Lateral Strategy in 2023

After hitting around the 6 month mark on the desk in my first year in a lesser-regarded MM bank in NYC, I've decided it's time to begin thinking about lateraling in order to improve my PE recruiting opportunities and to engage in more interesting work than what goes on at my bank (currently a lot of best-efforts debt deals and failed sellside pitches). My personal study time is currently more impactful to my learning than any deal work I'm on, and I need that to change.

Given the hiring market, it seems like there won't be widespread opportunity until the summer when seats start opening up post-bonus. I'm planning on ramping up my networking efforts now to be well positioned for the summer, and had some questions that I'm hoping y'all can help me get my head around.

1) Any distinction between emailing people vs. LinkedIn outreach?
2) What's the best way to convert a networking phone call into lateral opportunities? Is it being direct and asking to be informed when the person hears of new openings? Or is it more of a get-to-know and you follow-up closer to the summer?

I guess the crux of my question is how to get people to care lol. If I was being asked for constant favors (essentially) I'd have no desire to help out. So how can I not do that while still driving at a pretty clear goal to move upstream. Want to be respectful of others' time while putting in the necessary work to make this career move happen.

If anyone has any other advice on lateraling more broadly, or any thoughts on the lateral market this year, I'll be all ears. Thanks WSO crew

Comments (6)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen

Wondering the same. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

  • 1
  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov


  • 1
Most Helpful
Quaneaser, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I never really respond to linkedin ones - I think email is much more effective since it's easier to respond, set-up, and sync to calendar right there. Also it takes an extra (though not difficult) step of getting the firm's email format and getting the message through (which shows some initiative).

Just get to know people for now - likely best case they pass your resume to the HR or lateral team to keep on file. That said, in reality when jobs open up I don't believe HR ever really goes through its stack and starts reaching out to people. More likely, a job gets posted that you see and rather than your first contact being asking for an interview you have a warm lead and can ask to reconnect/get you into the process.

Seariver_TJ, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Same boat. Might just wait for summer to come.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen

Same here, was looking to lateral before the one year mark. No firms are in any rush to hire, so will probably have to push back to summer. 

Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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