Leaving too early?

Hey guys,

Recently started at a developer, it's what I want to do but it's not the firm I want to be at long term. I plan on reaching out to firms I want to work for 3-6 months in to my current role.

Is that too soon? In some cases I am literally saying I want to work there and will also be reaching out to the more informal interview processes that started but didn't go too far before I accepted and they still haven't filled the role. Is 6 months as a dev associate too little when I see some of their hires are right out of undergrad/from brokerage? What is a good way to frame the story besides wanting to jump to a more legit developer with larger deals/more deal flow. I feel some of the responses will be you've been there for 3-6 months why do you want to leave so soon/see lack of commitment. I was going to frame it as I have legit dev experience now, etc.

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Comments (17)

Most Helpful
Oct 11, 2021 - 6:55pm

Honestly, I think if you reached out to me being 3-6 months into your first development job intent on networking for the "next job", I'd think you were about to get fired or the firm is collapsing. I mean, that is the general signal I think that sends.....

Development roles, especially junior ones, take time to..... develop (yes corny pun intended). You would basically be looking for reset/net job and really wouldn't be bringing anything new to the table most likely (as compared to you before the start of the current job). Even you can frame this as leveraging the short-term experience, it will be a very odd signal that you want to jump that fast.

So, here is what I'd do, network for fun. Have and show ZERO intent other than building a network and learning more about the industry of which you are now a part. Go to all the ULI/NAIOP, etc. events you can, heck... join and run some committees, get visible in short. When it's time to move, hopefully they will call you first. Still, not being seen as 100% committed to this job can be a bad thing, and I can tell you this would limit you at many firms. Get closer to that 2 year mark, apply around and network more aggressively as you see fit, but don't spoil those first impressions by being impatient. At least those are my two cents! 

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  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Oct 11, 2021 - 7:17pm

Really appreciate this - makes complete sense. So I guess to give you my thought process behind this post is I want to be successful and feel I have to progress faster than others to make it to the top. So in my head it;s not me trying to skip out on putting in the work it's more I want to get to a legitimate place where I can put in the time and have x years learning from the best.

like itf you look at different top families/developers in NYC there are obviously different paths but it seems they started early and got good experience at that stage and by 30 (Michael Stern) were doing very large scale projects/deals. To me that only happens if you have legitimate experience and people trust you with their money and it doesn't hurt to learn at a faster rate than other people an take chances. So while i'm no longer in brokerage (2-3 years) and I'm in development at a no name shop it's still an opportunity to learn but not the same as a Related, JDS, etc especially early on in my career/life. So i am networking, building relationships etc but I also will jump on any opportunity at one of those firms to get the experience even if i'm at my current shop for 6-12 months. I'm trying to progress quickly because it seems a common theme is starting early.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Oct 11, 2021 - 7:40pm

So how would you approach these convos with that mindset? Obviously have to build the relationship, but I also want to move fast and prove I have the skills. I feel have a dev role vs brokerage make legitimize the skills I had previously just bc of preconceived notions about middle markets salesmen, but now I feel I can push more towards what I want since my skills look better on paper now.

Oct 12, 2021 - 3:56pm

So, the key to successfully hustling like this is not look like you are trying to hustle like this. If you see an angle to jump ship to a better firm to work on better jobs (i.e. a better job all around), don't hesitate... but don't like you NEED the job. TBH, wanting to level up from day one doesn't strike me as odd/crazy at all, just it's what YOU want, and not so easy to sell to another firm (like don't tell them you want to be the next Michael Stern.... if you do that, just DO that, hold your cards close to the vest). 

Think of it this way, you want them to make the offer, ask you if you would come work for them..... if you cannot make that happen, then you are really pushing this up hill and I wouldn't think it would be successful. This is kinda like dating/flirting... you need to show interest and give attention... but let them make the move. To be aggressive now can easily seem desperate. 

The real question... what are you bringing to the table? Are you better skilled now, able to do more? Why should this next firm hire you? Clearly, I don't know you resume or skills, but you need to see your degree of fit with any "next" firm from their perspective. Hence, what do you bring with 3-6 months of development experience + 2-3 yrs brokerage? Why did you take the current role? It's all about making strategic moves, and the way you setup the post didn't seem strategic, it seemed eager to be honest. 

  • Investment Analyst in RE - Comm
Oct 11, 2021 - 9:31pm

A few thoughts. No, IMO it's not too soon. It's a favorable market and if you can land a significantly better role, by all means go for it. I started off my career at a small family office being paid pennies and stayed for ~3 years because that's what I thought future employers would want to see. Now I regret not jumping ship to where I am now, a much larger and higher paying REPE firm, sooner (and yes, we often hire ppl with <1 year of experience). If it's a stepwise function up, by all means go for it. People will understand. I see people on LinkedIn all the time jumping from, say, Raymond James to Morgan Stanley after 3-6 months all the time, or some no name developer to Related/Carlyle. Will future employers blame you? No.

Oct 17, 2021 - 5:22pm

Investment Analyst in RE - Comm

A few thoughts. No, IMO it's not too soon. It's a favorable market and if you can land a significantly better role, by all means go for it. I started off my career at a small family office being paid pennies and stayed for ~3 years because that's what I thought future employers would want to see. Now I regret not jumping ship to where I am now, a much larger and higher paying REPE firm, sooner (and yes, we often hire ppl with <1 year of experience). If it's a stepwise function up, by all means go for it. People will understand. I see people on LinkedIn all the time jumping from, say, Raymond James to Morgan Stanley after 3-6 months all the time, or some no name developer to Related/Carlyle. Will future employers blame you? No.

Yea exactly. I don't know why people look down on job hoppers when the person is being hired to fill a role and nobody is gonna slow down their career progression to show "loyalty". This isn't a country like Japan where salarymen are lifers

Oct 17, 2021 - 9:08pm

It's not that they look down on job hoppers. But no one wants to hire someone who has job hopped 3 times in 3 years because you're now the 4th shop. So either they left because they didnt do a good job and were shown the door, were hard to get along with and shown the door, or jumped around to grab a better opportunity. Even if it's the latter, you don't want to hire someone only for them to jump ship yet again after a year at your shop and you need to go through the hiring process again. 

Oct 11, 2021 - 11:58pm

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