Not succeeding as an analyst

Looking for some advice from folks who have been through a similar experience: 

I'm a CB analyst at a BB where its integrated with IB - we have a lean team and expectations are pretty high from juniors.

I came over from commercial banking, joined as as a 2nd year analyst, and have been on the team for about a year now, and recently learned that I am being promoted to associate this summer. 

That said, I have received negative feedback at my reviews from my staffer and I am concerned about getting fired from my job for poor performance. 

The feedback I got: 

  • not enough attention to detail, financial input mistakes, formatting mistakes on presentations
  • not fast enough at completing the work at a high degree of effectiveness, makes me not "trustable" on bigger staffings
  • working with me requires a more critical eye on checking my work than other analysts, which is bad for someone who is going to be an associate soon, my work should not need to be checked at all it should be almost perfect on its own. 

I don't know what to do to get better, because I'm already printing out and scanning with a pen all my presentations, and checking the financial inputs in my excel sheets and sourcing my numbers, and I use the QAT in powerpoint and a decent amount of shortcuts in excel including the PitchBook and FactSet shortcuts to work faster. 

I end up staying in the office the latest usually, but it doesn't seem like it's resulting in me doing better work.

Anybody have advice for my situation? 


Advice: time to start looking for new jobs ma man

Most Helpful

Agree, start looking if this is a second negative review. It's kind of unrealistic for a bank to expect you to get faster AND fewer mistakes - these are mutually exclusive. 

I would choose fewer mistakes - tell your associates you're going to take a few min to check it carefully. Do your work expeditiously, but fast is not helpful if it takes you 3 rounds of back and forth with your associate to get it right. That's an hour right there.

15 min to check a deck thoroughly is nothing in 99% of staffings. Make yourself a detailed checklist and print it out and tape it to your office cube. There are checklists on WSO threads but things like page numbers, tying inputs, spelling etc. Make a new mistake? Write it down and add it to the list. This will be ridiculous at first and take a while but after a few rounds the mistakes will jump out at you more.

When it comes to attention to detail /inputs/formatting, something I found helpful was keeping a notebook where I would track types of mistakes I was making (e.g. not properly formatting footnotes, not updating page numbers on decks, specific modelling errors, etc.), then before I submitted work I would check for these specific mistakes. Pattern recognition is really important for professional development and I think you would find that you're making some of the same mistakes multiple times. Might be difficult to implement if speed of delivery is currently a problem, but it could be a tangible exercise to show your staffer that you are serious about finding and fixing the problem(s). Even if it is "too late" for this job, it could be a helpful process in the future. Best of luck.

I’ve been there before. As an analyst I was running around with my head cut off and not thinking about the big picture. Im now a VP at a major bank. A couple considerations for you:

1) 90% of analysts I know make these mistakes. The other 10% make them and don’t admit to them.

2) ask for a sit down with your manager. Find time to address specific points. A lot of these are boiler plate comments - figure out what actually is going wrong.

3) Mistakes mean your being challenged and growing. Zero mistakes = zero growth.

4) take a breath. Mistakes and haste bread more mistakes.

5) Truly bad analysts don’t get promoted (congrats BTW!). Everyone gets these comments. But you need to act on them.

Comments above suggesting you leave are short sighted. The most important thing about your banking job is who are your teachers and mentors? Do they look out for your interests? Do they want you to succeed? This is what matters.

Figure out what you’re doing wrong. Make lists. Keep talking with managers and soliciting regular feedback.

This is a hard job, and it wouldn’t be rewarding without its challenges.

Comments above suggesting you leave are short sighted. The most important thing about your banking job is who are your teachers and mentors? Do they look out for your interests? Do they want you to succeed? This is what matters.

Figure out what you're doing wrong. Make lists. Keep talking with managers and soliciting regular feedback

I don't think the leaving or interviewing is short sighted. It does completely depend on if you have managers and mentors that are willing to help you get better. Also depends on group dynamics. I think that there is always the real possibility that the bank could turn on you. 

I have seen the timeline where the bank tells you that you are making mistakes, then that you are improving, only to be fired the next go around. IDK, if the promotion is guaranteed or if its in contract, but if its not then you could be fucked. 

Totally. But leaving for the sole reason of receiving negative feedback isn’t going to help you grow. Assess your long term potential with group, including growth and improvement prospects and go from there.

Understand we live in an “I-want-it-now” era, but the best things stem from facing adversity. 

Like others have said, time to look for a new job.

They’re giving you the negative feedback to cover their own ass because it risks a lawsuit to straight up fire you.

Expect to be let go by EOY. You’ll likely get a severance, but I wouldn’t risk it. Start recruiting full time.

Use this as an opportunity to look introspectively. Do you really want to stay in IB? You’ve gotten some good experience under your belt so it shouldn’t be that difficult to find a lucrative opportunity pending you interview well.

Good luck.

There is also a possibility that even though you got negative feedback, you’re still among the top performers in your group. Yes that means others are barely keeping their head above water. Get yourself into the flow of interviewing for new jobs so you’re ready to jump on something good if you sense the tide really turning against you at the bank. 

Critical advice on both sides here.

Let's walk through some steps, and take things as they come.

1.  Negative feedback does mean there is room for improvement.  Keep working at it.

2.  Test the waters and network to see if you can jump ship in case things do go south.

3.  Schedule time with a mentor/senior to go over.  Initiatives like this is what companies like to see in individuals.  It shows initiative and being able to take feedback from others, leaving some openness personality for growth and learning.

4.  As the AS3 said above - if it is the 2nd review, start looking ASAP.

OP - GL.

No pain no game.

Mollitia enim nostrum laudantium aut. Nisi commodi quos iste. Vel eius recusandae incidunt eveniet aut maiores nobis et.

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