Long post ahead (will not apologize).
Long time lurker, first-time poster. It seems the flow of threads has decreased these months, but hopefully, many of you will read this / comment (even if just to complain about the length of it). First of, a bit of background.
I have for the last months started to burn out given the combination of (i) industry-standard long hours, and (ii) the repetitive nature of the job. Ironically, it has been particularly during days that workload was light that I have complained the most (interestingly, discussing this with colleagues has concluded that long hours consume all your brain power and thus leaves no room for self-pity/awareness - would be interesting to see your views below on this).
I digress. Coming to the main point, I have come to a rather low point where I have realized that, despite the high salary and the "prestige" inherent to high finance jobs, I am not happy with my job. The thought that of course I am not happy because I am still an Analyst (meaning I should just be grateful and shut up) then leads to me realising that when I look at Associates/VPs and above, I also don't want to be like them (having someone to look up to is KEY). This realization has to lead to a more deep introspection that can be summarised in: "what makes people happy?". What can I say, I'm a basic B*tch.
I digress, again. Asia, the land of the dreams (or so they say). For those who have read Straight to Hell, Asia occupies a special place in their hearts. A few days ago, I learned of a girl in Singapore (grass is always greener kinda' crap...I know) earning decent money (normalized for cost of living, that is), in a job that does not involve 12+ hours per day and weekends. Then I heard about another HK expat. Then of another one, and another one. Point being, Asia opens the door to some high-payed jobs without the usually-embedded long-hours (happy to be proven that these also exist in London/NYC). As a rationale being that I am, I wrote down some thoughts:
- More money (per hour), approx. same as main financial hubs in nominal amount (+ lower taxes)
- Ability to pursue interests/relationships/whatever the hell you want
- Nice nearby travel destinations (Japan, China, Vietnam, etc.)
- Overall happier life (hopefully?)
- Not the usual career path (and for us monkeys that have followed the book by the letter in order to achieve the sought-after finance dream, this scares the sh*t out of us)
- Not easy at first sight to get a job on the other side of the globe
- Different career potential (no clear pathway to fund/PE/senior roles that many seek)
- Incoming financial crisis
- Internal debate about the grass always being greener on the other side is not always true (i.e. future regrets / if its so clear everybody would've done it...right?)
- Still an Analyst so perhaps too early to move
Given all of the above, I come to you. To avoid confusion, I would need help regarding:
- Best recruiters for finance jobs in Asia (think HK/Beijing/Shanghai/Singapore/Other)
- Confirmation of my above thesis - still uncertain of me needing someone to tell me that I am right or slapping me in the face whilst shouting to my face "work is work, grow the f*ck up"
- Success/regret stories of expats in Asia seeking the above
- Any other related answer
Thank you in advance for your two cents. For those who will hopefully take the time to write long/thoughtful answers, know I will forever appreciate (and happy to have coffee if in London area).