Very Underpaid…

Anyone else looking to lateral for higher pay, but worse hours? Looking at $105k (including small pay bump) all in at a no-name boutique in a LCOL city. Only work 55-65 hours a week normally, yet feel incredibly underpaid compared to the market…

 
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Don't do it. I did this and regret it almost everyday. Working 55 - 65 hours a week is completely different from ~80 hours which the BBs and EBs will expect of you and that's the only reason they pay those higher salaries, it's not because you're smart and were able to get in, but because they can work you like slave labor.  

I moved from LCOL to NYC and it's one of the worst decisions I made. The rents are through the roof, then add in state taxes, city taxes, and everything being generally far more expensive, and you're left with little. You would save less in NYC or HCOL even after significantly high bonuses - just calculate your pay and what's needed in any cost of living calculator online.

The only reason I would move if I was you is if you see yourself in banking or PE for the long-term in that HCOL city and don't mind having a miserable social / personal life.  

 

I would say go for it if you prioritize work over a personal life and really need higher pay. Your salary is not low for a LCOL city however. 

Can assure you no one cares that you work at a "no-name" boutique or if you were at the most elite MM or EB. Unless you're friends with total weirdos, the general population does not care at all if whether you work at Centerview Partners or XYZ bank. I worked at a top BB and hated every single minute of it. 

If it's a matter of not getting deal experience AND you want to be a long-term career banker then yeah probably makes sense to switch but if you have a good culture, low hours, and whatnot - I wouldn't move. 

 

I'd bet your learning experience will improve significantly, but I think we need to emphasize how different 80+ hours per week are than 60 hours per week. It's going to impact your sleep schedule, social/personal life and commitments, physical and mental health, etc. 

I'm not saying you shouldn't take the leap, but just know that it isn't simply flipping to higher comp without massive lifestyle impact.

 

I've made a lot of switches/changes in my life at the personal and professional levels where I thought I was "trading up". Let me tell you, there has been a very small subset of times where the grass is truly greener on the other side. Keep that in mind.

 

Two points worth considering. 1. Analyst (and associate) base salaries have come way up over the past 4 or 5 years.Analyst 1 compensation used to be $85k and now it's $100 - $110k at most BB & MM banks. I think this definitely helps with covering higher rents in cities like NYC and allows you to still have some money to spend or save. 2. Moving to a bigger city and a bigger bank will likely open you up to a lot of career opportunities that you may not be exposed to in a rural location. Yes, you may find yourself working more hours versus where you are today….but in the long term, it could be a worthwhile sacrifice. I would also say there are plenty of groups where the hours are not 80+. Most analysts in my group work between 60-70. Some more, some less. A lot of the variation is based on efficiency and managing up in my opinion.

 

I completely agree with the other guy saying do not do this. Everyone I know who has done it regrets it. 55-65 hours is sustainable, maybe ask them for a raise on the back of recent increases.

If it helps you, go put your numbers in a COL calculator. Chances are you'd need to make like $300k to maintain the same standard of living. NYC is ridiculous.

 

Idk, COL has absolutely never been higher at least in NYC. This guy probably pays $1000 for rent for a nice place. In NYC it's hard to find a half-decent tiny studio under $3000, and it definitely won't have be nice or have a dishwasher or W/D. Maybe you can lop 10-20% off estimates, but my main point was that his $105k goes WAY farther in a LCOL town than his $200k will in NYC.

 

Same. Only thing which is actually significantly more expensive is real estate if you don't have a family yet. Especially if the firm are comping a lot of your meals and transport.

 

Took the offer, been with the bank (middle market) for little over a year and a half. Been crushed the last ~8 months but got the AS1 promotion (ignore title) and pay bump so it was worth it. Some weeks miserable and some people just as miserable to deal with. It’s a give and take that I don’t regret taking. In the longer term, definitely will pay off more than the short term pay. If someone else is considering doing a similar move, just understand the change in lifestyle short term and potentially long term.

 

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