Associate to Senior Associate (stay vs. potential lateral + timing)
Hey all — pretty niche question here but I’m sure others have thought this through. Curious about perspectives and/or experiences.
Basically, I’m a 2nd-year Associate at a MF thinking through next steps. Current firm is a grind, but I like the people and am learning a lot. I would seriously consider staying on if offered the Senior Associate position. That said, the firm is pretty “2 and out,” and only ~10% of Associates are offered the Senior Aso promo (some self select out for biz school/leave finance). I have gotten good reviews and signaled my interest in staying on after the 2 years. As expected, the feedback was positive but caveated with all the standard outs like uncertainty around budget, need for continued performance, etc. Certainly not guaranteed given historical promo rates.
The challenge is that the timeline for finding out whether I get the Senior Aso promo is December/early next year (standard every year). Meanwhile, some solid UMM funds/their HHs have reached out about Senior Associate roles. I have no interest in lateraling before the end of my 2 Associate years, but a couple of these firms/HHs have said they’d be open to next summer starts (i.e. after the end of my Associate program).
They want to chat in the near-term, and if I get an offer, I think I’d have to make a decision well before I expect to learn whether I am offered the promotion at my current firm.
It’s tricky because it would be a tough call between the options even if I had both the promotion and one of the hypothetical offers in hand (though would prob stay at current firm given the people and slightly better brand/more developed platform). Even trickier though because the Senior Associate promotion isn’t guaranteed whereas the Senior Associate role would be if I secure one of these offers.
Has anyone been in this position? How did you think about it? If I take these interviews and get an offer, could I leverage that with my current firm to get an answer re the promotion sooner (e.g. “I’d prefer to stay here but need to know if that’s an option”) or would telling them I’ve interviewed be a death sentence for promotion possibility?
Sorry for the essay and appreciate any thoughts!