and 24 year olds "getting out" which is what I was talking about when i said people off the forum throwing in the towel after getting fired. And wasnt our favorite street musician/the next billy joel a 23 year old analyst?

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4/30/12

------------
I'm making it up as I go along.

In reply to Bondarb
4/30/12

Bondarb:
Maybe the OP can speak for himself but I dont think he came into the industry planning to leave in 5 years. On his list of reasons for leaving the industry I dont see "this was the plan all along". And I have absolutely seen 40 year olds and 24 year olds "getting out" which is what I was talking about when i said people off the forum throwing in the towel after getting fired. And wasnt our favorite street musician/the next billy joel a 23 year old analyst?

True. It was kinda my plan.

I think this bodes well for the economy. A lot of intellect and talent is getting out of the casino and heading off to industry. I'm not sure having nuclear engineers work on structured products helps the economy quite as much, net-net, as having nuclear engineers work on uprating reactors, getting licenses extended, and helping to expand the grid for wind energy.

In reply to Abdel
4/30/12

Abdel:
IlliniProgrammer:
Edmundo Braverman:
Just waiting for the college sophomores to chime in with, "Good, OP. Now there's more room for me."

LOL Eddie, you forgot to mention that us older-than-25-year-olds feel bad for those kids.

Financial security IS a good objective to spend a few years on. But money is NOT the purpose of life and it certainly doesn't mean success in life. If you're not religious, the world's most successful person was *probably* either an English playwright or a Greek philosopher who was sentenced to death. For those of us who are religious, the world's most successful mortal might have been a bedouin shepherd or a simple fisherman from the Sea of Galilee.

Nobody remembers who was the king of Austria in 1820. And we're beginning to forget the Rothschilds and the Vanderbilts. In two more generations, we will be forgetting the Rockefellers. And this starts to really hit home the second you notice the first signs of aging. Best situation, kids, is that in 100 years, you get a 200 word blurb in the back pages of some forgotten encyclopedia.

The plan for everyone should be:

1- Make enough money to retire before 35

2- Once #1 is done, spend your time doing research in a STEM field.

That's a bit myopic and arbitrary don't you think? I think the plan for everyone should be try to find fulfillment in what you do while hopefully leaving the people you interact with in a better place than when you found them. My ultimate goal is to strive to be happy and hopefully make others happy, while not putting my needs and wants above those of my loved ones.

4/30/12

I am really tired of these circle jerk threads.

Also, don't say "+1" if you don't actually give a +1.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to rufiolove
4/30/12

rufiolove:
I think the plan for everyone should be try to find fulfillment in what you do while hopefully leaving the people you interact with in a better place than when you found them. My ultimate goal is to strive to be happy and hopefully make others happy, while not putting my needs and wants above those of my loved ones.

Best thing I have read today. Everybody think that they got it all figured out for everyone else. The problem is that no one really see the elephant in the room. You think it is a rope. I say it is a wall. And we are all right and all wrong at the same time.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/30/12

This is how I sleep at night and go to work everyday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl6rXJ4NFao

I've always been on the product side, so I haven't had the same amount of soul-draining nights as the industry bankers. So that may contribute to why I'm still a little bit of an idealist.

In reply to Nefarious-
4/30/12

Nefarious-:
I am really tired of these circle jerk threads.

Also, don't say "+1" if you don't actually give a +1.

+1

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

In reply to Flake
4/30/12

Flake:
Nefarious-:
I am really tired of these circle jerk threads.

Also, don't say "+1" if you don't actually give a +1.

+1


http://chelleshockk.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/ff...

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

4/30/12

Maybe I don't trade enough size or I just got lucky with a good group, but I love my job. I get to make great money, intellectually stimulating, and it is a real life human psychology experiment. Even if I get paid (slightly) less than the cash bonuses that were getting handed out before Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers went under, as a junior analyst that is fine. There is no other occupation in the world where the sky is truly the limit and someone can go from being in the bottom half of their graduation class to making a shitload of money if they have other skills like mental toughness and an ability to put themselves in a position to be lucky. For me to quit this job or career path would require me to be escorted out of the building by a team of security guards because to be honest, I don't have a magic number, I could do this for a long fucking time. Maybe not from a NYC high rise, but in some way or another I am here to stay and I have worked a lot of other shittier jobs to confirm that is the case.

4/30/12

And btw just because the game is changing doesn't mean it is dead. It is dead for those who cannot offer a service that justifies getting paid at their level. The rules are still the same, those who make money or help make money live, and the others hang around until they burn out or get pushed out. For everything else, the Fed writes a blank check.

In reply to Cash4Gold
4/30/12

Cash4Gold:
Maybe I don't trade enough size or I just got lucky with a good group, but I love my job. I get to make great money, intellectually stimulating, and it is a real life human psychology experiment. Even if I get paid (slightly) less than the cash bonuses that were getting handed out before Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers went under, as a junior analyst that is fine. There is no other occupation in the world where the sky is truly the limit and someone can go from being in the bottom half of their graduation class to making a shitload of money if they have other skills like mental toughness and an ability to put themselves in a position to be lucky. For me to quit this job or career path would require me to be escorted out of the building by a team of security guards because to be honest, I don't have a magic number, I could do this for a long fucking time. Maybe not from a NYC high rise, but in some way or another I am here to stay and I have worked a lot of other shittier jobs to confirm that is the case.

What type of trading do you do?

4/30/12

ILLINI - CALLING YOU OUT

I understand that you're not interested in high finance anymore, but please stop spreading this "grass is greener" crap, especially with respect to corporate development. The poster that said this kind of disillusionment is largely industry agnostic is largely right.

I also happen to have worked with a lot of corp dev types at the kind of companies you mention. Same politics. Same bullshit. Only difference is reduced compensation, less rapid career advancement, and often less interesting work.

You need to grow up a little if you think people like this are coming to work because it's fulfilling. The fact is, most paid work sucks. Even jobs where you are making a direct, measurable impact ( e.g. most on this thread wouldn't volunteer to be third grade teacher, social worker, nurse).

Such is life and the nature of things.

PaulOwens, please ignore him, submit your applications, and don't depend on internet forum wisemen for advice on life decisions.

P.S. Your wife + kids + easy life in the suburbs ideal is itself largely a mirage. One thing to appreciate about finance: you might be a grunt, but at least you're grunt to the people that run s***. I wouldn't give that up to join any F500 corporate machine.

P.S.2. I'm not saying this to make myself feel better about my life choices. I think their lives do in fact suck and they tend to be somewhat pathetic (as do most ppl in financial services)

4/30/12

Macro. Volcker exempt

4/30/12

ADVICE FOR U ILLINI

Dude, this Fortune 500 stuff is bullshit. TRUST ME! Illinois Programmer you call yourself? GET BACK TO IT! Learn some web development. Join a startup. COME TO CHICAGO!

Chances are against you striking it rich, but its astounding to me that you'd even consider being a tool in a F500 toolkit when you have an actual, valuable skillset that could make you both INDEPENDENT and WELL COMPENSATED.

COME ON MAN! PM me if you want to chat about this.

4/30/12

^^^Did ILLINI just get hired?

4/30/12

Some of us are entering finance for the game, something to consider.

In reply to Bondarb
5/1/12

Bondarb:
If you do not like your work then get out, of course. I congratulate the OP and others on taking their life in hand and doing something to change themselves. I hope it works out for them.

However, as someone who has been in the business for a decade, loves my work, and plans to do it until the day I die (provided my brain still works) I see the volume of these stories as a great contrarian indicator that we finally are seeing a bottom in the financial industry. In 2008 people laughed at me when i said the industry was in for a bad run on this forum. Wall st always over-fires, it'll be over in 6 months, u r a perma-bear, etc etc. Now here we are almost 5 years later, the S&P is near 1400 (w financials amongst the best performers), the economic data is slowly improving, and the consensus here seems to be that the best move is to become a farmer, tech entrepreneur, or street musician. Outside WSO in the real-world this is also the first year that I have heard people getting fired "throwing in the towel" and saying they are not going to try to re-enter the industry...in 2007-09 I heard none of that. This is classic market-clearing behavior...the definition of capitulation.

I am not a farmer, cant play the piano and unfortunately I surely am not the next Zuckerberg but I am a trader and I have been taught to always be wary of a lazy consensus view.

Beautiful.

In reply to dazedmonk
5/1/12

dazedmonk:
ADVICE FOR U ILLINI

Dude, this Fortune 500 stuff is bullshit. TRUST ME! Illinois Programmer you call yourself? GET BACK TO IT! Learn some web development. Join a startup. COME TO CHICAGO!

Chances are against you striking it rich, but its astounding to me that you'd even consider being a tool in a F500 toolkit when you have an actual, valuable skillset that could make you both INDEPENDENT and WELL COMPENSATED.

COME ON MAN! PM me if you want to chat about this.

Actually, I think Illini's absolutely right, corp dev is a much better job than programming -- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/software-...

5/1/12

I recently announced my departure after one year. I haven't felt this good in a long time. Back to the happy person I used to be.

The way you make your money matters. And for me...I don't believe this is the best way.

I am smart enough to figure out a way to make money and enjoy doing it...and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

For me it was never what could I do if I left the industry? It was and is what couldn't I do? There are limitless options. If you can break into IBD....I'm sure you can figure out how to break into plenty of other careers.

I want to live without regrets, I worked at a BB for a year and don't regret it...and I don't regret leaving either.

5/1/12

Hey guys

I am moving out into a role that makes use of a lot of the skills I picked up, but (in theory) has the following benefits:

1) Is a player in the sector I covered, I expect to learn more about that sector
2) Pays well enough when considering the enhanced work / life balance I am expecting to achieve
3) Has potential to offer non-linear financial upside (is private, I get equity)
4) Allows me to act as a principal in the sector I covered, I hope to build better relationships
5) Is small, has a good growth trajectory, and offers a more entrepreneurial work environment

Also, I didn't imagine myself leaving IB at this stage - I joined banking in 2006 (I was a lateral hire from a Big 4 and joined as a 3rd year analyst). I am leaving as a mid-ranking VP - the plan was to go as far as possible (no set period).

However, for the reasons I outlined I just don't think the pros outweigh the cons anymore. A lot of my frustrations are around the quality of people around me (below me in particular - I think there is a serious dilution in talent, a number of my IB peers concur), around the numbers of people (not enough anymore), and therefore the need to grind like a glorified associate continuously, despite now being measured on my ability to originate business and build relationships with clients.

The remuneration isn't set up in a way to 'make it all OK' at the end of the year - too little cash and too much tied up.

And, not wanting to repeating myself, I noted that the only guys that know anything about the sector did the whole thing the other way round - they were in the sector beforehand and became bankers after. They already have solid relationships at clients through that time that they have nurtured in an IB context. They also understand the dynamics of the sector much better than a pure banker can (I refer to the 'sector' a lot - it is fairly specialized, and a big industry in its own right).

The final point is this - this is probably the last chance in my life (before I have real responsibilities like a wife and kids and a mortgage) that I can actually take a risk.

Banking is not the be-all and end-all - and the industry desperately needs to work out what it wants to be. I think the big players are a mess right now when it comes to strategy and 'right-sizing'.

You have senior bankers in IB operating as if nothing has changed, but with half the resource they had 3-4 years ago. You have juniors who, and I don't know why, don't seem to have to same attention to detail, the same drive or initiative, as the guys who were around 3-4 years ago. All in all just means that guys in the middle (the mid-level associates to mid-level VPs have a sh1tty life).

Now is the time to take risks, try something different, sit outside and wait for this thing to work itself out. If I ever need to I am sure I can try to work my way back into IB, but I wouldn't come back to the industry in its current shape.

From the ghetto....

In reply to dazedmonk
5/1/12

dazedmonk:
ADVICE FOR U ILLINI

Dude, this Fortune 500 stuff is bullshit. TRUST ME! Illinois Programmer you call yourself? GET BACK TO IT! Learn some web development. Join a startup. COME TO CHICAGO!

Chances are against you striking it rich, but its astounding to me that you'd even consider being a tool in a F500 toolkit when you have an actual, valuable skillset that could make you both INDEPENDENT and WELL COMPENSATED.

COME ON MAN! PM me if you want to chat about this.


Programming is a good put option. I spent three years of my career on it; I can always go back if I pick up a book on the latest imperative programming language. Or even if we move into functional programming like Ocaml one day.

It is helpful for doing startups.

F500 Corp dev doesn't provide job much job fulfillment either, but it leaves me with more free time to find my own fulfillment.

This is not a grass is greener thread. This is a thread about how your priorities tend to change as money becomes more abundant and your remaining time on this planet becomes more dear.

In reply to Flake
5/1/12

Flake:
chicandtoughness:
Agreed with Abdel. I'm glad I got out before I started; the volume of these "peace out" stories is getting unsettling. What's next on your roadmap?

Given your post history, you "getting out before you started" wasn't by choice.

I had several offers before I had to take my extra semester (for medical reasons), IB being one of them; the others being consulting, corpfin, marketing, and marketing. So yes, it was by choice.

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

In reply to chicandtoughness
5/1/12

chicandtoughness:
Flake:
chicandtoughness:
Agreed with Abdel. I'm glad I got out before I started; the volume of these "peace out" stories is getting unsettling. What's next on your roadmap?

Given your post history, you "getting out before you started" wasn't by choice.

I had several offers before I had to take my extra semester (for medical reasons), IB being one of them; the others being consulting, corpfin, marketing, and marketing. So yes, it was by choice.

You just got schooled by a chick, bro, haha

Get busy living

In reply to dazedmonk
5/1/12

dazedmonk:
ADVICE FOR U ILLINI

Dude, this Fortune 500 stuff is bullshit. TRUST ME! Illinois Programmer you call yourself? GET BACK TO IT! Learn some web development. Join a startup. COME TO CHICAGO!

Chances are against you striking it rich, but its astounding to me that you'd even consider being a tool in a F500 toolkit when you have an actual, valuable skillset that could make you both INDEPENDENT and WELL COMPENSATED.

COME ON MAN! PM me if you want to chat about this.

I'm really not sure why F500 gets so much hate on this site. Most people like of the idea of working on Wall Street more than they like the actual work-- which is fine. But, just because F500 finance jobs aren't on Wall Street, that doesn't mean they're not important positions. I've worked in both banking and F500 and, personally, I've found the work in F500 to be interesting & challanging. The people I work with are incredibly smart, supportive, and understanding in the importance of a life outside of work. I work 9-5, can go out to dinner/drinks during the week, take days off to golf, take weekend trips without worrying about work, etc. I make less money that I would in banking but enjoy my life more. A lot more, actually. Now, in no way am I saying that a recent college grad should choose banking over F500 because I think banking was a valuable experience, but I don't think that banking should be on such a pedestal over F500 finance positions.

In reply to Tier2Sta
5/1/12

Tier2Sta:

You have juniors who, and I don't know why, don't seem to have to same attention to detail, the same drive or initiative, as the guys who were around 3-4 years ago.

This is because those junior guys aren't getting comped the way they were in the past. I wouldn't have busted my butt 24/7 for a $40k bonus or whatever they are paying now. I did it with the hope of seeing a big number at the end of the year.

In reply to TechBanking
5/1/12

TechBanking:
Tier2Sta:

You have juniors who, and I don't know why, don't seem to have to same attention to detail, the same drive or initiative, as the guys who were around 3-4 years ago.

This is because those junior guys aren't getting comped the way they were in the past. I wouldn't have busted my butt 24/7 for a $40k bonus or whatever they are paying now. I did it with the hope of seeing a big number at the end of the year.

As a junior guy, I can completely appreciate your frustration Tier2Sta. I also agree with TechBanking's sentiments. I work in an absurdly small team, and support double the amount of senior bankers as the level of junior resource. When you have a situation where you have say 8 senior bankers and you have 3-4 analysts supporting them with only 1-2 Associates, you get beaten down pretty quickly as a junior guy. You have no cover, no layer of protection / delegation / push back so you are constantly drowning in work and you just crank all day but don't have time to step back from the weeds to thoughtfully review every piece of work. The time simply isn't there. When you add to that the fact that, as Tech mentioned, you're looking forward to a $40k bonus for the same amount of work, but likely a lot more stress as an analyst from 06-07, in purely nominal terms, not factoring in reduced purchasing power of your dollar, it becomes an issue of motivation. I work my tail off for my senior guys, but I also know that they can't do anything major for me in the comp department. The end result is that you try to find ways to balance that out with a little flex time here or there and hopefully they speak highly of you in reviews and as a reference, but I can agree that the perceived work product at the junior level has deteriorated, but I don't think it's because of a lack of talent / lack of attention to detail, it's just a byproduct of the current environment. The pyramid is inverted and you have fewer junior resources supporting bloated senior resources who in many instances aren't producing any fees at all but are still generating monstrous amounts of work. They have cut a ton of fat at the lower levels and now I think you will finally start to see some fat being cut at the top for non producers. Eventually it will level set, but it certainly creates a disenfranchisement amongst the junior contingent and a lack of motivation. You guys obviously know this as you've been around and seen far more than I have, it's just tough to retain the junior guys after they've cranked for 2-3 years and haven't seen a whole lot of payout. They see a life style improvement for similar / slightly better pay and they leap for it because they only know that with the current resources their life is going to get worse in the A-to-A through VP phase. I don't envy the guys in that cog. Congrats to those who grind it out and also congrats to those who have freed themselves. There's no right or wrong answer, only differing perspectives based on personal priorities.

As Illini mentioned, I'm just here for a few drinks trying to avoid a hangover. I know I will look back on the absurdity, excess, and long nights and have a lot of great stories... hopefully I will write about them to provide entertainment to others one day. For now, just gotta keep calm and chive on.

In reply to chicandtoughness
5/1/12

chicandtoughness:
Flake:
chicandtoughness:
Agreed with Abdel. I'm glad I got out before I started; the volume of these "peace out" stories is getting unsettling. What's next on your roadmap?

Given your post history, you "getting out before you started" wasn't by choice.

I had several offers before I had to take my extra semester (for medical reasons), IB being one of them; the others being consulting, corpfin, marketing, and marketing. So yes, it was by choice.

You chose to have medical problems?

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

In reply to Flake
5/1/12

Flake:
chicandtoughness:
Flake:
Given your post history, you "getting out before you started" wasn't by choice.

I had several offers before I had to take my extra semester (for medical reasons), IB being one of them; the others being consulting, corpfin, marketing, and marketing. So yes, it was by choice.

You chose to have medical problems?

Touche. I accepted my consulting offer prior to the medical issues.

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

In reply to UFOinsider
5/1/12

UFOinsider:
chicandtoughness:
Flake:
chicandtoughness:
Agreed with Abdel. I'm glad I got out before I started; the volume of these "peace out" stories is getting unsettling. What's next on your roadmap?

Given your post history, you "getting out before you started" wasn't by choice.

I had several offers before I had to take my extra semester (for medical reasons), IB being one of them; the others being consulting, corpfin, marketing, and marketing. So yes, it was by choice.

You just got schooled by a chick, bro, haha

I don't see it. It doesn't prove it was by choice. Given her unfortunate circumstances (sorry to hear that by the way), she lost all of her offers because she needed an extra semester. Subsequently she was unable to secure a FT offer. If she had those offers in her hands right now and then walked away, then yes she got me, good job. Too bad she had nothing when she "quit", bro.

Once again no disrespect to chicandtoughness. People need to stop the negativity towards banking.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

In reply to Flake
5/1/12

Flake:
UFOinsider:
chicandtoughness:
Flake:
chicandtoughness:
Agreed with Abdel. I'm glad I got out before I started; the volume of these "peace out" stories is getting unsettling. What's next on your roadmap?

Given your post history, you "getting out before you started" wasn't by choice.

I had several offers before I had to take my extra semester (for medical reasons), IB being one of them; the others being consulting, corpfin, marketing, and marketing. So yes, it was by choice.

You just got schooled by a chick, bro, haha

I don't see it. It doesn't prove it was by choice. Given her unfortunate circumstances (sorry to hear that by the way), she lost all of her offers because she needed an extra semester. Subsequently she was unable to secure a FT offer. If she had those offers in her hands right now and then walked away, then yes she got me, good job. Too bad she had nothing when she "quit", bro.

Once again no disrespect to chicandtoughness. People need to stop the negativity towards banking.


I was just messin' with ya and really didn't follow the whole conversation.

Get busy living

In reply to Flake
5/1/12

Flake:
I don't see it. It doesn't prove it was by choice. Given her unfortunate circumstances (sorry to hear that by the way), she lost all of her offers because she needed an extra semester. Subsequently she was unable to secure a FT offer. If she had those offers in her hands right now and then walked away, then yes she got me, good job. Too bad she had nothing when she "quit", bro.
Once again no disrespect to chicandtoughness. People need to stop the negativity towards banking.

A matter of wording, perhaps. Either way, the choice to stop pursuing IB as a career is definitely a choice I made. Not shitting on banking - different people do it for different reasons. I just decided (especially given my circumstances; you start thinking about what you value most) that I'd like to spend my 20's in a different industry.

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/1/12

IlliniProgrammer:
dazedmonk:
ADVICE FOR U ILLINI

Dude, this Fortune 500 stuff is bullshit. TRUST ME! Illinois Programmer you call yourself? GET BACK TO IT! Learn some web development. Join a startup. COME TO CHICAGO!

Chances are against you striking it rich, but its astounding to me that you'd even consider being a tool in a F500 toolkit when you have an actual, valuable skillset that could make you both INDEPENDENT and WELL COMPENSATED.

COME ON MAN! PM me if you want to chat about this.

Programming is a good put option. I spent three years of my career on it; I can always go back if I pick up a book on the latest imperative programming language. Or even if we move into functional programming like Ocaml one day.

It is helpful for doing startups.

F500 Corp dev doesn't provide job much job fulfillment either, but it leaves me with more free time to find my own fulfillment.

This is not a grass is greener thread. This is a thread about how your priorities tend to change as money becomes more abundant and your remaining time on this planet becomes more dear.

Dude me and you have different versions of the term "financial independence" and "fulfillment". I dont think that at age 26 after working five years on wall st you are even close to financial independent at least not living the way I want to live. I'd rather work till the day I die and live the way I want then to move to Iowa and be forced to be live the way you describe as "fulfilled". Working 9-5 in the fortune 500 in some corporate structure is a nightmare to me. I mean literally I have nightmares about wearing khakis, company-logoed polo shirts, and wearing my blackberry on a belt-clip and I wake up in a cold sweat. Dude you are going to be like the Asian version of Lumberg from Office Space asking people who hate you for TPS reports. Call me twenty years down the line and we'll see whether you are still happy living this way, but I believe its an antiquated bullshit myth that moving to suburbia and becoming nuclear family man in a corporate job will bring you any more happiness. My guess is that you should strap in and prepare for a wicked midlife crisis down the line b/c i've seen it before.

But hey, to each his own.

5/1/12

POFF, ILLINI - FORTUNE 500

Sorry if I seemed to be insulting F500 Corp dev. Also sorry for my ridiculous titles (due to some bug i've never been able to use the quotation button).

I'm not suggesting that corp dev is worse than banking, but I feel as if it for the most part has only one benefit: fewer hours. Reading your posts again Illini, it seems that the work/life balance is hugely important to you, so it makes sense that would be enough of a catalyst to push you over to the corp. dev side.

My comments were really more about the claim that the work is "better" or "more fulfilling". My perspective is that if banking could be a 50-60/hr a week job it would be "better" than F500.

This is an inherently subjective statement of course. I tend to have a bias against large companies, and would thus much rather work at GS (note: I have 0 desire to work at GS) than corp dev at any 500 (excepting *maybe* Google). I just think you're that much farther from real control/influence/decision making power.

In any case, Good Luck to All.

I'm really happy you guys are fomenting these kinds of conversations and, even though I don't actually know you, I'm confident you'll figure things out and be more than fine in the long run.

P.S. Illini, I was suggesting moving out of the finance/quant style programming and going the cushy web development route. The post about the short shelf life of programmers is right though. I don't see too many 50 year olds crushing it in this field

In reply to Bondarb
5/1/12

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5/1/12

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In reply to IlliniProgrammer
5/1/12

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