1st Year Analyst - What Happens If I Just Stop Caring?

With all of the talk on the forums about 1st year analysts quitting, it has motivated me to finally seek to pull the trigger on doing so. However, I am not going to quit until I have another job lined up, so was seeking advise.

What would happen if I just stopped caring / pushed back on staffings to give myself time to recruit and interview? I'm at a top BB (GS/MS/JPM) and curious how that would play out. By not caring I don't mean literally stopping doing all work, but instead doing the regular work but signing off at say ~10pm and not being as quick on emails, as well as pushing back on new staffings.

Could they fire me? I imagine with HR and the bureaucracy with BBs I would be safe until bonuses are paid in August, but hopefully I'll be long gone by then. 

Really appreciate everyone's thoughts here and risks/rewards of doing so. 

Comments (17)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 13, 2021 - 7:11pm

High risk, high reward situation. As a 1st year analyst who recently quit without anything lined up, here's my 2 cents:
It is extremely difficult to network, research, and apply to roles when you're working 100+ hours and your seniors expect you to be online 24/7, and if you are not dead set on what you want to do next (niche industry or specific role) then you will need to do your homework. No one will hop on a networking call with you at 10 pm ET (maybe you're on the east coast and the guy is on the west coast?). While it is risky to quit without anything lined up (believe me, was not an easy decision to make), you increase your chances of landing something nice. Once you give your bank a bs covid related excuse, you won't be burning the bridges. There is a probability, though slim, that your VP might not tolerate you slacking off till your August bonus and might fire you instead. The last thing you would want is your new firm calling your old bank to find out you were fired...
Just bite the bullet..

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jan 13, 2021 - 7:57pm

Haven't done it, but it's very difficult to get fired as an analyst (beyond insider trading, harassment, etc, I think it's actually near impossible). However, I have found that with the way staffings work, it's usually all or nothing. You can't just log off at 10PM or flat out reject staffings without actually dropping the ball and not doing your work. If comments come through at 9:30pm and you log off at 10pm, I imagine it will go very poorly and you'll end up screwing over the entire team. You can just do a consistently mediocre job in the work you do and eventually you'll be staffed on less intense projects, but I could never imagine someone actually just not doing the work. It's a small world and you would be really be letting the team down, so you better hope no one ever calls for a reference if you take this route. Personally I would quit before adopting this strategy-you won't wreck your reputation and you'll have more time to recruit. The other strategy would be to just actually do your job but do baseline level of quality so you aren't put on live engagements and then  commit yourself to recruiting in your free time. 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jan 13, 2021 - 8:32pm

Have you not been reading the plethora of posts on this forum? Literally half of them are about quitting as the WFH experience has exacerbated a lot of systemic issues within IBD at the junior level where people would prefer to prioritize their mental health and getting into a field they're passionate about

Jan 13, 2021 - 8:59pm

Fair enough man, just seems like IB takes so much extra effort (networking, technicals practice, relevant internship early in college) compared to literally everything else except for maybe med school. Im shocked people would leave early after all that. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 13, 2021 - 8:49pm

This is basically what bottom bucket analysts do anyways. If you're truly set on leaving, I don't see why not tbh. As another user mentioned, it's very difficult to get fired as an analyst as they only need to deal with you for two years and can just relegate you to price updating books. 

Jan 13, 2021 - 9:24pm

I would quit. Off sheet references are way more common and powerful than you think. Better to just quit and cut ties and give COVID as a reason or whatever, than have somebody down the line call your old boss because they were old banker buddies or classmates or something, and then your old boss tells that person you were total shit.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jan 14, 2021 - 12:51am

Agree with this. I would quit before just mailing in. You're not going to learn anything with this mentality so you're wasting your time while also destroying your reputation. People will be annoyed if you quit but can at least understand and sympathize with the challenges created by COVID. However, doing a trash job and letting the team down isn't forgivable and will cost you a future job if they look for a reference. 

Jan 13, 2021 - 9:30pm

As far as I'm aware, it's employment at will, so they don't even need a reason to fire you.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2021 - 11:52am

I've adopted a slightly similar approach.  Certainly not logging off at 10pm and turning in sloppy work, but I am putting a lot less pressure on myself to be perfect.  Instead of turning my wheels trying to figure something out, I just ask from the get-go. If I was given no guidance on a task, I just turn in quality work based on my interpretation of the assignment with zero guilt.  It helps some with hours, and a ton with mental energy since it makes the job less stressful. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2021 - 12:42pm

That's more what I was getting at. By logging off at 10pm I meant if there wasn't anything pressing to do at that time rather than staying online so I show as "green". Just curious as you're another 1st year, what are your plans?

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