Choosing Strategic Finance vs. Incubator BizOps

Hi, I got two competing offers for pretty different roles and I'm struggling to decide. I work in a pretty vanilla PE role where I haven't gotten much exposure to venture or high-growth environments, and I was hoping to get some advice.

  1. Strategic finance at a late-stage startup/scaleup. The company is well-established, post series D, with a finance team of 3-4 from mainly bizops/corpdev backgrounds. The people seemed nice, but I know this role would involve a lot of reporting (it's basically FP&A plus strategic responsibilities), and I haven't enjoyed that part of my PE job very much. I've also read some WSO posts that these roles can be very grindy.

  2. A BizOps role working with seed-stage entrepreneurs to develop business models and strategy. It would be very strategy-focused, which I've been very interested in, but I have no idea what exit opps would look like since the role is a bit niche, and I'm lacking some confidence that I would enjoy "starting from scratch" with every project.

Comp for both is pretty good, pretty typical salary + equity structure (not a deciding factor). Any perspective would be much appreciated!

Comments (3)

Dec 22, 2021 - 5:26pm

I want to get the full picture of your thinking before answering so my question regarding role #2 is why are you lacking confidence that you would enjoy "starting from scratch"? 

My perspective on this point is that if you looking to enter the high-growth/startup realm there has to be some part of you that enjoys the entrepreneurial aspect of the job. A lot of processes, analyses, models will be the "first ever" built at your company and that can be really exciting if that's what gets you going in a job. I think it's awesome that I can think of a solution to a problem, own it from end to end, and ultimately make my mark on the company. Sure there may be uncertainty on how to approach problems, but I think that's the intellectually stimulating part of being in a startup. 

Dec 22, 2021 - 5:58pm

Thanks for your reply! Let me give some more detail: 

On role #2, when I say "starting from scratch" I mean that I could be working on very different types of business in every project, which could be interesting but also made me wonder if it could come with less credibility for actually being able to develop an expertise. That said, the work itself sounds a bit more interesting to me than "pure finance" because it would involve so many different types of creative decisions in smaller teams, and a lot more direct work with product/engineering. And by contrast, #1 would be within a single company that I would get to understand very well (and it does seem very interesting). I think a better way of describing my problem is that I'm having trouble understanding whether it would be detrimental to my longer-term development to try something that sounds "more fun" even if it's in a bit of a niche area without the regimented exit opps of finance roles. #1 would also be located in a huge tech hub city, and #2 would not, if it makes a difference.

Most Helpful
Dec 22, 2021 - 7:56pm

Consequuntur autem neque expedita. Aut accusantium non sint voluptatem. Voluptas et est aut similique dignissimos ducimus. Accusamus assumenda qui voluptas praesentium. Reprehenderit rerum sed quo dolores.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

January 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $604
  • Vice President (20) $379
  • Associates (144) $238
  • 2nd Year Analyst (84) $153
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (15) $150
  • 1st Year Analyst (295) $142
  • Intern/Summer Associate (63) $143
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (225) $90