Difficult Decision (Finance to Tech?) - I Love the Markets but...
I know this has been discussed multiple times but I'm currently looking at next steps in my career and I wanted to share my thoughts on a difficult decision I have to make and hear what people have to say as well.
I'm currently approaching Year 1 in valuations at an accounting firm (think Big 4). We recently finished our busy season where I was putting in 55-60 hour weeks for ~4 months. Billable hours are pain. Given that I like taking breaks in between and a 2-3 hour break after 6pm, I often found myself working until 11-12pm and less on weekends. Knowing I could never leave the house (WFH) or that work never stops and I have to keep working was just so stressful.
Everyone has different levels of tolerance for stress/hours and I have a new-found respect for those who can endure it but even with my hours, I felt like I had no freedom to pursue other interests, dating, or other social aspects. I'm not saying I can't do the work or that I'm not willing to put in the work but when I imagine myself putting in the 50-70+ hours on a consistent basis, I just don't know how I'll be able to handle it if I'm already taking it this badly already.
I love the financial markets. I enjoy understanding a specific company and how it fits into the current macro events and trends and even examining its future prospect. I love seeing how economic and geopolitical events affect certain industries / companies and how they respond. But is this enough to sacrifice my mental well-being and other aspects of my life?
I don't really care about the money or earnings potential. I'm perfectly happy making $300-400k TC a year. Maybe that will change once I get there but that's how I'm currently feeling. I get sad thinking that I won't be able to do what I enjoy for a living but that will probably be replaced by satisfaction with my work-life in tech and being able to pursue different activities, relationships, and friendships. Quite a bit of money was also invested in my UG degree in Finance so I feel like it would be a waste (sunk cost) and I'd probably have to take additional classes for CS.
I think I can do well in both so it's not a matter of what I'm good at. It's just if I am willing to sacrifice these aspects of my life for something I genuinely want to do and it's tearing me apart.
If only there were research firms doing 40-60 hour weeks but one can hope...