Firm I went into wasn't quite what I was hoping it would be, not sure what to do

I'm in a situation where I've ended up in a firm that wasn't quite what I thought or was hoping it would be, and I'm not entirely sure what to do.

I started at a very small real estate PE/development firm a few months ago. Background was 3 years Big Four (audit and corp fin) and then 2 years at a DCM boutique. I really enjoyed what I did at my previous role at the DCM boutique, however the pay and the atmosphere there was horrible.

I had to get out fast as I was approaching a step up in my notice period (from 1 to 3 months) on my contract so I took the first place that offered me a job. The firm seemed interesting, looked to work on cool projects, and my role was meant to be that of an investment analyst, so I thought I'd be modelling new projects, negotiating financing, working on acquisitions.

Unfortunately it turns out that 90-95% of my time is spent on dealing with operational stuff. Dealing with invoices, payments, tracking budgets, compliance reporting for banks, even dealing with accounting (albeit no ledger entries). The very stuff that I left audit several years ago to escape I've now unwittingly been looped back into. And although I have the skills to do it, it bores me to death.

Only about 5-10% of my time is spent on the cool interesting stuff that I really want to do, the rest is just operational boredom.

As I've only been there a few months, I'm a bit wary of jumping ship this early as it won't look good on my CV. And there's meant to be a mid year bonus coming soon that I'd like to get my hands on. However I am not happy here. As the firm is very very small, there is no junior I can pass the more menial tasks on to. It is really just me and that's it. There will never be a promotion, I only have a bonus to look forward to and that is all.

What would you do in my situation?

Comments (3)

Apr 16, 2018

I mean, I hate to break it to you, but that's part of what you do at a small firm They don't have the institutional resources to outsource all of it.

Not to mention, not all of everyone's time can be spent modeling and negotiating new deals. Ask the folks on here; most people get to the stage of underwriting ~100 deals a year, at most, and maybe 5-10% of those get to the point of doing more diligence or negotiating a PSA. If you're closing more deals than you can count on one hand in a year, that's a lot So a lot of the in-between time is going to be boring management shit like you describe (albeit maybe less so than your case). Tracking invoices and budgets happens in a lot of shops; that's part of managing a deal.

And the first thing to do, to answer your question, is to say something to the person/people you work for. Tell them this wasn't what you were hired to do and it isn't what you want to be doing, and that while you want to help the firm however you can (e.g. using your existing accounting skillset), you'd rather spend more time working on the deal flow side, and not the asset management. And give them a few months to make good. If they don't, leave, and you'll have your story for the next guys you work for on why it was a short stint.

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Best Response
Apr 17, 2018
Ozymandia:

I mean, I hate to break it to you, but that's part of what you do at a small firm They don't have the institutional resources to outsource all of it.

Not to mention, not all of everyone's time can be spent modeling and negotiating new deals. Ask the folks on here; most people get to the stage of underwriting ~100 deals a year, at most, and maybe 5-10% of those get to the point of doing more diligence or negotiating a PSA. If you're closing more deals than you can count on one hand in a year, that's a lot So a lot of the in-between time is going to be boring management shit like you describe (albeit maybe less so than your case). Tracking invoices and budgets happens in a lot of shops; that's part of managing a deal.

And the first thing to do, to answer your question, is to say something to the person/people you work for. Tell them this wasn't what you were hired to do and it isn't what you want to be doing, and that while you want to help the firm however you can (e.g. using your existing accounting skillset), you'd rather spend more time working on the deal flow side, and not the asset management. And give them a few months to make good. If they don't, leave, and you'll have your story for the next guys you work for on why it was a short stint.

Yeah that's probably something I didn't realize going into this, that it's not all deals models. I expected to do some more menial managerial tasks but that's probably been exacerbated by the tiny size of the company (less than 10 people) whereby I have to look after all of it as there simply is no other person. It is because of that that it isn't really feasible to ask to do other things, as work in a firm so small can't be reallocated.

babybaboon:

Not your fault if you were promised the world, or at least told something different. Not surprised they wanted to leverage your accounting skills from Big 4, but you don't get what you don't ask for. Just don't burn any bridges. Do it professionally. Ask for different work and see what happens. At least then it will be documented if someone gets pissy when you leave.

I know quite a few people who have bounced 0-1 years into a new gig because it "wasn't what they thought". And, if a slam dunk position comes your way after a short amount of time (i.e. 9 months) why would you not at least interview? Your career is your career, remember. Don't do it 5 times in 2 years, though. Then you might be stuck.

Keep sending out your resume in the meantime, use a recruiter if you want...your story isn't uncommon.

Yeah think it was a combination of the recruiter telling me what I wanted to hear, me being desperate to move and not asking the right questions of my new employer.
My differentiating factor probably was that in addition to having done front office and modelling work, I also had some accounting background and am therefore a bit of a jack of all trades in finance.
If I see something I really like, I'll consider sending my CV. Just have to do it very much on the down low as I don't want to miss out on that mid year bonus that's coming up soon.

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Apr 17, 2018
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