Hey, guys! Long time, first time...
So I'm back home for Thanksgiving during my second year on the job out of college and am doing some late-night reflecting. In fact, lately, I've been thinking a lot about my job and how it ties into my happiness and sense of fulfillment and that's what's driven me to write this post.
First, some background (and I plan to be intentionally vague at times for anonymity purposes): I went to a target school, but between figuring out I wanted to do IB too late and just generally enjoying college life I ended up botching my opportunity to work for a legitimate IB out of undergrad, though that's what I had eventually committed myself to doing. I ended up stumbling onto a role at a large bank outside of IB and was lured to it because the pay was surprisingly not too far from the IB range (made ~$115k first year out in an extremely low COL city relative to NY/Chi/etc.). Fast forward to 1.5 years in and I now realize the gig is something that pays much better/looks much better on paper in comparison to the experience I'm receiving. Naturally, this has led me to begin evaluating my exit options and a large part of me feels as if I'd be much more fulfilled in IB where analysts are "thrown in the fire" and certainly not dealing with the issue of not receiving enough experience/exposure.
I suppose my main question here is when do you know it's no longer worthwhile to circle back to IB? I realize the answer to this question differs wildly for every individual and I'm not looking for "if you are truly passionate about IB, you'll never think it's too late"-type answers. I'm looking at this from a much more practical perspective because A) I realize just how hard the process is through my own experience in undergrad and B) I have seen colleagues at my current firm try to do so and fail and thus, I have reason to believe if I were to successfully break into IB from where I'm at now, it'd likely be at a pretty low-level MM or boutique.
That brings me to the second question of this post: what are the IB groups like at the Big 4 accounting firms (deal flow, pay, prestige, exit ops, etc.)? I ask this specifically because though I'm generally not a very well-connected person in the financial world, I do have two rock-solid connections coincidentally both at these types of shops (specifically, Deloitte and EY). Would joining one of these groups as a first-year analyst be worthwhile after already spending two years in banking? I've haven't heard great things, but at this point I don't know if I could do much better. In terms of what else I'm considering, I'm wide open at this point:
* Ride it out at my current firm because it pays well enough and the hours are very manageable. Go to B-school in a few years and reevaluate from there. Of course, at the risk of my lack of fulfillment continuing to haunt me in the meantime...
* Lateral into something that requires a similar skill set as banking. RE (development or investment sales) is top-of-mind because I have lots of genuine curiosity/interest there and what I've been doing in my current role could actually be helpful to get me there.
* Exit finance altogether and pursue whatever I think would be fun and fulfilling. I grew up wanting to be a sports writer and learning to code is on my bucket list, so maybe something related to one of those.
To conclude, I certainly don't expect any magical prescription to fulfillment or specific advice to my situation at all necessarily. I realize that's not what this forum is for, though I also realize that I ended up including more details of my personal situation that I originally intended to. Guess I just thought the additional context would help. Instead, I figured there's bound to be plenty of other people out there in my shoes - people who went pretty hard after IB in undergrad and fell short, maybe now have settled into something else, but still have that itch to make another run at it. I haven't seen too many threads out there for those folks, so I wrote one.
Thanks for the time.