Career Advice - Not sure what my next move should be
I've always found this board helpful so I figured I'd come back to WSO and see if I couldn't learn something or the other. I'm at a bit of a cross-roads and need some perspective, and maybe some ideas. I'm 25 going on 26, and starting to approach the point where I can no longer just dick around and hope for the best. I need some kind of plan...which escapes me at the moment.
Background : I spent 6+ months temping in the back office of a BB out of college. Hated it for obvious reasons and then ended up in real estate. No real reason other than I met the CFO of a family owned developer at happy hour and he took a liking to me. The firm had several BILLION in its portfolio and was growing like gangbusters. They also hadn't had operating budgets for any of their properties in 4+ years. No, I'm not kidding....I was brought on board to build budgets and begin the variance reporting process. This shop was obviously far from normal (they hired someone with 0 real estate experience to be their administrator of budgets...) and I found myself looking for a new job after another 6+ months.
Next stop for me was/is my current gig. I'm at a large firm working in basically what is their corporate real estate department. We're a large corporate tenant and my group's job is to manage the firm's real estate portfolio (minimizing cost while implementing our design standards,etc, etc, etc). I've hit the two year mark and I'm itching to make my next move...I spend too much of my time at work bored out of my mind.
I'm really struggling as to what my next move should be. In an ideal world, I'm looking at two things. I'd love to work for a landlord again; especially in some kind of role that would involve a strategy/investment component; as I'd like to be a landlord one day. Jobs like that just aren't very common though. My other thought is tenant rep. My firm is fairly progressive in its space (legal) and I feel like I have a pretty decent value-add proposition: start with a firm that is behind the curve and help them build a real estate program from scratch: policies and procedures, design guidelines, space guidelines, and then of course hope to be engaged when they have transactional needs. However, I'm aware that most brokers flame out of the industry in a year or two, and making rent in NYC on a draw sounds like not much fun, especially because my entire value-add prop means I could potentially be working for a client for years before seeing any billable work.
Job hunting has been a bit of a loopy experience for me. Most of the roles I see are either doing what I do at another firm (large corporate tenant or landlord, need a financial analyst to do monthly reporting of actuals vs budget blah, blah, blah) or are things that kind of require a different background than mine (banking, REPE, capital markets gig, underwriting roles). An additional hurdle for me is that I've never used Argus in my life.
I realize this is all over the place by this point, but I kind of feel lost. Part of me thinks maybe I should go into legal brokerage as a tenant rep, part of me thinks that maybe I should just suck it up and take another corporate real estate gig at another firm for a year or two while I figure it out, part of me thinks that I should be pursuing real estate investment/underwriting roles and look for smaller shops where my lack of direct experience may not be such a hindrance.
If anyone could throw any advice my way, I'd be eternally grateful. Where should I be looking? What sorts of industry associations should I be joining to network in, and how do I take the next step in my career?
Thanks in advance for any advice that comes my way.