Is Finance Really Right for Me?

Associate Manager in Research - FI

I had a major hiccup in my career progression, that is leading me to question if finance is the right industry for me.

I recently got passed over for promotion and in my sit-down today with my boss, I was told that my "people skills" are not adequate to justify a promotion. I feel a bit confused - because I was the only guy on the team who was willing to pull crazy hours when others weren't, and all my reviews have been pretty good (before today). For context, I have always been "academically" strong, though introverted by nature. I had a 4.0 GPA, Top 10 UG, M7 MBA, followed by Fixed Income Research.

Now, I am seriously questioning if my "hard skills" will really get me anywhere in this industry and my introverted nature will just drag me down. I know guys who have done better in their careers, without the same level of hard work but better "marketed themselves".

Would love to hear some honest feedback.

Comments (7)

Feb 28, 2020

Finance isn't biology with everyone all quiet putting in long hours of researching shit that doesn't make money. Finance is a little math, with a lot of people. Most of life and industries is. But high finance especially. However, it could just be the group, maybe you'll be more appreciated else where. I'm quite the extrovert but I have friends who are pretty introverted and it seems that they just need the right fit of people around them, hence because they can't adapt to others themselves. Right people? People who aren't extroverts. Basically, not finance people. But idk you maybe it is for you maybe it's not. best of luck

Feb 28, 2020

Also, sorry to hear about the job man. Your a hard worker, it's clear, and it'll pay off. It eventually does for people like you, it's just without the shmoozing or people skills, it just sometimes gets delayed. Stay positive.

Most Helpful
Feb 28, 2020

There is a reason why Buffet has his diploma from Dale Carnagie's class on his wall and nothing else, he was taught to not act like an alien. Soft skills are incredibly important in finance, but it doesn't mean that it's something out of your reach. This man was buying stocks in his tween years and all kinds of weird things, I am sure he would also have had questionable emotional intelligence early on.

But I feel for you on being passed over, especially if you are crushing more work than everyone else. This might be more of a wake up call for you to work smarter and not harder, and maybe give how to win friends and influence people a read if you haven't. I know it helped me.

Best of luck.

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  • Associate Manager in Research - FI
Feb 28, 2020
acardboardmonkey:

There is a reason why Buffet has his diploma from Dale Carnagie's class on his wall and nothing else, he was taught to not act like an alien. Soft skills are incredibly important in finance, but it doesn't mean that it's something out of your reach. This man was buying stocks in his tween years and all kinds of weird things, I am sure he would also have had questionable emotional intelligence early on.

But I feel for you on being passed over, especially if you are crushing more work than everyone else. This might be more of a wake up call for you to work smarter and not harder, and maybe give how to win friends and influence people a read if you haven't. I know it helped me.

Best of luck.

Thank you for the advice. Any other books or activities you would suggest?

Feb 28, 2020

Soft skills are essential in every career if you want to become a leader. "Quiet mouths dont get fed!!!"

Array

Feb 28, 2020

OP - sorry to hear. You have hit the clear ceiling of what I have mentioned in other posts and what other posters have also previously mentioned...

The ceiling of where your PPT/Excel skills just don't matter too much and where clients/others in the bank have to like you and deal with you.. And not just deal with you but prefer to deal with you over some other schmo.

You may have the soft skills already but may not have used them or be afraid to do to. You may not have them (nothing wrong with that). You may have them but they may not be utilized given the group/bank dynamic - which happens far more than anyone would like to admit. It could be lots of things. It could also be a nice nudge out the door (that happens a lot too).

Maybe you are not suited for the group/product etc that you are in. May not be the industry in general (or could be)...

Hang in there.

Good Luck

    • 1
Feb 29, 2020
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