Leaving the "successful track"

Analyst 3+ in PE - Other

Hi all,

It has been 4 years since I started my job in BB IBD in Asia. I am now at a PE fund but I am not very happy with my life.

Life has been very stressful for me for the last few years. I have been constantly under significant pressure with last minute tasks, countless all nighters and always work on tasks with minimal guidance but endless comments.

I thought going to a PE fund would change my life but it didn't. Maybe it is because I am "lucky" but I have lost my hope moving to another shop. I interned at another BB and this is my third IB/PE experiences. My experiences have only gone worse such as more urgent weekend internal deliverables, very early morning video calls, etc.

I feel like the stress is hurting my life so much. i am constantly feeling pressured, worrying my phone would beep on weekends, worrying i would receive emails from seniors when I go grab my takeaway food or groceries. My parents sent me a blood pressure monitor and in the last few months the reading has gone so bad that my GP friend suggested me to see a cardiologist.

I don't know if it is time for me to leave the "successful track". IB was my goal in life because the money is great there. Corporate jobs are paid way less in Asia vs US/Europe while IB pay is global across regions. It is difficult to move to the "less successful but still successful" tracks such as FLDP. Banking exits are more niche here and it is more like PE/bust unless you covered sexy stuff such as TMT / healthcare / fintech.

I tried applying fresh graduate FLDP or very junior corporate lateral hire for a year (<1-2 years experiences) but I don't have any luck so far. Basically if I leave my current path, my classmates who went to trainee programs would be much more successful than me in 2-3 years time.

I am not sure if I should adjust my mentality and adapt to a mediocre career path. I am reluctant to accept it but I am debating inside if I will be happier a few years down the road. I thought about starting non-tech small businesses (such as bakery / IB interview workshop / investing coach / etc.) or go back to school and do a professional degree in law/engineering/medicine/etc. This may not be a bad idea but I feel like I am setting myself a few years back vs my peers who did it at 22.

Understand this may be a very long whine, thanks so much and appreciate all bros reading till here!

Comments (54)

Jun 1, 2020

There are many way to measure success beyond your bank account balance and the name on your business card. Just because you didn't find success, or more specifically fulfillment, in the Wall Street sense doesn't mean you can't find both elsewhere and also make money while doing so.

Your options are not success vs. mediocrity.

    • 24
Jun 2, 2020

SB to CRE and OP. Great post and advice. Sage!

    • 1
Jun 1, 2020

If it's not for you it's not for you. Don't feel bad and don't look back.

You've already been there and done it, no point in torturing yourself over a few extra dollars.

    • 3
  • Prospect in Other
Jun 1, 2020

You know what you don't want to do anymore - IB/PE. That's my $0.02, but I would suggest that you find what you really want to do with your 60 years of lifetime left. I guess you have enough savings to finance your projects, that's a great advantage. Reading your post, I feel that you want to make your own choices but at the same time you don't want to appear as a "loser" in front of your friends, acquaintances and family. Maybe move to a new country, and be finally free?

    • 5
Most Helpful
Jun 2, 2020

Imagine you are 40 years old.

You have worked extremely hard over the last 15-18 years of your career. You're sipping a glass of wine after another exhausting conference call with Europe about an imminent deal close, looking out over the rooftops from your apartment with a view. You've got your favourite relaxing music on in the background. Your kids are asleep, and you wish you could have tucked them in tonight -- it's been so long since you did that. Your wife went to bed hours ago also, murmuring as she went about how great it would be to go away together that weekend. Your friends, many of whom are equally successful and wealthy, have invited you onto their yacht but you're not sure you can find the time. There is always more to do. More business to win, more pressure to deliver.

You start dozing as the music, the wine, and the exhaustion wash over you.

SUDDENLY YOUR PHONE BUZZES.

You snap awake, heart racing. You grab your phone and the subject line just says: "Urgent". Your pulse quickens as you open the email and find out your backers are pulling out. Your boss has already replied to you directly saying you better fix the situation asap, otherwise "there'll be hell to pay". Sweat drips off your forehead as you hastily type a reply, and start thinking about how best to solve the problem. But, there's a sharp pain in your chest and it tightens. You feel like there's an elephant sitting on your left side. You suffer a heart attack, collapse, and die. Then there is nothing.

The above could be pure fiction. Or it could be you. Are you willing to mitigate it as best as possible? Will you care about looking successful then? Nothing is worth more than life, health and happiness. Nothing

Jun 2, 2020

Not sure if You'll maybe get a heart-attack and die is prudent advice...

    • 8
Jun 2, 2020

His GP is recommending him see a cardiologist and he's in his mid 20s. How is this not a risk?

Jun 2, 2020

Very well written - good imagery, good story, very realistic as well.
I tend to tell juniors to stick it out for a few years - but you have already stuck it out, so now is your time to decide what you want to do. Before doing something as drastic as quitting - why don't you take a holiday. And a real holiday, tell them you need to de-crompress and will need to be left alone. Senior people usually freak out at the thought of losing someone to burn out, especially if you are a high producer. They'll gladly give you a week or two if it means they can keep you enslaved for a few more years.

    • 7
Jun 2, 2020

If you wrote a blog in this style, I think a lot of people would read it.

    • 4
Jun 2, 2020

I totally relate to OP. I don't necessarily think you dealing with this because you care more about what others think, but rather there is nothing else really sparks your interest other than making yourself a lot of money. That combined with the fact that your expertise right now is in Finance. Starting a business, making youtube videos, going to tech, or becoming a barista--you probably relate yourself to none of these.

As for this fictional story, who knows whether this OP would actually enjoy it. You are being pulled on random weekends for slightly different reasons at junior vs. senior levels, but that difference could also turn out to be pretty big. Spending all night going through LLC agreements language or a 20-tab excel model gets old and mind-numbing pretty quickly, but these aren't the reasons a managing director gets pulled in for. Instead, you would be managing power dynamics, rethinking structure, discovering ideas, and actually being a negotiator rather than sitting next to your portfolio manager to show headcount presence. To me, this is where real investing career begins. It's just that I don't know if I will actually enjoy that part of it, or that makes the current enduring worthwhile. And not knowing might be the testament that Finance isn't for me. But... what else then?

So maybe the answer is either you haven't explored the world enough, or you are simply burnt out. Maybe you need a legit vacation and just stick with it a few more years. It's not easy.

    • 4
Jun 3, 2020

get out of finance and go write a book. this was excellent writing

Interested in code, market mechanics, and trading strategies!

    • 1
Jun 3, 2020

This would be a great life insurance commercial.

    • 2
Jun 2, 2020

Seems like you care a lot about what your peers think about you. So what that they are 2 years further ahead or more "successful". You are comparing yourself to them and putting a lot of pressure on yourself when it isn't even really a competition.

This reminds me of myself when I first started law school. I also thought a lot about finishing it asap and be the best damn lawyer anyone has every seen so that I can stick it to my old high school buddies at the next reunion. Oh, look at me earning that much money, oh, look at me driving that car, oh, look at me I have my life in such order.

Eventually the undue pressure caught up and I had to really take a long look at myself in the mirror and asked myself, why? for what? for whom?

Eventually I came to the conclusion that life is long and that in the end what matters is that you have enjoyed the journey. What matters is that you have lived a meaningful life according to your own standards. The few years we spend doing something else instead of chasing "success" will have no impact whatsoever when we look back on our lives.

You have to decide what success looks like to you, and judging by your post, its not what you are chasing right now but at the same time you are basing every decision on that perception.

    • 6
Jun 2, 2020

do you enjoy the work you're doing? I'm not sure how different pe funds in Asia are vs the states, but there are definitely a lot of funds in the states that find WLB important. if you're working at a really good shop could you lateral to a fund with better WLB? or have you tried doing that but to no avail?

    • 1
Jun 2, 2020

You are only leaving the "success track" if you honestly think that you will not be "successful" unless you slave away in IB/PE. Can you honestly say that people not on that track--including those that have started their own business, working in data science, gotten on the C-suite track at a large corporation, or are doing any number of other things in their lives aren't successful?

There are lots of ways to make good money and have a rewarding career out there, and I guarantee you that most of the folks on some of the tracks I described would have no interest in slaving away in PE.

    • 6
Jun 2, 2020

DM me. I want to share some stuff but don't want to post on the main thread

Array

    • 2
Jun 5, 2020

I'd like to hear your thoughts too.

Jun 5, 2020

PM me-not saying on the main thread because it is quite personal and I'd like to remain anonymous. Even a summary might give me away later on.

Array

Jun 2, 2020

Congratulations for seeing the light. Note that moving to the corporate does not mean you will be mediocre. In fact, on the corporate side, you will be a rockstar.

When I came over to corporate, I worked maybe 45 to 50 hours per week. Everyone else worked 40. Whenever, I got an e-mail after work hours (rarely), I would answer it right away.... unlike everyone else. My bosses thought I was so hard-working while every day felt like vacation to me.

Bring some of that IB work ethic to a corporate role, and you're going to blow everyone out of the water and will be very successful.

    • 18
Jun 2, 2020

So agree with this. Any job done with motivation and commitment can be so successful in many ways. Sounds like you made a great move and are doing fantastically.

Jun 2, 2020

I'd jump ship asap. You've done your time and that time has taken its toll on you.

Run your personal budget, see what you need to make (if anything), downgrade your lifestyle if it's out of means of the new budget, and put in your two weeks asap.

Take a much needed break for R&R even if it's just pursuing a hobby or interest. Travel when the virus loosens its grip. Spend time with family. You'll be SO grateful you did this for yourself.

Health is wealth brochacho.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

    • 5
Jun 28, 2020

Were you in the military? Haven't heard anyone use R&R outside of the service

Jun 2, 2020

You sound so in the trenches that its hard for you to see clearly and think things through. I understand that it isn't always possible, but you really need some time away to clear your head and relax. Perhaps a short medical leave? (If you're as young as you are and having BP issues, that might not be a bullshit excuse in the least).

It might be much easier to think about what you truly want and how you feel about things once you've gotten out of the foxhole for a little bit. If not then try and get some vacation time and unplug as much as possible.

    • 3
Jun 2, 2020

I would advise, if you cannot handle the stress, don't. Those who succeed in a deal-related profession are able to cope with the stress - it doesn't viscerally grip them with terror. Deals are incredibly stressful but in the scope of life the stakes are comparatively very low for many deals - how much richer will the rich get on this deal?! It's all down to me!!

If you feel depressed and unable to cope with this environment, it's unlikely to get any better for you as you climb the latter - I'd consider doing something that is more suited to your personality

    • 3
    • 1
Jun 2, 2020

I get the idea but I think the framing could use some work. It isn't "Can you take the stress or are you weak" -- more like "do you enjoy the deal environment or do you just find it stressful?"

edit: re-read your comment and i take this back. You're 100% right

    • 2
  • Analyst 3+ in PE - Other
Jun 2, 2020

Thanks a lot guys! SBed everyone here

I am still swamped with random tasks and limited guidance... So I am quite struggled with work atm and will reply with more details maybe tomorrow.

Really appreciate all the advice you guys gave me!

    • 2
Jun 2, 2020

Join the triads.

Jun 3, 2020

... and "bring some of that IB work ethic"

Jun 7, 2020

Get that Sriracha smuggle cash!

Jun 2, 2020

I know this is going to sound silly and New Age-y, but it's just a thought.

You are doing a great job here, taking a moment to vent and get some opinions. It is good to get in touch with what you're feeling.

If your body and mind (!) are rebelling, then yes, it is time for a change. It can be a mental change - finding ways to reframe and cope with the stress, or time to find another opportunity.

There is nothing to say you cannot make excellent money elsewhere, doing something different, regardless of US vs. Asia. Don't go to that limiting belief.

When you do have some time, really center and ground yourself. Go sit somewhere peaceful, quiet. Relax, and think. You do have options with your background. It IS ok to say "YES! I did it! I met my career goal, best opportunity to make serious $$, and now I am on to the next thing!" It's ok to leave IB, or any job that is damaging you mentally or physically.

Awesome to get ideas here and chat it out. Take that, and take yourself, and sit quietly listening to your intuition. You know what is right for you. If you were smart enough to get into such a top career and see it through to PE, you are MORE THAN smart and resourceful and connected enough to move to the next stage in your life and career. It does not have to be mediocre - why even think that way. What you do next could be greater, bigger, more enriching than you ever imagined.

Life, and careers, are a long-term prospect. It is not a jail sentence, it's a journey as the cliche goes. Give yourself the freedom to explore other ideas. It is ok to leave PE. There is nothing to say you cannot make your way back if necessary. It doesn't sound like you're so hot on school and that is just a time-filler until you have a better idea. Law or medicine may well land you in the same exact spot 7 years from now.

Just take some time to think what else fascinates you. What are you passionate about? Really think positive, and don't be so convinced already that your career (which does not = you, by the way! although that's what people here often hint at) will be anywhere near mediocre just because you move on from PE.

Think of the umpteen people you know or read about or who are in the public sphere that have hugely successful careers and businesses doing all sorts of things. There is only a limit if you put a limit on yourself mentally.

Deep breath - calm - what resonates with you, what keeps appearing in your head, your dreams is a great start. All you have to do is make some inroads. Some research, some contacts, chip away in little steps towards a new move for yourself. I think what you have to get over the most is your own disappointment with yourself for "not being able to hack it." This idea that you will no longer be successful. I know that you know logically that this is purely a mental construct, and part of the business...we convince ourselves that IB/PE is the be-all, end-all, our identity. I promise you, you haven't failed anyone if you move on.

Another option is to really truly investigate ways to cope with stress, like EFT (tapping - look it up), meditation, etc. in order to stay at your job in a healthier way. This may be helpful for you and beats drugs, cardiologists and worried parents. You don't need to beat yourself up for struggling with what is a brutal lifestyle. We are not saving lives - it's much easier to justify the stress,expectations and hours if you're doing a service to humanity. It's easy to get disenfranchised with years of endless insane expectations. If you work on new methods to cope, maybe you can stay in the game. Do you adore the work? What's the real issue?

Good luck and keep us posted - you are a huge success and will continue to be - you will find your next passion and go after it as hard as you have IB/PE!

Jun 2, 2020

this is the best thing I've seen on WSO and I've been browsing for years - thanks so much for sharing

    • 1
  • Intern in AM - Equities
Jun 2, 2020

my adivce would be go to B school. With your credientals you could easily get into an M7 school (barring your gmat is decent ). If you decide you can go to B school you can learn and make so many new connections that will allow you to pivot your career into something that you will love.

    • 1
Jun 30, 2020

This could be a very expensive gamble if he doesn't already have a reasonably clear idea of what he wants to do.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 3, 2020

I've recently been noticing that people in finance really struggle, and overuse, the word "barring."

    • 1
Jun 2, 2020

OP - best to try to do some deep thinking. What motivated you to do this path? What is still motivating you? How strong is that motivation? Is it worth what you are going through now?

Remember, very few who keep going end up making MD/Partner at the big shops. And it's not just skill. A lot of it is luck (markets) or network (who you know). Really. Especially in Asia, where I have spent most of my professional career it comes down to one or both of those things. NOT grit or whatever.

To take a page out of @pr4mence" (+SB) imagine the same scenario, except that you are a VP/Director. You've lost your hair, are unhealthy, and lucky to have your family and pad. You've been grinding it out hard. You are up for MD/Partner. You are excited because you finally, sourced and led a deal the IC approved after working on it for years (yes sourcing can take that long). Markets turn and your big deal/investment goes south. Or you get a news alert on your phone that the CEO of the company is very publicly arrested for whatever it is they arrest people for in EM (sometimes legit sometimes politics - everyone has skeletons in their closet, it's EM). You get forced to leave and everyone in the market knows you led the deal. Or your boss says forget any promotion. Or you have to go to some less prominent shop to grind just as hard as that permanent VP/Director...

You will think to yourself... Was this all really worth it? Most in this business either don't survive that long, or get pushed out or stall. Sometimes it's their fault, but so often it is out of their control.

In short, it's not your fault. Health is wealth, so look after yourself.

Good Luck

    • 5
Jun 3, 2020

There is nothing wrong with taking a long break in your career now and think about where you want to go. You have a decent amount of experience behind you now. Taking one year gap year now is not going to be a detriment to your career as long as you can come back and explain what you've done in your interviews.

    • 1
Jun 3, 2020

When we are 6 feet under, it won't matter if you were in IB or PE or Corp Dev or a McDonald's. What's gonna matter is if we were happy, that's all.

Jun 3, 2020

If you're in HK, I'd be happy to meet in person and discuss. Feel free to DM.

    • 4
Jun 3, 2020

I think part of the reason why people stay, is because the job is so consuming that after 4 years you really can't have a lot else in your life. Friendships haven't been maintained, hobbies haven't been cultivated, and any girlfriend you had would also have been cool with seeing you so rarely, you gotta ask how much she really likes you, to put it bluntly.

So leaving is like staring into the void.

I think a lot of people in these types of jobs are self-medicating loneliness with professional stimulation, and that a high pressure job is actually a good way for them to find human connection. This might help you understand why you are worrying about leaving.

Another reason why it is hard to step off of the achievement treadmill: dopamine is the happiness chemical related to the anticipation of some exciting thing.

To get into IB you basically need to have been thinking about it for years in advance, so you've been running on just dopamine for a long time.

It sounds like it has been pretty rewarding for you up until recently, and the social validation from professional success also feels really good. When people get to that point when they've achieved their original goal and are still not full-filled, they often just arbitrarily create a new one, or stay on the track they're already on, even if they are suffering from stress or something as a result.

    • 5
Jun 3, 2020

Remarkable to me how many people want tracked careers and view a deviation from that as failing to achieve "success."

Career / life success should be about finding something that you love that rewards you, whether that reward is financial or not. That may come working for huge, well-known firms. Or it may not

    • 1
Jun 3, 2020

Hey man,

The first thing I wanna tell you is to keep your head high and your health (mental and physical) in check. No job in the world is worth dying for, especially for a guy in his mid-20s/early-30s.

Second, the "success" track is relative. Who are you doing this for? LinkedIn connections to flex on (they'll lose respect for you if you lateral over into an FLDP)? The faceless masses who'll be impressed by your "preftige" (if they even exist)? You ultimately will make a choice to live for you, and your own happiness; we all do. Some people just make it much later than others. Besides, not everyone who's worthy of being in your life is gonna know or care what the big, "important" finance companies are or even be impressed by them.

Third, you've gained your current work experience through literal health issues, blood, sweat, and tears. Don't disrespect your own achievements by going down a lesser path for the false promise of "work-life balance" and even more false one of "happiness." You've built up some very valuable skills. How can you use those skills to advance into an area you're interested in, make more money, and be happier? You can get there, but not in the exhausted (and honestly, probably depressed and fed up) state that you're in. Getting your worldview in check is the first step in all of this. More people (interviewers, potential friends, etc) will be drawn to an upbeat, positive guy with a strong sense of self than a dude who's about to snap from exhaustion.

Can you take a leave of absence at your company? They last at most about a year and are usually unpaid. Now might be a weird time to take it (COVID and all that), but perhaps not - it's literally a time to force yourself to think about what you want and what makes you happy. I don't have those answers for you, but I'm thinking that you know what they are deep down. It sounds like you have the money to take your foot off the gas and coast for a little bit; take advantage of it. I genuinely hope that everything works out for you.

Keep your head up. Much easier said than done, of course, but you can do it. Good luck.

Array

    • 5
Jun 6, 2020

The lack of success with corporate roles may well be due to companies not understanding your experience and how it could translate into their framework. If you can find a competent, experienced headhunter (they exist!) he/she should be able to coach you and advise you on how to re-word and pitch your experience to date. They could also broker introductions to firms that can see your potential.

Jun 27, 2020

The IB/PE track sounds pretty shitty if you ask me. You grind your ass to get into a target school. Then grind for SA. Then grind in your analyst years to get into PE. Then you burn out in PE. Or get fired. Your skills are not very transferable to entrepreneurship or other industries.

You can "downgrade" to corporate finance but you'll take a paycut. Actually, at this point, any career move would be a downgrade for you. Then it becomes a game of greed vs. your stamina to keep playing.

My advice is to find a way to transition into PM role at a FAANG tech company. You might need a MBA. Oh and if you're in tech, you'll need to exit Asia. The only place that will compensate you well is in the states

    • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 28, 2020

why isn't the ib/pe track suitable for an entrepreneur ?

  • Analyst 3+ in PE - Other
Jun 28, 2020

Guys, just a quick update.

Not sure if anyone is still reading this post. I haven't quit but things are not getting any better. Sorry for not posting anything during the time. I have been swamped with work and I received poor feedback this cycle.

I feel that the unhappiness and poor feedback have become an endless cycle that hurts me. I am demotivated and depressed to work. I don't even know if I can get myself back on track anymore. I remember there was an interview question in the interview guide: what is the first thing you are looking forward to when you wake up everyday. For me, the first thing I am hoping for is just going back to bed again.

While I understand everyone's advice here... Quitting is a tough decision to make for me when I am empty-handed. I have limited success to land a lateral interview (to non-IB/PE positions such as corp dev/fp&a) for last 2 years and I have been actively looking for opportunities in last month but it is not going anywhere under the covid environment. I am trying and I hope miracles will happen. But I am planning for the worst I guess

In the meantime, I have applied to schools and non-profit volunteering positions similar to TFA (at least these can let me take a break to rethink my career while doing something meaningful). However, my company requires a very long notice before resignation. Taking that into account, I am more than half way to collect next year's bonus. I don't know if I should just suck it up because the dangling carrot ahead is just too attractive...

Thanks a lot guys... You all have been very supportive to me and tbh I cried a bit when I read the comments. I guess I am just not the guy who is tough enough for finance

    • 1
Jun 29, 2020

Hey man, I have felt this way during earlier career setbacks so I know (to an extent) what you're going through. The depression symptoms are very clear. More recently, I was furloughed and ultimately laid off (hotel development) shortly after corona really hit the fan. I saw it coming right away, but I still felt like shit for a few weeks. What I found on the other side of my slump though was a pleasant surprise and what I want to share with you.

My usual reaction to this situation would be to grind 24/7 on the job hunt - similar to how you are feeling with your pursuit now. I know I would find something else without too much trouble and I have a feeling you can too. I know this because I invested an immeasurable amount of effort in my career, professional relationships, and skills I have honed over the years. But that is not what I did this time.

With lots of time, I started to really think about the things I've always wanted to improve in my personal life (habits, diet, discipline, more family time etc), but also never managed well due to my demanding career. I worked on those first and my energy and mental state changed dramatically, and very quickly. Now in a positive state of mind and a with a renewed sense of motivation, I started to think about some of the interests I have always had but also never had the time for. Time, for once, is the one thing I have plenty of and man it's a blessing I feel many of us take for granted. It's so easy to get things twisted when you are so focused on your career, like many of us on this site are. There's so much more than that though, and I see that now more clearly than ever.

As a result of this experimental period I've been in for the past two months, I have developed new passions for previously fleeting interests that I never gave myself the chance to truly explore. I am in the process of starting new businesses related to these new passions. I have no idea if they will succeed. As a realist, I always accept failure as a possibility, but I rarely accept it as the outcome. But the most important thing I learned so far, which I hope will help you, is the following: don't waste your valuable time/mental health/energy worrying about too much about the future and about things outside of your control. Once you take the time to really dive into past situations where you thought the situation was the end of the world and you were worried to death drowning in scenarios, possibilities etc you will realize it was not worth the stress.

You have made it quite far through a very difficult career path that many aspire to. You clearly have the abilities, intelligence and determination to have gotten this far. It's ok if you decide this path is not for you. Perhaps you will take a break, or find a new job, and realize that you were just in a rut and you do want to continue. Only you will know the answer and that time will come. But for now, try and focus less on worrying about the outcome (what if I don't find a job? what if I regret leaving?) and more on trusting in your abilities and instincts to lead you down the path you ultimately are supposed to end up on.

Of course, the first order of business you need to take care of before you make any decisions is getting out of your depressive state. The process is different for everyone. For me, the most helpful is starting a new regiment and sticking to it. Maybe it's a new workout regiment, a new habit, a new hobby. It can be anything, just start small. Decide for example that you will do 10 pushups when you wake up everyday - no excuses, it's just ten pushups. Creating and completing small achievable goals like this is what helps reprogram your mental state. I always wondered, what's the best way to get myself motivated? I now understand more than ever, doing is the main key to motivation. Don't think about it, don't delay it with planning, just decide you are going to do whatever easy goal you set for yourself and complete it. Once you do that, you won't want to stop there, you will naturally want to do more. That was easy, what's next? And it snowballs on itself from there, much quicker than you'd expect.

Brevity is not my forte, but hopefully something in my jumbled stream of consciousness helps you. Don't spend so much time trying to dissect every possibility resulting from the choices you make and trust that your instincts and abilities will take you where there are supposed to - they have taken you this far in life and you, sir, have done quite well already.

    • 6
Jun 29, 2020

Long time lurker here.

I know things are not going well for you. The anxiety and depression may feel overwhelming, and I feel that you would better off speaking to a therapist or seeking a strong professional who can help you map things out accordingly.

Walking away is never a bad thing. We only have this one life. It is not worth it if you are depressed, stressed from work constantly.

Jun 30, 2020

Feel really bad reading your posts especially given how young you are. As someone who is dedicated themselves to their work I've attained the perspective that there is more to life than work but I am not an advocate for you throwing in the towel. I don't think that'll change your depressed state. I'd suggest that you do something for yourself that will allow you to relieve stress and feel positive I'd suggest working out in the morning and I'd really suggest joining a group workout when COVID is over for positive reinforcement. My other suggestion is to do something "mindless" everyday to just let your mind relax. I try to watch a movie at night before bed. Not sure why but it helps. Next is to re-focus on your work. Why are you getting poor feedback? I'm sure you wouldn't be where you are if you were a failure. You've achieved so much already so why go out on someone else's terms. Today is literally June 30th ... Give yourself until the end of the year to turn things around. Work one day at a time. Change your mindset it sounds dumb but you can do that. Be positive, take your time working on things. I realize people give you crazy deadlines so just try to be honest with them "hey I can blow thru this and it'll be shit and you'll be pissed at me but if you give me 48 hrs to work on it instead of 12 hrs it'll be much better." There is no issue asking or asking for priority on deadlines. A lot of the pressure and resulting depression is self imposed don't keeping falling deeper into it just change it. Then after you get some W's and positive feedback if you still want to leave them leave on a high note.

    • 3
Jun 30, 2020

How I cope with bad days and a bad life is to take things one meal at a time. That's how people embrace the suck in the military. Put your health first man. No job is worth dying for.

Jul 3, 2020

Oh man this is cringe.

You bought in to the WSO dogma of IB or bust, now you have buyers remorse. You already knew it was going to be shit when you started out.

By definition, not everyone can get to the juicy part of the IB path, becoming a deal maker (due to the sheer number of people in the industry/continuous flow), hence the majority are sitting making presentations look pretty for most of their career - I don't see how that is attractive past the first two-four years. The only thing that would make you do it is money, perceived prestige and perceived transferable skills, both of the latter only exist in some fantasy realm online. Those that do stick it out, become very one dimensional, skilled in a very narrow domain, to the detriment of the rest of their life - the important things - health, relationships, family, relaxation. The hours do not improve, if anything, they increase.

You must have a little bit of cash saved up. And I'm sure you can think of doing something better than a bakery or IB interview consulting (Try spending more than 20 seconds thinking this time). The majority of the super rich have very unsexy businesses. Gas stations. Cardboard box factories. Distribution. Probably equally as unfulfilling but at least you get taxed less.

Quit and go travelling. Read tonnes of books.

Suggested reading for you:
Young money - Kevin roose (follows 4 real life finance graduates, they all leave IB after 2 years from what I remember)
The defining decade: Meg jay

Jul 3, 2020

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "only a little while. The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life." The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 - 20 years."

"But what then?" Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!"

"Millions - then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

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Jul 4, 2020
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