Leaving Finance Entirely

2nd year Associate in S&T. Aside from the fact that I have lost interest in the markets, I realize that I can work a lot less hard and earn just as much (maybe a tad less). I can barely use the restroom without a client coming in to trade, some days I don't have time to leave the desk. Meanwhile my girlfriend makes just as much as I do as a Tech PMM, can wake up late, doesn't need to wear dress clothes and has a much more relaxed set up overall.

I've come to the conclusion that finance as a whole is too conservative for me, and that, the culture, especially in trading, can be extremely unhealthy. The money isn't the pull factor it was 10 years ago.

As a 26 year old, I went to a target school and have contacts in tech. Should I try to network my way into tech or would I be better served applying for an MBA?

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Comments (12)

Jun 1, 2021 - 12:42pm

Get some more discipline.  Sleeping in late is bad, the later you start the later you end.  And dressing like a slob is a good way to look unprofessional, eventually your entire appearance gets out of wack

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Jun 1, 2021 - 12:47pm

You have three clearcut options: join a fintech startup or company which may value your S&T knowledge (you can potentially get solid equity at an early stage one), or crush the gmat and get an MBA

The third option which you may feel is less sexy but could set you up in the long-run is transfer internally in your bank to a role that you may consider FO-MO, but is actually aligned with your long-term career goals. I.e working in product strategy, marketing, corporate strategy. May pay less short-term but if your long term goal is to go into product, marketing, consulting etc etc this can make you a layup if you decide to leave finance alltogether for tech under one of those roles. 

I would aim to get an MBA regardless because it's the best reset by far. 

Jun 1, 2021 - 3:00pm

This is inaccurate (as are most generalizations of entire industries). There's a percentage of insufferable people anywhere, tech is no exception. There's also some really cool, normal people in tech who are engineers. 

Programming isn't for everyone, much like any career isn't for everyone. It's not a promise land of free food and earning big money as it's often depicted, but it's also not some sort of hell either. It's a job, much like any other. There's some pros and some cons, much like anything else. 

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
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Jun 2, 2021 - 1:37am

The big ones are generally not relaxed, but Google and Twitter have reputations for being super chill (I have friends in both). Other places like Netflix and Tinder have a reputation for being higher pressure, but pay a ton. Hedge Funds (Citadel, Jane Street, etc) have a reputation for being pressure cookers but the pay is insane. Amazon is known for being high pressure but a springboard into better companies, so the trade off is well known.

There's tons of other firms too. I work for a larger finance/ fintech firm that operates more like a finance company, but my hours are now around 45 hours a week. My wife works for a YC startup that's super chill, 30-40 hour weeks and she makes damn good money (just shy of $150k all in). Cool mission too. 

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
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Jun 1, 2021 - 1:51pm

I think the MBA route is a good one here, but you could try linking up with some alum to pull some strings to avoid it entirely. Even if you do the MBA, it could be a nice pause on your career - I've heard HBS is like a 2 year cocktail party - it's not too rough and you'll meet a lot of people. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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  • Analyst 1 in HF - Other
Jun 2, 2021 - 12:18pm

Interested in this as well. One reservation I've had is the culture difference. I've enjoyed the people I've worked with in finance a lot, and am curious as to how different the culture and personalities of coworkers would be if I were to leave to become an engineer at a tech co. 

Jun 4, 2021 - 4:35am

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