Anyone else struggling to adjust to being more senior?
I feel like there's so much material out there to help guide the transition from college student to IB analyst, and likewise just as much has been written on going from IB analyst to PE associate.
If you went through that whole track and killed it, you might think you're set. I went from top BB to top MF and now at a UMM fund. The process teaches us you can be a stud if you know accounting, modeling, investment thesis formulation, how to run a DD process, etc. On top of that, if you can appear a nice charismatic person for the duration of 5-6 interviews, you're set. By that point, you might be under the illusion (like me) that all you need to get ahead in the job is be knowledgeable, be fast, think about investments well, model in your sleep, and be a nice guy.
Now I'm senior associate transitioning into principal and I feel like my job has begun to take on an entirely different scope. I find myself engaged in way more politics and people management shit than I ever cared for. I find myself focusing on not being a good investor, but on managing perception upwards. My old approach of just being the best at executing deals and being super knowledgeable about everything is starting to fail me. At the very least, it is proving to be a way less efficient way of rising up the ranks in terms of hours spent. In theory, my analyst and associate can basically run most of the day-to-day deal and analysis (with some oversight and step-ins from me), and my role has become more of how to manage upwards to give them latitude and capital to do their thing. I kind of miss being in their position, and the stuff leftover for me to do is complete bullshit. Maybe it's because I'm not a natural extrovert, and I hate selling (except selling myself in interviews - which is a skill I've trained).
There's a LOT of content on this site, but how come not much talking about this? I honestly haven't been at such a loss in my career ever. I wasn't ready to become a middle manager, and I feel like 95% of the job is just communicating and managing perceptions rather than actually doing any analytical work. Is this just the natural course of things?