Recruiting while unemployed

I'm a Sr. Asso at an UMM/MF. Was told that I was generally tracking towards VP for first 2 years, then in winter was told it's "not likely to happen" and I should look for work elsewhere. I'm fairly stressed about the job market, which has been generally shit - getting ghosted despite interviews going well, only a few processes even ongoing etc. I'm hoping things will pick up in Q3, but then I'll be unemployed as my Sr. Asso stint ends in August. Anyone lateralled while unemployed? May need to move back home for a bit and just recruit separately. I think my background is pretty solid - target school, MBB, flagship deal closed - and my recs are good as well. Maybe I'm being too pessimistic and will find something in 4 months, but the  job market just seems like garbage right now... 

 

Took me three months to the day when I recruited while unemployed. Honestly think I would have gotten it done in 2 months if I had a job during that time. Would have been harder to travel for interviews but being out of a job really limited my top of funnel. This was in early 2023, so similarly bad market. You arguably get more shots on goal while employed. Just an unfortunate but common preference. Unless your story is 100% solid I would push through and try to get something locked down in the next couple months just so you’re not in that position. Best of luck man hope you find another seat.

 

Thanks man - very helpful and I think that makes sense. The question is no longer why is he oppurtunistically looking and more so, why did his last firm kick him out. 
Any advice on how to increase the top of funnel for oppurtunities? Wondering if I should network aggressively with cold emails or something. 

Given you aren't clandestinely recruiting, I'd think about asking senior professionals you are close with at your firm for help with opportunities as well.  Also would expand headhunter coverage as well as processes can often times be a bit less structured / with less well known headhunters than on-cycle recruiting. 

Lastly it will be helpful if there is only 1 or no VP promotes in your class (assuming a few others are in same position as you).  

Are you set on just doing UMM / MF buyouts or are you open to other opportunities like structured equity, special situations, growth, GP led secondaries, etc.?

 

Thanks - I think some people are getting promoted in the summer but think promote rate was generally much lower than historical

The firm offered me a role at a port co (Chie of Staff) to "keep me in the family" but doesn't seem particularly interesting to me. I'm pretty open on roles - good with basically anything in the privates space excluding co-invest / secondaries / credit. 

 
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Thanks - I think some people are getting promoted in the summer but think promote rate was generally much lower than historical

The firm offered me a role at a port co (Chie of Staff) to "keep me in the family" but doesn't seem particularly interesting to me. I'm pretty open on roles - good with basically anything in the privates space excluding co-invest / secondaries / credit. 

Seems like you are in a reasonably fine spot then for recruiting if not narrowly focused on a small subset of investing seats. Firms are hiring, just not at the frenzied pace in 2021 / 2022 and you sound like you come from a relatively clean background.   The thing you probably have to be open to though is redoing senior associate / associate 2 years since you didn't get promoted. I assume you are in a three year (2-ASO / 1 - SA) program based on title.  

Positioning is relatively clean as well.  "Senior Associate program ending, was previously on track for VP however due to decreased deal activity (this may be ture) was offered an operating seat at a firm PortCo (ie; not totally damaged goods) which could result in a move back to firm if deal activity picks up (probably not a high likelihood but can position as such) however want to stay in an investing seat" 

You may also want to emphasize the parts of your skillset that are expected to be weaker (ie; modeling, deal execution, financial analysis) given you are an ex-consultant getting offered an operating role vs. coming from an IBD background.

 

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