Stupid for leaving pre-bonus?

I'm a 2nd year analyst at a BB. I absolutely hate banking and have been looking at outs for a long time now. I recently received an offer from a VC that invests in a specific industry that is very niche but an industry I absolutely love/am passionate about. I see myself one day going into that industry and maybe shooting for C-suite. It is also a very relaxed culture as most people who work there are operations folks who originated form the industry. The job has insane benefits and would provide a great lifestyle, outside of just better hours. It does sound like the perfect opportunity for me.

That being said, nothing is for free. Besides the cut in Total Comp The VC is corporate-backed and not willing to make amends to my timeline to wait for my bonus (need me to start in a month latest) and is restricted to a corporate pay scale which restricts me from earning my IB bonus. I don't really have anything against the team, and while I've negotiated this heavy, I do believe they tried their hardest but the corporate backed structure makes HR very stringent to offer any sort of flexibility. Also given that most folks do not come from an IB background, it's a bit hard to communicate to them about this.

My gut wants to take this opportunity. I don't really care that much about money but I feel pretty stupid leaving it on the table. I have shed blood, sweat, and tears this past year and would hate to let my bank keep that money. I also have a good amount of student loans (although I could pay a decent chunk off with my savings now). My options really are 1) take the job, don't look back and go kill it in this industry. Or 2) decline, stay in banking and try and re-recruit for this summer which even if successful, won't lead to a job in this niche industry / something I am so passionate about.

Any input would be great here on how to proceed.

Comments (23)

soupymessy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You're sacrificing money but you will gain happiness. Think about your day to day going forward. That happiness will trickle into everything you do - socially, professionally, and internally.

The thing about regret when it comes to money is that you will only feel it severely it if you're destitute. The feeling of relief of never having to walk into your job again and enjoyment of your new job will be much stronger. I say take it.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov

Leave and accept the job offer. Banking bonuses won't be good this year anyways and you're already unhappy. You now have a choice to leave regain your happiness and do exactly what you want to do.

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Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

These posts are so fcking annoying. Would it kill you to state your current base, expected bonus and new base? Wtf is with people always withholding fcking comp numbers, but then asking for advice?

And what is the dilemma here exactly?

You say you hate banking and have been looking to leave for two years and don't really need or care about the money. And you have just gotten a job offer in your dream niche space. And banks are struggling right now and even cutting juniors. Wtf is there to think about?

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  • Investment Manager in AM - Other

on point. the majority are so lost in life and lazy to figure it out that they will accept as valid whatever someone will tell them in order to reduce the amount of accountability, and thus guilt, if they end up realizing that they're on the wrong path. it's easy to live by telling yourself, well, someone said me so and so than to say fck, i'm here and it was 100% my decision and fault

tl;dr OP is weak and can't decide for himself

  • 1
Incoming cfa level 1 charterholder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

When do you get your bonus and what group bank is this? Many groups that performed well/neutral received flat bonuses. If you're close to your bonus then I wouldn't take it. Bonuses are life-changing and trust me another opportunity will come up. You already made it to a BB, which is the hardest step to get to. I am confident you will find something that you like again in due time, but don't throw away a good bonus that will make a difference in the long run.

A 60k bonus doesn't seem like much but after takes you'll have around 36kish, which will take you 4-5 years of saving in NYC to save that amount.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

Exactly, bonuses are life changing hence my dilemma. Issue is I don't know if I'll get another opportunity like this. I can find some easy/cushy VC role that does Tech but that sounds boring as fuck. Also the chances of finding something easy like that are tough and I've seen enough 2nd years pass up on opportunities causing them to stay til associate and I hate the idea of that.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A

What industry?

  • 1
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A

I would take the job given niche industry and not likely to find a similar job. Would be different if you were headed to corp dev and were kind of meh about the opportunity, you can easily find those types of jobs.

That said, as a tradeoff to walking away from the money, I would intentionally live frugally for the next year or two to get your loans paid off. Don't take out of savings, but look at your budget and really prioritize paying the loans off

GrandMasterCash, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So in a nasty lateral market you're sitting pretty in an esteemed role that you hate, but that has yielded an opportunity that you love-it's like fate calling your name-and you come here to ask a bunch of trolls and interns if you should keep sucking IB weenie or if you should become an investor? Please tell me that you know people in the real world that can help you with this decision over a coffee or beer…the answer is: fuck the bonus and take your dream opportunity. Good luck

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A

What's the total comp?

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov

Would be helpful if you could put some rounded numbers to this, but few points:

-If the VC comp is enough for you to live + enjoy life in your desired location, I would take it. I know that VC comp can be quite low (like  

-If you truly hate IB, all the more reason to take it. You would need to hold out a few more months, which can feel like an eternity depending on what you're staffed on.

-This job market is likely only to get worse. If I had an opportunity that I was thrilled about and paid me enough to live and save a bit, I'd take it

-Sounds like you don't really need the bonus money, and that it would help accelerate loan paydown. If you can stomach forgoing the money, I think you should strongly consider doing so.

DeWitt23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

On 20 years, what will have the biggest impact on your life? A 60k$ bonus or this job change?

For me the answer is pretty straightforward.

BoutiqueAsc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Depends where you are in relation to your bank's end of year if it's in 3 months the VC fund should be willing to let you stay until then maybe 4-5 months.

That being said, bonuses are going to be absolutely trash this year anyway lol….. if you live in a place like NYC as well make sure you fully understand the living implications of the lower pay as well.

  • VP in IB - Cov

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commguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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