My question is this: Can any of you relay any stories of monkeys who quit and wish they hadn't?
My worry is I leave, try something truly risky and wonderous, fail, and am locked out forever, being a middle class nobody until death. Its the same fear that keep a lot of people chained to miserable existences, but perhaps it is better than the alternative. Money helps in a lot of ways, I've seen both sides and all things being equal, having money is better than not.
So, once you leave, try something totally unrelated, something that does nothing to build a resume, are you locked out forever? Its nice for the people who can get out and become rockstars, but what happens if you leave banking, try and fail?
Who Regrets Quitting Wall Street?
In an industry as intense as Wall Street, the question of when / if to quit can be a difficult one. People quit for all sorts of reasons and there is definitely a lot to consider. A few of our users shared detailed experiences and thoughts below.
- A friend quit to start his startup. It failed miserably, now he is back looking for a job, and can't find anything that would pay him as much as he used to earn.
- Another friend quit and ended up working for a startup company, he stuck it 6 months with them, now he is working for the exchange and earning much less than he used to.
- Another one started her shoe company, she is struggling beyond reason, and puts in way more hours for much less pay than before. That was 4 years ago, she is still struggling today.
- One of them quit to start a food shop - it worked out, doesn't earn him as much, but he puts in less hours and enjoys it.
The majority of these stories are happy or lying to themselves that it was the right decision to get out of banking. At the end of the day, if you can't cut it, get out, this is not for everyone. Everyone thinks about quitting all the time, in the end there is no other job that pays this much in the world. The first few years in banking might feel like shit as the pay is not that great, but once you hit VP it will all start to make sense.
If you DO quit banking, don't make it in the hope of earning more money. Because this rarely happens. Do it because you find something more interesting and realized money ain't everything, or you actually HAVE a great startup idea and have ALREADY done the ground work while working...
I personally have never met anyone who quit and was unhappy about it. If you chose to quit, you have your reasons and most people feel a lot better afterwards. I know one guy who went back into the family business and is happy. Another went to be an Entrepreneur in Residence at an Incubator and then founded a business with Rocket. That failed, he still says that it was better than sitting in a cubicle 18 hours a day working on pitch books.
As for that, I know a few guys who actually quit IBD at 3rd year Analyst to 2nd year Associate level and did something else for a year or two (own business, Private Equity, Hedge Fund) and then came back to work for the same bank in the same position or a level higher afterwards. I don't think you're locked out forever, but if you are unsure you may wanna stay in touch with a few colleagues...
- It's better to quit if you have another job or opportunity.
- It's better to quit with more money saved. Hell, you've already earned 65% of your year end bonus.
- It's way better to quit after 18 months, maybe 24 months than after 12 months. (Makes you look like less of a flake) And if you do this for two or three years, it's easier to come back than if you've done this for 12 months or even 18 months. (This holds true for any job.)
I say stick it out for another year, or at least until February bonus. I know you really want out of there, I know you are miserable, but sticking it out for a little longer gives you access to jobs that will make you less miserable later.
Additionally, the more money you have when you quit, and the more experience you have when you quit, and the better the opportunity you have when you quit, the less likely you are to regret quitting.
Read More About Quitting Your Job on WSO
- Quitting Major Investment Bank In NYC After 2 Months...?
- When Would You Quit?
- Quitting Time - Views On How To Leave Your Job
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