Finding it tough to leave after pay bumps

Wondering if any of the more senior analysts / associates have experienced this as they look to leave the industry. Currently a first-year associate having just been promoted as a second-year analyst. I've been pretty determined to leave the industry altogether and move to something outside of high finance. I received a couple of offers for PE but realizing I want to actually build something / work at a company and hopefully have better WLB.

However, with pay bumps over the past year I made ~250k as a 2nd year and I'm expecting to make ~$350k as a first-year associate excluding my A2A bonus. I know that I'm going to have to take a paycut when leaving banking to a non-PE role but as I've been talking to firms I've been really struggling to justify the paycut to myself. A number of roles have been quoted to me as ~$120-$150k all-in. 

So, for anyone who has made the jump to corporate when you're a little more senior and/or have looked at some of these roles - how did you justify taking the paycut? Is it just a function of the new banking salaries skewing everything, or is there something I'm missing here as far as negotiating upwards, perks, etc?

Comments (36)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 13, 2022 - 4:23pm

I'm also interested but just my two cents I think it's a bit different when the that big total comp number is half comprised of bonus right. Like when comparing actual bases and what you would actually be receiving every two weeks it's not actually too far off because it's not like the bonuses are pro-rated or anything...

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 13, 2022 - 4:28pm

But it's still a real difference. Yeah, you're not getting the 125,000 prorated over 12 months... but you ARE getting it. So at one job, you get 350,000 for the year, while at the other job, you get 150,000. Just ignoring the difference because it's not reflected in your weekly paycheck doesn't seem like a logical reason to ignore the huge difference. 

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 13, 2022 - 4:51pm

No guarantee? You have to base your decision on history and probabilities; when's the last time a reputable IB stiffed its analysts/associates on a bonus? I mean, maybe instead of a mid-bucket analyst getting 70k he only will get 50... but getting stiffed? That doesn't happen. Especially now since banks are scrambling to keep their employees... seems like, minimum, you can count on a bonus of 60% of your salary, with many junior bankers about to earn an 80-110% bonus.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 13, 2022 - 5:04pm

man who cares just stay in banking forever

you said it yourself the money's just too damn good

Jan 14, 2022 - 11:29am
Symfuhny, what's your opinion? Comment below:

feel like it just depends on your goals. i know that 350 number is hitting you hard ands it's obviously a fuckton of money, but are you really living paycheck to paycheck that you can't take a cut? 125-150 is a solid amount of money for ANYONE and if the WLB is great, to me that is very hard to beat. take with a grain of salt - i don't work in ib and don't make anywhere near 350, but i still feel like it gets to a point where other parts of life need to have more importance.

Jan 14, 2022 - 4:58pm
high hopes, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Symfuhny

feel like it just depends on your goals. i know that 350 number is hitting you hard ands it's obviously a fuckton of money, but are you really living paycheck to paycheck that you can't take a cut? 125-150 is a solid amount of money for ANYONE and if the WLB is great, to me that is very hard to beat. take with a grain of salt - i don't work in ib and don't make anywhere near 350, but i still feel like it gets to a point where other parts of life need to have more importance.

150 doesn't go very far in NYC/SF for base pay or total comp

it doesn't go that far anymore in the more expensive cities in the South like Nashville, Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta.

you can have a modest house in a suburb and send your kids to a good public school but Miller High Life & private school for your kids are off the table if you have 150k supporting a family and a new mortgage with inflation, etc. 

Jan 14, 2022 - 5:43pm
Symfuhny, what's your opinion? Comment below:

you're making a lot of assumptions here. you have to remember most people survive on MUCH less lmfao. 150k in any of those southern cities will get you a very comfortable lifestyle (i live in a MCOL southern city).

if OP is in NYC and wants all kids to go to private school and wants a big house, yeah this won't work. but if he's planning on leaving high finance and wants better WLB like he said, then i imagine 150k would be more than fine.

Jan 14, 2022 - 9:39pm
fuld4eva, what's your opinion? Comment below:

lol 150 might not go far in ATL anymore, but 350 hasn't cut it for anyone trying to start a family in NYC for 10+ years. Obviously, if you stick with banking, you hope / expect to eventually be making 1mm+. But in NYC supporting a family, that's still not much. I feel awful typing those words, but it's kind of the reality...

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 15, 2022 - 2:31pm

high hopes

Symfuhny

feel like it just depends on your goals. i know that 350 number is hitting you hard ands it's obviously a fuckton of money, but are you really living paycheck to paycheck that you can't take a cut? 125-150 is a solid amount of money for ANYONE and if the WLB is great, to me that is very hard to beat. take with a grain of salt - i don't work in ib and don't make anywhere near 350, but i still feel like it gets to a point where other parts of life need to have more importance.

150 doesn't go very far in NYC/SF for base pay or total comp

it doesn't go that far anymore in the more expensive cities in the South like Nashville, Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta.

you can have a modest house in a suburb and send your kids to a good public school but Miller High Life & private school for your kids are off the table if you have 150k supporting a family and a new mortgage with inflation, etc. 

Fuck off prep school boy, $150K in Atlanta is a ton for someone under 30

Jan 14, 2022 - 1:06pm
Devils Advocate, what's your opinion? Comment below:

All I'll tell you as an analyst promote now Managing Director is that the pay compounds yearly so if you're serious about leaving pull the trigger when the right opportunity comes because the golden handcuffs only get tighter.

If you're struggling now, imagine when you evaluate your potential VP compensation 

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2022 - 5:52pm

How much do you hate banking? One school is thought is to stay as long as you can bear it, build up a significant nest egg, and leave to a lower-paying job a few years down the line. The $200k you will make in corporate at that point is less of an issue when you're sitting on plenty of wealth, WLB becomes far more important than pay.

Jan 15, 2022 - 1:12am
phillyboy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Bro this is me right now

my base is $50k over what i was expecting by now based on the time I had signed my full time. Importantly the bonus I got was legit $60-70k over what was standard

so all in it's a $100k delta and I'm too afraid to leave. Leaving $50k on the table is very different to potentially leaving $150k on the table 

Array
  • Prospect in S&T - Other
Jan 15, 2022 - 11:25am

why not stay and save. And leave when u got enough? The more u save the more real-life optionality and control over your life you have.

Jan 16, 2022 - 7:20am
Flash_901, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 16, 2022 - 2:32pm

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