How I messed up my career...and then got it back on track

A little mini rant/story about how I messed up my career but have finally (I hope at least) gotten it back on track.

I started off on a Big Four graduate scheme. Initially in audit but then moved over to the transactions side. Great learning experience, worked on big clients, but not exactly paydirt.

After c3 years of that I got a chance to move to a small debt focused boutique IB. Big pay increase and got to take on a lot of responsibility. Learned loads and got a lot of exposure to different things, however management/atmosphere was not great. For 2 years straight I got shafted for bonuses, walked away with a big fat doughnut despite working on lean deal teams that brought in a lot of fees.

I loved the work, but not getting bonuses wasn't the reason I got into finance. I was desperate to move and got an offer to join a small REPE. The place had historically paid 50-100% bonuses and had recently exited a very successful fund. Thought that perhaps this is finally the place.

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 was unwittingly been looped back into. On top of that, as it became clear to me over time, the firm's projects were deeply unprofitable so any chance of getting a bonus were near non-existent. No prospects of advancement, nothing that added to my CV. It was not a job I was proud of

It was very difficult, but after over 6 months of searching while working at this dead end job that I finally secured my dream job (at a large asset manager). For the first time ever, the offer I was given even stipulated a bonus range that was rather nice.

I've worked in finance for over 6 years and the only bonus I've gotten so far has been a tiny graduate bonus in audit. Hopefully this will change soon and not only becoming a "normal" finance employee in the sense that I'm finally getting a bonus, I'll also have a job that I'm proud of and interested in.

It's been a long and frustrating journey, filled with disappointment and anger, but things are finally looking up!

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Feb 9, 2019