How do you know if you just need a break or if this isn't the right job for you?

Pretty sure I'm experiencing burnout. Spoke to my staffer about it and he's been taking it easy on me recently. But my symptoms/feelings aren't changing, and I worry that once things go back to normal shortly, I'm really going to be in a bad spot. For those who have more experience, at what point do you realize that you need more than just a few light days but an actual disconnect/even quitting for something else? Getting pretty desperate to get out of this mental/physical state. 

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Comments (11)

Jun 10, 2021 - 2:16pm

I've been there man. Total burnout, going to bed dreading the next day, difficulty getting myself out of bed and staying motivated, just on autopilot and in a general haze.

I ended up staying in banking after a lot of introspection. I realized it wasn't the inherent factors that come with the role - hours, the stress, unpredictability etc., which is why I stayed the course. It was specific to my team at the time and environment, really one individual in particular. It took me a week of total disconnection to figure that out, I was lucky my group head was super accommodating.

Along those lines, if the factors are firm or team specific, maybe a change of scenery? If it's because of the shitty things that come with the role no matter what, like the hours, then you may want to consider leaving the industry altogether. Long term, the hours get better but the stress doesn't, especially as you move up and towards P&L responsibility. As I'm sure you know, there are tons of opportunities out there with good pay, less stress and relatively better work/life.

Hang tight, keep your head up and prioritize self care if you can. All the best man.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 10, 2021 - 3:39pm

I know they get mentioned sporadically in comments but I always like asking users this as they may know of an out that doesn't get mentioned often: what other tons of opportunities are out there with good pay, less stress and better WLB? I crashed and left IB on a whim but don't know what to do next. I just know it won't be PE.

Most Helpful
Jun 10, 2021 - 4:24pm

I chose to explore opportunities based on what I would find interesting rather focus exclusively on pay and lifestyle. The skill set, both technical and soft, is sooo transferable, I've found sky is the limit in terms of being competitive for a broad array of roles. Some of the non-PE / corp dev  stuff I threw my hat in for over the years.

  • Strategy at a sports team - Ok pay, def step down but WLB seemed awesome. Love the sport so was quite keen but not one of the big leagues so limited scope to do interesting work. Seems like you end up mostly working on partnership and marketing type stuff
  • Chief of staff to CEO of a biotech company - Def some bitchwork and admin but seemed a good mix between strategy, finance and project management
  • IR - decent role if you're outgoing. Lots of selling, wining and dining
  • Tech - lots of options here. FP&A, strategy, partnerships etc.
  • External corp dev role at a consulting firm - they bill you out to act as the client's corp dev person to run point on deals or set broader strategy. Didn't like the firm in the end

I think part of it comes from the soft skills we develop in industry - confidence, managing up and the three biggest ones (a) tenacity, (b) work ethic and (c) constant learning.

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