Not feeling the vibe anymore (tier 1/2 fund)

Hi all (disclaimer, long post),

Just looking for some piece of advice through this late night post. Currently working at a good fund (similar to a BentallGreenOak type of firm). Been there for only 3 years but working as hell during the week and planning zoom call to discuss IC presentations on Saturdays and Sundays (only my team does this btw) seems now very hard/boring to me.

I have tried to lateraled just to get a sense of the « grass is always greener » syndrome and I have been able to receive offer from larger funds (similar to Lone Star / Starwood, but it would mean crushing more hours, with a very attractive package) or I got some at smaller funds (similar to Harrison Street / Kennedy Wilson).

Despite my young age, I recently got a kid and I am not sure if I would like to grind as much as before. Feeling also very tired about changing minor wordings in slide 47 of an IC deck that nobody will read, excepting the investment summary. I have always been the very greedy guy looking to work at mega funds and aiming to climb the ladder to get important carried, but I feel lost right now.

Joining « smaller » funds like mentioned above would potentially allow me to have decent pay and work / life balance from what I heard, which is not bad. However, I am afraid to kill my career by doing so with no possibility to come back at a sweatshop with top remuneration packages later on. Also feel not really ready at the moment to get crushed and not supporting my wife during the first year with the baby.

Any advice/guidance would be much appreciated.

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Comments (10)

May 7, 2022 - 11:05am
Monekysaymonkeydo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It seems like you've worked at a relatively large firm for a couple of years and are looking for good work/life balance I would think mid size family office. I would try to find one you can stay at for the long run. Creates better work life balance and you have the baseline experience to get in. You should be able to even negotiate performance based equity participation . Some of these family offices are more informal and could use the institutional background and hard work of a younger guy (hard work yes but less stress), might be a small pay reduction at first but not proportional to increased quality of life relative to grinding less. In the long run it may even prove more lucrative if you're in a city with a long history of long term property appreciation, assuming you get some of the carry/equity/etc. This form of compensation bodes better over higher duration. You're a family man now might be a better long term fit.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
May 7, 2022 - 11:26am

No reason why you couldn't move back to a larger fund at some point. I think this is actually a good move - go work at a smaller shop / work less hours even for a bit less pay as analyst/associate (when hours suck the most at big firms) and make moves as you get higher up the ladder. Have seen multiple people from my company do this (VP-level making a lateral move to mega fund). 

Personally would rather have a better WLB when I'm in my 20's. I'm trying to enjoy life and don't want to be a slave. So yeah I could probably make the move to a larger fund as an associate right now but I'd probably almost double my working hours each week. The marginal utility of that extra comp while I'm in my 20's just isn't worth the lack of WLB to me. If I had a newborn kid I think it would be an even easier decision. 

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
May 11, 2022 - 1:45pm

Nah I think that is doable. Obligatory "it depends" though…given network, deal experience, location, hiring needs at desired firm, etc. 

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May 7, 2022 - 1:41pm
Jelly, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There's often a misconception about the job getting easier at the VP/Principal level and above, but I've noticed and experienced the exact opposite, especially at larger funds. While you aren't working in Excel and PowerPoint as much, you're responsible for a lot more and the expectations are greater. If a balance in life is important to you, I would make the move to a firm that offers you a better lifestyle now, but don't do it under the guise that you can pivot to a larger firm down the road, especially for comp/prestige reasons. That's not to say the larger funds won't value your experience; I'm just suggesting there might be a mismatch in what you're willing to give and what your employer demands at that point in time. 

May 7, 2022 - 9:03pm
CREnadian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agreed with the comment re: the job getting easier at VP/Principal. You might not work as long of hours, but the work you are responsible for is far more important with far less room for error. The flipside is you get more leeway to make your own hours at most shops, so you can pop out for your kid's baseball game.

I regularly see VPs and Principals online late at night after their kids are in bed, prepping for IC meetings, investor pitches, or reviewing new data room documents. Not to mention a good portion of their "personal" life becomes a form of work due to attending industry events and regular work-related dinners.

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
May 11, 2022 - 10:52am

Understood. Just want more room to see my kid growing up at this time and take a break from endless hours/shitty formatting tasks. I don't mind grinding a bit more in a few years hence why I am eager to go work for a smaller shop but with a decent brand name so I can potentially jump back to larger funds and get top comp. Don't mind at all about prestige but unfortunately, it seems like a lot of recruiters/headhunters of "mega-funds" are only looking at you when coming from IBD /top other REPE funds.  

May 7, 2022 - 1:49pm
Xhamster02, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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