Interested in quitting as a 1st year ANL... thoughts?

I'm a first-year analyst at a 2nd-tier BB interested in quitting right now for the following reasons: I got into this job strictly because of the money, I do not appreciate or enjoy the content, the skillsets that I'm developing is not relevant to my long-term goals, and I do not see myself in VC/PE/HF/CD/GE and other traditional exit ops. In fact, my initial goal was to do this for a year to get the bonus and leave. 

However, my goals are in a completely different space now that COVID has offered me a chance to reflect deeply about it, and IB and finance are not at all a pre-requisite to this goal. I do not think the bonus and the salary from now until my 1-year tenure outweighs the opportunity cost of developing the core skills needed for my intended industry. If I was going to quit my job after the 1-year mark to start from the ground up anyway, I figured it makes practical sense to quit now. 

As for the cons, my basic necessities will be covered with the support of my family during these pandemic conditions, my reputation in the finance world is not important to me as I will not be rejoining the industry, and I am a hard worker and know that I will work ruthlessly to secure the next offer whatever it may be. Overall, this decision makes the most sense to me even after considering the major pitfalls. 

I know this is ultimately my decision, but I just wanted to hear from other wholistic perspectives especially from those who have faced the same problem as me and likewise from those who would encourage me to finish my commitment. I want to make sure I'm seeing all angles before making a major life decision. 

Comments (33)

 
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2021 - 3:21pm

Honestly, if there ever is a time to quit a job like IB early without damage, this is it. COVID is a built in excuse and no company or recruiter is going to question you further when you tell them working 16hr days in solitary confinement was destroying your mental and physical health, or you talk about caring for loved ones/parents/grandparents who were impacted by the pandemic.

 

FYI, many many major corporations are seeing huge demand from their employees for mental health services during these times, and these are employees with generally 8-5pm type jobs, so they won't blink an eye at the story above.

 
Jan 10, 2021 - 3:28pm

vnhero228

I'm a first-year analyst at a 2nd-tier BB interested in quitting right now for the following reasons: I got into this job strictly because of the money, I do not appreciate or enjoy the content, the skillsets that I'm developing is not relevant to my long-term goals, and I do not see myself in VC/PE/HF/CD/GE and other traditional exit ops. In fact, my initial goal was to do this for a year to get the bonus and leave. 

However, my goals are in a completely different space now that COVID has offered me a chance to reflect deeply about it, and IB and finance are not at all a pre-requisite to this goal. I do not think the bonus and the salary from now until my 1-year tenure outweighs the opportunity cost of developing the core skills needed for my intended industry. If I was going to quit my job after the 1-year mark to start from the ground up anyway, I figured it makes practical sense to quit now. 

As for the cons, my basic necessities will be covered with the support of my family during these pandemic conditions, my reputation in the finance world is not important to me as I will not be rejoining the industry, and I am a hard worker and know that I will work ruthlessly to secure the next offer whatever it may be. Overall, this decision makes the most sense to me even after considering the major pitfalls. 

I know this is ultimately my decision, but I just wanted to hear from other wholistic perspectives especially from those who have faced the same problem as me and likewise from those who would encourage me to finish my commitment. I want to make sure I'm seeing all angles before making a major life decision. 

I'd quit. Don't waste time on a path not for you. You'll be happier.

 
  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 10, 2021 - 3:59pm

What is your intended industry? How do you plan to spend the next 6 months learning the necessary skills for this industry? And once you do, what's the next step? A post-grad program, an apprenticeship, just going out and doing something on your own? Lots of important considerations here.

I've been contemplating just pulling the trigger and quitting as well to go into a completely foreign industry, but honestly I feel like right now is such a weird time to be taking leaps when I don't even know what those leaps would entail and what additional hurdles COVID will throw in my path. It's a BS cop-out, I know, but I just feel like right now is such a destabilizing period that the last thing I want to do is thrown more uncertainty into it all.

 
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jan 10, 2021 - 11:44pm

As mentioned before, COVID provides good cover if you quit. Had conversations with career counselors, and given current environment, an employment gap shouldn't raise major red flags and can easily be explained away. Most reasonable people (even finance professionals) can understand what WFH has entailed for junior bankers. 
 

Your decision is ultimately yours, but if you have a well thought out plan and a safety net, I don't see any major drawbacks. 

 
Jan 11, 2021 - 8:45pm

The conservative perspective is that leaving before 1 year mark shows a lack of grit. But it can be compensated with a good cover story as you mention. If you are planning to switch to tech and do coding boot camps you should think long if that's what you really want to do. Same for law or medicine

Array
 
Jan 12, 2021 - 8:05am

Are you me lol? I was in an extremely similar situation. First-year analyst at a Mid-tier BB in NYC. The only nuance is that I was somewhat interested in PE. However, despite being a SA in the same group, the first few months of my analyst stint has been a total disaster. I did not develop the skillset I desired. Culture was nothing like the summer before. Most importantly, when you spend 16 hours a day in front of your computer confined by 4 walls without even being able to go for a quick walk, you lose your mental health. I realized I can't endure this torture for 1.5 more years for the possibility -- not a guarantee -- of a good buyside exit. I gave in my two-week notice before the new year and have been chilling ever since. Now I have plenty of time to catch up with my network, find out what I actually want to do with my life and it seems like you have already done this self-reflection so good for you. Given the context that your family is supportive of you (this was the case for me too), go ahead, bite the bullet and call it quits. Take a short break 1-2 weeks to reenergize and recoup your mental health, but then quickly get things going with your new passion/industry, don't just goof around for months watching Netflix just bc you have a financial cushion. Feel free to PM if you want to discuss more. All the best in your future endeavours!

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 12, 2021 - 2:25pm

Why is everyone quitting? It seems like on this site everyone is jumping. You gain a few things from banking 1) Attention to detail 2) modeling and financial skills 3) network 4) opportunities / exit ops. Over two years, not 4 months (1 month of training 1 month of bs work)

 
Jan 12, 2021 - 2:32pm

For me, it was all about weighing the pros and cons. Obviously the things you mentioned are all valid points and are pros of banking; however, once you change your mind and are not dead set for PE/HF/VC/GE etc., the 3) network and 4) exit ops don't feel that valuable and 1) attention to detail and 2) modelling and financial skills are definitely not worth suffering 100 + hours every week without even getting the holidays off for 2 years... At the end of the day, it's a personal choice, there is no "right" or "wrong". I'm not going to suffer an additional 1.5 years just so my friends, kids from my alma mater, or random folks on WSO can appraise me and think I "made it" in life.. On a genuine note, I would like to ask how your past 4-6 months have been in IB as a first-year analyst?

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 12, 2021 - 2:39pm

Of course, my buddy quit to work/operate his family's bagel shop and I 100% supported him. It's all about what you want but I still view IB as an amazing stepping stone, it's all mind set. My first month I wanted to quit but I stuck with it and try to speak up to my MDs on calls and they started to "protect" me a bit. Just have to have the right mindset about why you are doing, but need a why!! (This is me after a 110 hour week)

 
Jan 12, 2021 - 3:00pm

Great points echoed above. To each his own. Kudos to you for supporting your friend, that's great of you. Most ppl in IB would bash your friend for being a "p*ssy" for quitting early or "lame" for operating a bagel shop... Some of the other SAs that converted to FT with me last year called me "weak" when I surfaced the idea of possibly quitting in my third month, guess what now the same guys are telling me they are also considering quitting once the bonus hits. Also this level of optimism after a 110 hr week, you are like Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) in Yes Man :)

 
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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 13, 2021 - 9:37pm

Bankerconsu

People don't realize the highest earners in SF are ramen shop owners lmfao. 

When did I say I looked down a ramen shop owners? And why are you so triggered? My entire point was that you saying that the "highest earners" in San Francisco were ramen shop owners was a complete joke. You try to insult me for being an analyst in IB yet you feel the need to bring up the fact that you were in a "top group" three years ago. Do you realize how pathetic that is? Look, if you know so much about wealth go open up one of these goldmine ramen shops you seem so infatuated with and get back to me when you're in debt, ill toss you a little cash out of pity 

 
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jan 12, 2021 - 2:41pm

I think it's a combination of (1) and (2) you can learn pretty quickly, (3) is no longer the case with WFH, but you still get a strong network at junior level and people realize (4) is not for them given UMM/MF PE is an equally as grueling job that is only moderately more interesting. I tend to think that WFH has just pushed forward attrition and a lot of people will be better off because of it. A very significant number of people leave finance after IB, after a few years of PE and even after IB->PE->MBA. If you realize it's not for you, might as well course correct while you're only a year in rather then spending 80hrs a week doing something you're not interested in for next few years. 

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 12, 2021 - 5:24pm

This is exactly what I spend the majority of my days thinking about doing. The only thing holding me back is a lease in NYC that I only signed because my BB was convinced we would be in the office consistently by September 2020. Lol, so dumb on my part. I'm curious how putting in your two weeks went for you, did you just tell the staffer and that was it? Any notable reaction from your teams? Lastly, does your bank clawback signing bonuses?

 
Jan 12, 2021 - 5:49pm

OP here. I don't think it's a dumb mistake to sign a lease, I did the same too. I think NYC is a beautiful city to work & live in especially in your early 20s (maybe not once you have a family) and has a lot of work opportunities too. I don't want to relocate and just like you I have an ongoing lease as well, so I'm applying to and interviewing for startup and corporate roles in NYC. For the two weeks notice, I straight up told the staffer I was burntout and couldn't handle this job any longer during COVID. Since I was very confident and made the message crystal clear, didn't receive any pushback. I'm sure he was frustrated given that now there is an increasing # of projects (live deals, pitches, etc.) but one less peasant to the grunt work lol. This also serves as the testament to banks' cultures: they don't give a rats ass about you lol. I lost my hope in the industry changing, definitely not during WFH. Luckily my bank did not clawback my signing bonus, don't forget that $10-20k is nickels and dimes for these banks that post billions of dollars in profits every single quarter, no one will come after you. Feel free to PM to further discuss but can't recommend enough quiting if you're burnt out and don't want to continue your career in banking. If you're spending a lot of time thinking about it, just go ahead: pull the freaking trigger and see how good you will feel for the next 2-4 weeks until you line something new up.

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 12, 2021 - 5:49pm

Same. I feel like my lease is holding me up . Trying to exit ASAP and feel like it limits me to positions just in NYC, but maybe with remote working who knows...

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 13, 2021 - 12:43pm

In the same boat. Decided to pursue banking for all the wrong reasons and now I am miserable. Planning on quitting after my bonus hits, but not sure where to go... Not really interested in PE/HF and not have a passion for Corp dev either. 

 
Jan 13, 2021 - 4:33pm

Was on the same boat, pulled the trigger Early December. Would suggest you to discover "Strategic finance" roles in corporates and startups in industries that excite you. See my comments above if it will help or feel free to PM.

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