I'm in my mid-30s with a non-linear career path and lack pedigree. At 18, I made the uninformed choice to attend a state university close to home having not yet realized my passions. Following graduation, I was a loan officer, analyst at a strategy consulting firm, founder of college textbook drop-shipping start-up (successful for 3-4 years) which morphed into an online consignment start-up (which failed) and then to my most recent position.
For the last two years I was a research analyst at a buy-side research house where I was part of a team that picked up on early company trends such as the impact MCD's all-day breakfast would have on its top line growth, advertisers' massive shift of dollars into FB, and the sloppiness and lack of execution in the Men's Wearhouse/Jos. A. Bank merger. I absolutely loved my work and company mission.
The firm hit serious financial troubles, and I'm now stuck looking for a similar position. In addition to piecing together qualitative and quantitative market research, I served as the firm's investment analyst. We didn't do classic, however I "get" how it's done having traded for 16 years and know all the statements, variables within, ratios, etc etc. Frankly, I question how valuable such modeling is when it seemingly weighted toward past performance, arbitrary growth rates, conventional wisdom, and management puffery versus actual current and future business trends uncovered by way of market research.
Is my background too non-linear, non-safe that I keep getting overlooked? Do firms look for those who have followed a formula on the straight and narrow and just assume EQ/IQ is only possessed by the hyper-competitive with pedigree? I've an option to segue into "data science" which isn't aligned with my passions but I need to be realistic about feeding the family. Thoughts, suggestions? Willand slapping that on my resume give credence to my research/analysis wiring?