As my username suggests, not sure what to do...

First year PE associate...rolled into PE without much of a break once I got done with my third year in banking. As my username suggests, I am fully burned out, and was fully burned out during my last 8-10 months of banking (though to be fair, I think everyone gets there toward the end).

PE paperwork signing occurs so early that you don't fully have an appreciation for a) what you're currently doing to your body and mind by working 90+ hours a week and b) what ramifications on your body and mind starting another 2 year 80+ hour / week grind will have. When I got my PE offer I thought I was surely going to a far better, more reasonable place - and I thought I was going "all the way" in high finance.

Add another year of banking on top of that and my perspective changed entirely. Don't care about money at all, I save it all because I know that I need to bring my lifestyle back to earth so I don't get sucked into finance long-term. If I could trade it all for $70K working 45 hours a week and when I go home, I don't have to think about work - done.

I get, truly, super depressed when I see people in the world enjoying their lives with dogs and significant others, while I am constantly stressed out and on edge even when I'm not at work. I've been a pretty crappy friend, difficult to my parents because of my incessant complaining about my unhappiness, and generally have become very short with people because I have so little time to myself. And don't get me started on the relationship front. I thought PE was this magical place where all of this would go away, which obviously is not, and almost by definition cannot, be the case.

Working just as hard in PE as in banking, but while the work is more interesting, the volume is unbelievable - in banking you could realistically spend 6 of your 16 hours per day browsing the internet...in PE I still work 14-16 hours a day but I have to be fully engaged and get almost no downtime during the day. It's absolutely exhausting.

Anyway, you get the picture - I'm depressed and I'm down for the count. I've realized I have to get out of finance before it finishes me off, and banking already was a harrowing test for my mental and physical well being (I stress mental because that stuff is real, and I've had a lot of anxiety / obsessive-compulsive issues throughout the years, exacerbated by stress). Now I'm just running on fumes, literally taking it day by day because I'm so beat that the prospect of this being a two-year thing is probably scary enough to cause me to have a brain aneurysm.

WSO - what can I do? And let this be a lesson to you all: a) finance isn't for everyone, b) it doesn't really ever get easier and you can't fake your way into having the personality and intensity level to make it in finance...if you don't have it, you'll never have it. Accept it and move on. I'm learning the hard way that I don't have it. And it's not fun.

Also, if your advice is "this is the opportunity of a lifetime omg man suck it up", save it, because you're probably 17 and think anyone in banking or PE is a demi-god. Until you've tried these things, best to not opine. Few - VERY few - people in finance are happy, and the reasons for it become painfully evident very quickly.

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Comments (37)

Sep 28, 2015

Have you considered a role in public markets investing? At least on the AM side the hours are materially better and comp is probably close to on par at the firms you'd be interested in. I'd take a look there. Or b-school obvi but that's not going to do much for your career at this stage.

    • 1
Sep 28, 2015

Have you thought about Corporate Development? Hours and stress are typically much, much lower in most groups. Money is decent and in general most of the people come from IB or PE.

Agree that B-School isnt going to do much for you but kick the decision down the road a couple of years. It would definitely allow you to relax / party / travel though.

    • 1
Jun 13, 2016

Thanks to you both, I've thought about all three of those options and they all seem very attractive. I have friends who work in public side investing and they absolutely enjoy their lives and are generally pretty satisfied with work (or at least the work-life balance).

Corporate Development to me seems like the most attractive option, but I'm super paranoid about leaving my current gig if a good CD role pops up for me (and they're generally not on the same summer timetable as IB and PE). The idea of burning bridges really scares me and I think an early exit would basically nuke all of my high finance bridges (IB included, given inherent connection between IB and PE). Not that I'd be looking to get into IB or PE, well, ever again, but gambling with my references / good name scares the hell out of me.

That said, I think CD (if you do your diligence and join the right group) is a pretty good option for people who want to have a pretty interesting job where they actually feel like they're using their talents but don't want to sacrifice all that PE asks for.

Jun 13, 2016

Oh, and b-school seems like a great option too - I agree it doesn't do much for me career-wise, but it brings to light what else exists in finance (IB/PE people live in a vacuum) and I think it'll give me some much needed R&R time. I think it's also the most risk-averse option because it's on the strict summer timetable obviously.

Sep 28, 2015

What type of PE firm are you at? Megafund/Upper MM? What about moving to a smaller firm after your 2 years? I've heard they work less hours...

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Jun 13, 2016

Large MM, and I don't think that's really an option, can't keep trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. IB/PE don't jive with my personality.

Sep 28, 2015

I would look into Fortune 500 companies (some you may do business with in IB if you worked on M&A) that focus on work life balances. They typically would welcome people with your experience into roles that will pay decently well. Corporate Strategy, the other side of M&A, management positions regionally, etc., would all be viable prospects that would top out around 60 hrs/week.

Look up the core values of companies that operate in businesses that interest you--start with everything in the Dow Jones for example. As you know, and alluded to in your OP, the pay will be a fraction of what you pull in now, but still, with a high ceiling. One thing you should note, is that almost no job, outside of operations, do you go home and not think about work. Technology has come too far, and everyone is so connected all the time in some way to work at the office. The stress levels will just be far lower.

I know a lot of what I said is borderline common sense, but I hope this helps. Good luck, and remember, your health is your most important asset.

    • 1
Sep 28, 2015

The corp dev, public investing, etc options are all good but just to throw something else out there: do something you like, not just something that's been expected of you or is the normal route. What are (or were before you worked 80+ hours/week) your interests and hobbies? Figure that out and go get a job in that field, even if it's not in a "prestigious" field or company. Are you an outdoors camping type of person? Find an outdoors company, maybe an REI or a much smaller no-name company. Do you like boating or sailing? Find a boat manufacturer and move to the ocean. Like craft beer? You get the idea. And it doesn't even have to be a cool field-do you think you'd really like precision manufacturing or something that most people would consider boring? There's the startup route but don't necessarily think that grass is greener.

And figure out what role you'd want in a company. There's business life beyond finance and you're young enough and your background would probably let you get into most facets of an organization so maybe you figure out you'd like ops or sales. Position yourself for that and go for it. Figure out if you'd be happier not in NYC (or SF or wherever you are). Same thing-are you a rural mountain person, or someone who loves the ocean, or would like a small to medium sized town? Go there.

True, you probably won't get back into finance because you'd be jumping off that train but it seems pretty clear you've discovered that's not for you and never will be and that's ok. Like you stated, it's not for everyone and I know plenty of people outside of finance who make good money and are happy doing it, and if you leave the high cost of living NYC's and SF's, you don't need as much money to live normally. I wouldn't worry about burning bridges because first, you don't want to be in PE or IB, and second you only really burn bridges if you're leaving for a competitor. If you tell the guys you work for that this is just not for you and you decided that working in ______ was a much better fit for you there's a good chance they'll understand and be ok with it.

Life's too short to be stuck in something you don't like. While the "if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life" is over the top and a bit of bullshit (I've always liked what I do, but it's still work-loving what I'm doing would be sitting on a beach, surfing and having a busty blond bring me beers and cheeseburgers and fellating me at regular intervals), at least don't greatly dislike what you're doing. Don't just follow the normal path because you did well enough in high school to get into a top college that allowed you to get into IB, then PE and so on simply because that's what you're supposed to do. Figure out what will make you happy with no regard to what you're supposed to do or others expect that you should do and follow it.

    • 9
Jun 13, 2016

Ding dong I think that's probably the best advice I've heard (frankly from anyone yet) and is most in line with the way I see everything playing out. I think I tend to view CD as a good step because it's still somewhat "on the path" but offers a lot of benefits that PE may not - but at the end of the day, you're still a weed-whacking model monkey slogging through hundreds of confusingly formatted and laid out internal financials looking for a diamond in the rough. I'm sure the diligence process is less arduous than in PE, but diligence is diligence...and that's kind of been the part of PE that I've enjoyed least by far (and happens to be 90% of it).

Best Response
Sep 30, 2015

I gave +1s both to the original post and Dingdong's reply.

First off, breathe. Let's look at the upside.

You are alive; even though you feel like happiness, sanity, and control are all slipping away from you, you have the privilege of drawing breath every second anew. You are self-aware; you're able to assess yourself honestly, realizing that you haven't treated your family as well as you believe you ought to nor have you been the friend you know the people you care about deserve. You know that you're living in a way that isn't healthy for you; you're able to point out some major things that matter to you (romance and companionship, close friendships, family time, exercise) and the absence of which make you unhappy.

Those are all great things. Being alive, self-aware, and astute about your environment are fantastic. The next step is to figure out what the best action to take is.

This is corny, but put some great music on while we figure out the smartest next steps. I don't know if you like dance music (I hate the term 'EDM' and the crap it signifies), but since I'm in such a giving mood at the moment, if you're into tropical house at all, put on this playlist my friend made: https://soundcloud.com/kyle-hon/sets/tropical-house Turn on the 98th song, take a series of proper deep breaths (4 seconds in through the nose, 8 seconds out through the mouth), and realize that you are entirely in control of your own life.

Now, it's clear you need to move. I'm with Dingdong; it doesn't make sense to slog through another two-year program that's going to make you fatter, more stressed, and less of the person you want to be towards loved ones. Worst, it will kill you slowly. Not only figuratively (by tightening the golden handcuffs, as you astutely pointed out and are smart to curtail your lifestyle to avoid) but literally. Thanks to science we know that elevated cortisol levels from chronic stress interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, and increase weight gain / blood pressure / cholesterol / heart disease ... no joke at all.

Take a piece of paper and divide it vertically down the middle. On the left, write down all the cool things you thought you'd do when you were a kid. Astronaut, firefighter, mountain climber, motorcycle racer, cowboy, all of them. On the right hand side, write all the traits and skills you know you'd like to develop as a person. A spirit of adventure, being well-traveled, polylingual, visibly jacked, etc.

Now draw out the commonalities. What are the industries or businesses you can work in related to your childhood (or current) dream jobs? Astronaut? SpaceX is hiring. So is Blue Origin. Hell, even Robert Bigelow is in the mix now too (read the Bloomberg article from 2013 or so). Mountain climber? What high adventure businesses are there?

You don't even have to go completely off the ranch and move into a blue collar position. There are managerial and financial positions in each of those businesses. There are family offices who own those businesses. All of them would salivate over someone with your profile and experience. High-GPA, prominent undergrad, investment bankers turned private equity investors aren't climbing out of the woodwork looking for roles like that.

That ties into the very first thought I had. Have you considered moving to a family office? I have a number of friends in the space - the jobs are the cushiest I can think of. I know more than one guy pulling in comp better than our friends at PE MFs. One I'm thinking of right now also has access to the coolest stuff: a G550 available essentially at his discretion, a wide-open mandate (grow the businesses in the portfolio, find promising new ones to consider as an addition), and a schedule entirely at his control. I know because we ran into each other randomly my last time in London and he offered me a ride home. I played along thinking it was a joke, but we legitimately took a car to Farnborough, got on the plane, and flew to Teterboro. (Commercial is ruined for me now, incidentally.)

Granted, not all family offices are for a Forbes 400 family and you won't have obscene resources like that, but the point is that they are low-stress positions that offer the dream combination of good pay, intellectually stimulating work, and light hours.

You could start figuring out from your LinkedIn who may be in that world and start initiating some conversations. A longer-term path would be to get an MBA and spend the 6 months prior to matriculating and your entire time there leveraging the alumni network to find such a position. For best success it needs to be either an HSW school or one in a family-office rich environment (McCombs, for instance, both for the collection of oil wealth and the benefactor for whom the very school is named after; Stern is by no means the best MBA program, but it has one of the three best 'family office councils' around).

Again, I agree with Dingdong that it makes no sense to stick somewhere you are so unhappy. Depending on what you choose to do (off the beaten path vs. an easier role in finance), exiting early would not irrevocably harm your reputation. Remember that the firm would have absolutely zero qualms firing you unexpectedly if some drastic circumstance came up on their end.

In short, you have a lot of control over your life. You can walk out whenever you choose to. Until you do, make sure you take time to breathe, start a habit of exercising regularly, and keep your mind positive. I can't stress the exercise enough: moving heavy metal around will boost your energy levels, combat your depression, sharpen your mental quickness, and reverse the physical decay you've been suffering. That's well worth one hour less of sleep 4x a week (only 2 of which would ostensibly be weekdays).

Your life is yours, brother. Live it.

    • 42
Jun 12, 2016

wow what a great comment, bookmarked / +1

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Sep 30, 2015

Is it possible / are you interested in finishing off the year and then move to a portfolio company you find interesting? This way, you are not burning bridges like if you were to flat out quit.

Sep 30, 2015

OP, I'm in a similar position and have decided to take the B-School route for the following reasons:

1) The idea of having a two-year hiatus is appealing.

The burnout from 5 years of PE and Banking is common and I have found many of my peers have felt the same. Much of the Associate work is "blocking and tackling" and I spend a fair amount of my time coordinating calls with various constituents e.g., lenders, lawyers, etc. If you think of the number of Associates at a fund and the number of investments most funds make, maybe you will close one deal during a two year stint. It's easy to become disenfranchised, but unfortunately, PE is a long-term game. As a result, most of my peers have moved to hedge funds to gain exposure and to make investment decisions with shorter time horizons.

2) It provides an opportunity to find out what you want to do long-term.

Investment Banking and PE operate within a vacuum and there is rarely ever thought given to alternative paths. We went through college with the idea that Investment Banking was the "coup de gras" and some of the the brightest students pursued that path. Times have changed and Silicon Valley and the start-up community offers a similar dynamic, but with different and rewarding opportunities. It's easy to question our decisions in retrospect, but in our mid to late 20s, Business School provides an opportunity for us to take a step back and re-direct our careers in the long-term.

Furthermore, I have seen many former colleagues get burned out and jump at the first buy-side opportunity instead of holding out for the best opportunity. In the long-run, it's wise to think out the decision instead of making a quick reaction to a bad situation. I think you are approaching this decision in the appropriate manner.

3) Costs are not as extreme as you think.

If you have already decided that this path is not for you, then the opportunity costs are not as extreme. I assume I will die with more than $300k in the bank; yes, you can always take the full opportunity cost and invest it at x% in the market to come up with a very high number, but at the end of the day we live in the moment.

At the end of the day, I have heard that most pre-MBA Associates go back into PE or HFs because the comp is greatest and after paying for the degree, most people want to pay it down as fast as possible.

4) It's one of the last opportunities to be selfish.

I'm sure I could have phrased that better, but coming out of business school, the next step in most of our lives is to settle down and start a family. Once you are in that position, it's much riskier to take a gamble or to invest in yourself. We have all invested an exorbitant amount of time on calls, making models and performing complex analysis that eventually had no pay-off. We have all spent thousands of hours performing work for someone else and I view business school as an opportunity to focus on what you want to work on.

5) I eventually want to be my own boss.

Sure, I've had great exposure to portfolio company operations: SIOP plans, negotiating credit agreements, facility leases, CRM platform structures, you name it, but at the end of the day I have not learned enough to be a stand-alone or manage the various aspects of a company as a C-level executive. I'm sure the reality is that business school will not completely bridge that gap, but I'm sure I will continue to learn. As I've said, our entire lives we have been working for someone; I don't want that to be for forever.

    • 4
Sep 30, 2015

This is great insight, thanks for sharing!

Sep 30, 2015

You have enough money saved to pursue your passion. That is what life is about. Find your passion and aggressively go after it. It's clear finance isn't it, when you align your passion with making money and also bring love into your life (love is the #1 thing in life to being happy - even getting a pet would help your mood) you will start enjoying life again. Why stay in something you don't enjoy?

I know if I had 150K+ nest egg, I wouldn't be a slave to any corporation, unless it aligned with what I am passionate about. Go after your passion and you will find yourself energized and invigorated once again!! Freedom in life is an amazing thing that I am still working towards.

Also, if you are struggling with happiness, I would strongly recommend a couple books that have helped change my life and tons of other people's as well.

1- Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy - this is my number one book that I recommend to anybody who is feeling unhappy or is not getting what they want out of life. 3 Weeks after reading this book with an open mind, things in my life starting changing for the better, by applying the principles in there to condition my subconscious. I also bought and mailed this book to everybody in my family.

2 - Napoleon Hill's books, (2) Think and Grow Rich and (3) Master Key to Riches. Think and Grow Rich is his most famous work but I like Master Key to Riches better. They are both definitely worth reading with open minds.

  • If you find what I have recommended interesting, check out Bob Proctor on YouTube. He is the closest thing to a modern day Napoleon Hill, and he turned me onto how powerful our minds are. After I watched a couple of his videos, I bought the #1 book I recommended. Hope this helps people out there =)
    • 2
Sep 30, 2015

i hear your pain man - i've been pushing through 12+ hour days for the past 7 years ... it definitely is not for everyone, but I got used to it. I went through a burnout phase but after a while I guess my brain just accepted it (either that, quit or jump of a building). Not going to lie, maybe I am not "happy" (say like a herd of thick blondes at a Magic Mike lookalike contest), but at the end of the day work is work and not a clam bake so getting good pay, being part of a good team, working for a good leader and a good company is happy enough for me.

If you are this burned out after three years, take a couple of weeks off and go someplace you love with people you love/like. If the whole time you don't even think about work then you have your answer. if you get your laptop out on the third day and start doing work (like yours truly), then you know you've made your bed so just go to sleep in it (although i like having some strange in there with me too)! Good luck man.

    • 2
Jun 13, 2016

See guys? WSO is full of great advice if you seek it out. Not everyone is a 19 year-old kid blowing off steam and acting aggressive behind the Internet veil.

No, but seriously, knowing there are other guys and gals out there struggling is really comforting to me. This path isn't for everyone and it takes a lot of maturity to recognize that you can't keep pushing the square peg into a round hole.

I think I know what I have to do, but I need to draw up a way to execute it in the least damning way possible (as attractive as "peace!!!" / mic drop sounds, I'm too risk averse to pull a stunt like that). Regardless, you all have helped me to understand that throwing in the towel is OKAY and everyone's lives will go on if / when I leave - frankly I'm not that important, despite people potentially raising a stink when I decide to call it.

Oct 7, 2015

It seems like we took a similar route and appreciate your honest introspection. I did 3 years in banking, and now a year into a MM PE job. Aside from the similarities in the work and the general intensity - albeit less hours as you mentioned - I can't ignore the same general look of tiredness of the VP's and MD's. Buyouts are no joke, and am realizing that the stress only increases as you become more senior due to all the processes you have to manage; yes, you're not doing the grunt work anymore, but it's high stakes. Miss a deadline or screw up one of the 10+ different workstreams in each of your 3 active deals? Prepare to be canned. Different stress, but likely even more intense, I think.

I can relate to you so much on the toll of our careers, and from what you mention, it seems relationships and a healthy social life, over prestige/money, are important to you. When I look back at my regrets I feel similarly. I've screwed up many relationships, have few close friends outside of the typical weekend/party contacts, when I'm with those few close friends I'm not pleasant to be around and they constantly remark how tired and unhappy I look (no surprise they want to hang out with me less and less). The built up anxiety from the 3 years of constantly being on call and hating the work seems to have carried over to almost every aspect of my life, the most damaging of which being my newfound horrible temper and short fuse. TBH I still have no idea how to fix all this, and wish there's someone I could talk to honestly about stuff like this, instead of hanging out with so called friends in a subtle dick measuring scheme every weekend. I don't feel as bad as I did my last year in M&A when the knot in my stomach wouldn't go away, when I'd walk around aimlessly through the city with a mix of blank stare and envy at seemingly happy people, when the very ground you walked on felt so foreign and not secure...but the slight hints of anxiety and unhappiness are still there.

I don't mean to come across so melodramatic but I think these were all signs that I wasn't in the right line of work for my personality and passions. I still don't know what either of those really are, and know deep down I'm still not in the right field, but as one post mentioned I try to be cognizant of the various interest/hobbies that inundate my mind throughout the day, and hopefully the recognition of your own disenchantment is a sign that we're getting closer...wherever the end is. I'm pretty new to this board as well but feel free to message me if you ever want to talk or bounce ideas. If you ignore the main page and all the recruiting stuff, I think there are some like-minded people here.

    • 3
Jun 13, 2016
jb0938:

It seems like we took a similar route and appreciate your honest introspection. I did 3 years in banking, and now a year into a MM PE job. Aside from the similarities in the work and the general intensity - albeit less hours as you mentioned - I can't ignore the same general look of tiredness of the VP's and MD's. Buyouts are no joke, and am realizing that the stress only increases as you become more senior due to all the processes you have to manage; yes, you're not doing the grunt work anymore, but it's high stakes. Miss a deadline or screw up one of the 10+ different workstreams in each of your 3 active deals? Prepare to be canned. Different stress, but likely even more intense, I think.

I can relate to you so much on the toll of our careers, and from what you mention, it seems relationships and a healthy social life, over prestige/money, are important to you. When I look back at my regrets I feel similarly. I've screwed up many relationships, have few close friends outside of the typical weekend/party contacts, when I'm with those few close friends I'm not pleasant to be around and they constantly remark how tired and unhappy I look (no surprise they want to hang out with me less and less). The built up anxiety from the 3 years of constantly being on call and hating the work seems to have carried over to almost every aspect of my life, the most damaging of which being my newfound horrible temper and short fuse. TBH I still have no idea how to fix all this, and wish there's someone I could talk to honestly about stuff like this, instead of hanging out with so called friends in a subtle dick measuring scheme every weekend. I don't feel as bad as I did my last year in M&A when the knot in my stomach wouldn't go away, when I'd walk around aimlessly through the city with a mix of blank stare and envy at seemingly happy people, when the very ground you walked on felt so foreign and not secure...but the slight hints of anxiety and unhappiness are still there.

I don't mean to come across so melodramatic but I think these were all signs that I wasn't in the right line of work for my personality and passions. I still don't know what either of those really are, and know deep down I'm still not in the right field, but as one post mentioned I try to be cognizant of the various interest/hobbies that inundate my mind throughout the day, and hopefully the recognition of your own disenchantment is a sign that we're getting closer...wherever the end is. I'm pretty new to this board as well but feel free to message me if you ever want to talk or bounce ideas. If you ignore the main page and all the recruiting stuff, I think there are some like-minded people here.

Could have probably written this word for word - I feel EXACTLY the same way. I also struggled for a long time to find people to talk to about this. My friends who are also in finance all feel the same way but we're all so wrapped up in our own emotions and problems that it becomes really difficult to have an honest conversation about someone else's. My friends back home (I'm from a rural-ish town in the Midwest), while awesome, just don't understand the grind, and whenever I bring up the fact that I'm struggling, the answer is always "well, just walk away". Of course it IS actually that easy, and this is something I need to constantly remind myself of, because as you start getting more and more entrenched in the lifestyle and world of finance, leaving - despite your best efforts - actually feels impossible, and you can spiral into feeling depressed and hopeless (been there recently, not a good place).

I will say it sounds like you, too, will not be happy until you find a path that opens up other parts of your life - like reading, or music, or writing, or whatever it is that you're into (I'm personally into all of the aforementioned things). It also sounds like you're a Type B stuck in a Type A world. I used to think personality types were pop-psychology bullshit, but the longer I stay in finance, the clearer it becomes to me that some people are just WIRED differently; whether that's Type A vs. Type B or whatever hokey label you attach to it, it's clear to me that I wasn't ever wired the same way as the overwhelming majority of people in finance (and I would say damn near 100% of the people who make it into senior roles, and then dictate the culture of a group/firm/etc.)

I'll shoot you a message sometime, and likewise, feel free to give me a shout whenever.

Oct 1, 2015

How about a pension fund? They usually have a private equity group that probably isn't as where you're at.

Oct 4, 2015

Hey man, earlier in my career than you but totally feel the pain and respect walking away. This advice has all been great. Hope to hear about what you decide to do next and how it works out (because I may hit this point in my life as well soon).

Jun 13, 2016
MJK:

Hey man, earlier in my career than you but totally feel the pain and respect walking away. This advice has all been great. Hope to hear about what you decide to do next and how it works out (because I may hit this point in my life as well soon).

Hey partner, understand where you're coming from and I think realizing that earlier is incredibly important...a lot easier to take proactive steps when, to reference everyone's responses so far, the golden handcuffs are pretty loose. My friends in banking who would always blow tons of $ loved to ask me why I was as frugal as I am, and I jokingly used to say that my time in these fields where you earn a ton of money ain't gonna be that long...guess it's probably going to be shorter than I anticipated, and that's probably okay.

Oct 8, 2015

On deployment I'd go talk to our chaplain when I got burned out or stretched thin. All I'm saying is, counseling or whatever can help with some of the problems you've stated above and it doesn't matter what your workload is those issues still come up. If you need to leave finance, leave. Figure out the best way to do that, and the other posters have given you good advice.

Feb 25, 2016

Hey jb0938 / FullyBurnedOutMonkey,

I'm new to this site (just signed up) and stumbled upon your stories.

A little about me:
-Lived in posh Hoboken, NJ apt for 8-years while commuting to NYC daily working for Morgan Stanley, Fox-Pitt Kelton which was then bought out by Macquarie so know what it's like to work for 3 diff. slave-drivers (although the Aussies were the nicest of them all, lol).

-I worked in IT on the trading floors and the IB units so know the pressure of dealing w/ senior level monkeys.

-Besides a full-time job, I went to Baruch for my MBA part-time which ended up taking 4-years - juggling the two was a nightmare.

But here's the kicker, before age 30, I had suffered a collapsed lung twice from the stress. Miserable and hating life is an understatement.

This is why I quit my job and packed up 3-years ago to live in Thailand and travel the world (took my $$$ and ran!).

The initial reason was to pursue my love for Muay Thai (kickboxing) and even had my first professional fight a year later at the ripe age of 33.

Since then, I got into meditation and even did a 10-day silent Vipassana retreat with Thai monks.

Twice I've been to S.America to work with the Plant Medicines Ayahuasca and San Pedro (Peru & Ecuador). Also did the 5-day Salkantay Trek to Macchu Picu which was fkin epic!

Basically, I read a sh*tload of self-development books, blogs, youtube videos, podcasts, etc to learn how to HEAL myself from all the damage a fast-paced rat-race lifestyle did to me. Also learned about nutrition, physical health, mental wellness and spirituality. This journey has been all about nursing myself back to a happy and healthy human being.

For past 18-months, I've been in entrepreneur mode:

-Have my own dropshipping store selling heating products using shopify e-commerce platform

  • launched a Udemy video course on weight-lifting & physical health
  • PM and I'll give you code to have it for free. No strings attached.

-Created a private label brand sourcing fitness products from China and selling them on the Fufilled by Amazon ecommerce platform

All of this has been done while traveling the world (South East Asia, Europe, S.America and occasional visits to US) and working from a laptop.

But I'm a bit bored with them and recently discovered my true-calling is coaching people who are going through Corporate Burnout, utilizing the techniques and lessons I've learned from my past 3-year journey of healing.

Anyways, I want to help you guys and have strategies and routines to get through this tough phase. Or if you want to go in a completely different life-path, I can help with that too.

Please reach out to me so we can schedule a strategy session. Also, here's my website blog and YouTube channel so you can see I'm the real deal :) (for some reason, WSO won't let me post links so PM and I'll send over)
christopherwchiu

Be well brothers.

christopherwchiu.com - Burnout Expert / Coach

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May 30, 2016

I'm recently feeling exactly the same, with the same background. What did you end up doing? (If anything?)

Jun 13, 2016

Going to business school after a brief stint in the corporate world. Best decision I've ever made.

Jun 8, 2016
FullyBurnedOutMonkey:

Going to business school after a brief stint in the corporate world. Best decision I've ever made.

what position you hoping to land?

Jun 13, 2016

No real idea - marketing / brand management currently leading the pack, but we'll see.

Jun 9, 2016

I've been considering something similar. Being in one of those positions at a North Face/Patagonia/Oakley type company would be pretty cool imo.

Jun 13, 2016

No doubt! Find you a company that you're really passionate about or that makes a product that really speaks to you and I think it could be a really great role. I really like cars, so am targeting Japanese and European auto manufacturers' US headquarters and various racing teams. Could be worse!

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Jun 11, 2016

Well, since everyone else has written you an essay, I'll try to make mine a haiku.

People need others, and that is hard and time consuming to manage. Rekindle old friendships, and relearn to make and treat friends right. It's easier than you may think, but in all honesty, if you have friends and close relations with them, you will feel better about life. It's hard to walk alone, and life is not meant to be lived alone.

Jun 11, 2016

You could always just quit and do something else or go on an adventure to change your mindset. One of my good friends was in a similar position and decided to quit and move to Africa to work in an impact investment fund that does growth equity investments in small businesses. I visited him recently and he seems like the happiest guy on earth. If this sounds like something that could interest you, feel free to PM me!

Best of luck!

Jun 11, 2016

My recommendation as a first step is to take a week long vacation, go somewhere cool and do very little. Hang by a pool/ocean and think about what you want your life to be like, and what are your real priorities. Then proceed to take a lot do the great recommendations above.

Jun 12, 2016

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/am-exit-opps
states of mind are temporary, very heavily determined by temporary states of biology, determined by temporary states nutrition, sleep and activity .. the human body is a machine, train your brain not to be sad

simple examples
1. lack of sleep and/or too much caffeine leads to high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) leads to a slow down of the brain (the heavy feeling in the upper front part of your brain), stay like that long enough depression starts to set in ... same sets on life info/data but a very negative view/expectation .. so keep a check on when you suddenly drift into negative thoughts (this happens in a VERY SNEAKY way) as soon as it happens:-
1.1. Get up drink water,
1.2. Do some myofascial work with a tennis ball for body parts that need it (people who get stressed in the way you describe usually have overactive upper traps which can lead to stress on the nerves in the cervical region of spine, which can lead to more mental stress and vertigo, in some cases people even black out), also check for other postural issues
1.3. Sit with the elbows and knees at 90 degree angles, neutral spine and your line of sight should be straight ahead (this reduces physical stress on the body), close your eyes (it starts the body's regeneration process) for a few minutes, and do not think (it will recharge your brain in a way - in some cases it is as good as sleep)

  1. Not being hydrated enough but drinking a lot of caffeine leads to the lack of the Caffeine "kick" and worse depression, caffeine consumption and depression have linked to go hand in hand, also caffeine itself is a diuretic and 2% dehydration impairs cognitive function
  2. Eating too many complex carbs leads to the tryphtophan getting converted to serotonin which gets converted into melatonin (sleep control hormone) hence the sleepy feeling after any carb heavy meal.
    Note: Serotonin is no longer considered a major/direct stress hormone by some researchers but it is responsible for cognitive function mainly the communication between the 2 hemispheres of the brain,
  3. Not being hydrated enough leads to sugar cravings since the sugar stored does not get utilized as quickly so the brain tells you to "eat sugar", when you eat sugar your mood elevates for a few minutes before crashing again
    4.1. The combination of not being hydrated enough and low energy levels at the end of the day (due to the lack of fibrous vegetables with sufficient carbs think lentils, carrtos, green peas, corn, etc that release carbs gradually and will also lead to almost no insulin spikes, no insulin spikes no cravings, hence, no unnecessary sugar consumption and there will be almost no mood-swings) will lead to negative thoughts, irritability, etc
  4. Eating carbs before sleeping provides the brain with energy as a result going to sleep becomes difficult (you will keep on thinking about anything/everything) and waking up in the morning will be stressful itself since cortisol will be not been balanced due to lack of/disturbed sleep and this will result in being depressed as soon as your work starts
    5.1. Craving carbs at night is thought to be an evolutionary survival instinct, to store fat for times of starvation
  5. Sleeping with the curtains/blinds open lets sunlight in and might let you wake up fresh since light controls melatonin
  6. Being out in the sun controls Serotonin production and it can affect your mood - check Seasonal effective disorder
  7. Being inactive/sitting on a desk for more than 3 hours activates the degenerative gene in your body and after that at-least 30minutes of physical activity is required to deactivate the degenerative gene

so basically we train/prepare ourselves to be depressed, angry, happy, stable, moody, etc

as far as the psychological approach goes do not expect too much in life but prepare to achieve as much as you can, differentiate between professional ambition and personal consumption/greed, differentiate between facts/opinions (your own and others), learn to accept trade-offs that almost every decision requires, etc

a few links that might help:-
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/adrenalin... http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/how-lower-cort...
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-...

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Jun 13, 2016

I did the same thing. Left a hedge fund after 3 years and took a 50% paycut. Worth every penny. Never been happier.

Jun 14, 2016
Jun 13, 2016
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