Those who quit after 1 year--where are you now?

Realized after a year that banking isn't really for me, and am contemplating quitting. But given the state of the market, I haven't secured another opportunity. (Although I'm in the process for a few).

Wondering if there are fellow monkeys on the forum who decided to quit banking after a year, especially without something lined up. How are you doing now? What advice would you give to someone in this position?


Hey there! It seems like you're in a bit of a pickle. From what I've seen on the Wall Street Oasis forums, there are quite a few folks who've been in your shoes. Some have left their banking jobs after just one year. The reasons vary, but it's not an uncommon occurrence.

One user mentioned that half of their analyst class left once their first bonus hit their bank account. They suggested that it's okay to do this once or twice as a junior professional, as long as you're moving on to a better opportunity. However, they also warned against leaving without a clear plan, as it can be challenging to explain why you left a job after only a short period.

Another user shared that they considered leaving banking after just three months. They found the work challenging and stressful, but ultimately decided to stick it out. They found their second year to be much better than their first and felt that overcoming the challenges was worthwhile.

In terms of advice, it seems like the consensus is to make sure you have a plan before you leave. Whether that's moving on to a better opportunity or pursuing further education, it's important to have a clear direction. And remember, your job doesn't define your self-worth. It's just one aspect of your life.

I hope this helps! Remember, only you can make the final decision. It's your career, after all. Good luck!


  1. Leaving banking after one year
  2. ~3 months in. I really want to quit banking. What should I do?
  3. Should I quit after 6 months on the job?
I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

Not in your spot, but personally, I would just not quit to anything rash. You should probably look at professional services work like transaction services, strategy consulting, or something of that kind. Every year you stay in a client facing role your long-term quality of life will radically improve even if leaving is your pre-meditated end game.

If it's hours you want less of, you can find that. I just wouldn't downgrade from a Rolls Royce job all the way to a Fiat because you don't like something you can easily correct for otherwise. I just had an amazing hardworking staff who was so eager to do well the first whiff she got that her five star performance rating was going to be four stars, her ego all of a sudden collapsed, she went into a crisis, and now she's a self employed wedding planner. Point being, please look for a type A job that's a slightly different shade of what you have.

Nothing rash. 

Most Helpful

Haven’t quit myself but know many people that quit after 1 year as an analyst, including some that worked with me. 100% of those people are doing very well and are happy with their decision. At the end of the day they still had a junior banker mentality so they made a well reasoned, logical, sensible decision for themselves. They didn’t just go “oh I don’t like this” or “oh this is hard” and quit, they found a new role they were excited about and was a perfect fit for them and their goals.

As long as it’s a logical step you have nothing to worry about. If you don’t enjoy your job, if it is not contributing to your goals today, if it is not laying a foundation for your future goals, if you aren’t picking up skills you plan to use for the rest of your career, if you aren’t inspired by your seniors and don’t want to learn from them or be anything like them, if every day and project seems pointless, if the clients are all boring, etc then quitting after a year for something better for you and fits with your lifestyle and professional interests is objectively a great move. 

That same guidance applies even for people that stay in IB; whether you stay or whether you exit, it should be a thoughtful and deliberate decision. 


homeless bum begging for change. investment banking ftw.


Not in IB, but I got "counseled to leave" MBB after my first year post undergrad (basically consultings way of saying you are getting fired). MBB has an "up or out" culture where bottom bucket people get transitioned out if they have not shown progress and the potential to be promoted at the 2-year mark. I have had success getting interviews for corporate strategy roles that pay similar (or slightly higher) than MBB. My buddy in my start class who got let go after his end-of-year review just got an offer for 120k base, 10% bonus, 20k signing bonus. Even in this market, there is a lot out there!

However, as much as I hate to say it, do try to wait it out until the 1-year mark to quit. I have seen more success in my cold applications after the 1-year mark than I did before this. Because being there for 1-year, I can sell that I have gained some skills during my job, because if you leave after 5-months you'll be seen as an entry level hire.

But it doesn't hurt to start looking now though... my mentor told me that you should always be looking around and open to opportunities to both understand your worth and to see what you can find. If you get something now that you like now, go ahead and take it. 


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