What are the Most Enjoyable Jobs in Finance?

teddythebear's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,057

Can you tell me what finance jobs are enjoyable to you? It seems like lots of you are pretty miserable. I see several threads around bad hours and mind-numbing work. I'd love to hear what financial careers you love and why!

Choosing the Most Enjoyable Finance Job

When choosing a career in finance, the most important thing is, to be honest about what it takes for you to be happy. Too many people enter finance with delusions of prestige and money but these elements alone satisfy very few in the long-term. To enjoy any job, you need to be clear on your core talents and interests. For example, if you don't do well in high-stress environments and hate taking risks, you will probably dislike working as a trader. If you don't enjoy working in teams or can't tolerate mind-numbing tasks, you will likely hate working in investment banking.

Finding Most Enjoyable Careers in Finance

Different careers are fun and enjoyable to different people as discussed above. You should consider your personal attributes and work habits to find a finance career that you will enjoy. Below are some questions to consider when deciding what type of career you should pursue in finance.

  • Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  • Do you mind long hours and poor life-work balance?
  • Are you easily bored or appreciate routine?
  • How important is it that you play a visible role with lots of recognition?
  • Where do you want to be in five years? Do you want to work in another finance profession or leave the industry?
  • Do you like working in teams or work better alone?
  • Do you like taking risks or do you prefer to play it safe?

Choosing Your Ideal Finance Career

After reflecting on your personal values, research different options. There are many resources available to help you determine what would be expected of you and if you'd be a good fit for specific positions.

For example: If you are an extrovert, who does not want to work long hours, who is interested in staying in the finance world while taking risks - working in a career such as sales and trading might be ideal.

Informal interviews and internships are great ways to get an idea of what a job will be like and if it's something that will help you accomplish your long-term goals.

The most important thing when choosing your ideal finance job is to be very clear about what success looks like for you. Finance is an extremely broad field with many interesting career options available to anyone who isn't tied to societal pressures of what success looks like. At the end of the day, you need to feel like you are moving towards your version of success. Only then will you will find your work fulfilling and worthwhile.

List of Fun Finance Careers Instead of Investment Banking

While investment banking is one of the most popular careers discussed on this site, it is often thought of as one of the most brutal careers due to the long hours and often mind-numbing work. This career is often times treated as a stepping stone to careers that are more interesting and "fun". Our users shared their thoughts on such enjoyable finance careers below. Equity research, private equity, venture capital, and hedge fund work were all mentioned by our users.

bowibowi:

would say my job in ER is really enjoyable, can't say its the most enjoyable since it's my first job ever straight after finishing MSF. A bit of details about my job, I work as the Head of ER at a boutique firm, working 7 to 5. The only thing I have to do on a daily basis is giving the S&T my stock picks of the day, and standby just in case any clients want to ask me about anything market-related. Other than that its all about surfing on the internet, talking to other analysts in a casual way, lunch with the directors, and well, research on particular companies in my coverage universe, but no pressure on that.

SanityCheck - Hedge Fund Analyst:

I really enjoy PE, for me, it's the fun of banking (deals, transactions, investing) without so much of the bitchwork. Of course, bitchwork is still there but thinking about companies as an investor is a lot more fun IMO.

I'd throw VC in there too if you don't like modeling but enjoy networking and looking at business ideas.

TheBig:

My Dad is the CIO of a boutique IM firm around here and he loves every second of what he does. The main reason why I even sparked an interest in finance was from seeing him come home every day with a smile on his face. Technically he's the leader of the advisory team, but he still manages the majority of client relations for the firm so he's in NY a lot. Not to mention the salary/bonus is pretty good as well. He could do his entire job from his bedroom besides meeting with clients but goes into the office every day because he loves the environment.

Interestingly, most of the careers exist on the "buyside" of finance vs. the "sell side" of finance. This makes sense to an extent since working on the buyside of finance gives you more freedom and autonomy as you are not controlled by a client. Check out a video below for further explanation.

Read More About Finance Jobs at WSO

Preparing for Investment Banking Interviews?

The WSO investment banking interview course is designed by countless professionals with real-world experience, tailored to people aspiring to break into the industry. This guide will help you learn how to answer these questions and many, many more.

Investment Banking Interview Course Here

Comments (21)

Feb 15, 2013

HF Manager. Look at that smile; ear-to-ear, baby!

Feb 16, 2013
BTbanker:

HF Manager. Look at that smile; ear-to-ear, baby!

Its tough to see a smiling Mets fan. Einhorn must reallly love his job.

Feb 16, 2013
ladubs111:
BTbanker:

HF Manager. Look at that smile; ear-to-ear, baby!

Its tough to see a smiling Mets fan. Einhorn must reallly love his job.

Was thinking the SAME EXACT thing lol.

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Feb 15, 2013

I would say my job in ER is really enjoyable, cant say its the most enjoyable since its my first job ever straight after finishing MSF. A bit of details about my job, I work as the Head of ER at a boutique firm, working 7 to 5. Im basically paid to do whatever I want since the only thing I have to do on a daily basis is giving the S&T my stock picks of the day, and standby just in case any clients want to ask me about anything market related. Other than that its all about surfing on the internet, talking to other analysts in a casual way, lunch with the directors, and well, research on particular companies in my coverage universe, but no pressure on that.

I also enjoy the roadshows and analyst meetings, plenty of useful personalities to network with, and of course you can spot hot women here and there.

Feb 15, 2013

My neighbour is an MD of institutional equity sales and he's a very happy dude. Personally I would hate it.

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Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Feb 16, 2013
TeddyTheBear:

I seem to be seeing a lot of threads about people being depressed where they are. Things such as hours are bad and the work is boring.

I think this is a problem in every industry. At the end of the day, most jobs are just that not enjoyable. Who really wants to sit in an office for 40, 50, 60+ hours a week during set hours with little to no vacation? And a lot of projects you work on are going to be boring (because lots of boring stuff just needs to get done). Add office politics and other BS to the list too, and you'll see why most people are just not that enthusiastic about their jobs.

I think Tucker Max (of all people lol) summed it up quite nicely in a speech at OSU when he said

Tucker Max:

Then I read Fight Club. If there is any one singular event that I can point to that set me on the course to who and what I am today, it is reading Fight Club. It woke something primal and fundamental in me.

I had seen the movie when I was in college, but until you have gone out into the world and worked a shitty job and thought to yourself, "Is this it? Is this why I went to school? For this?", you can't understand it. But once I read the book after the real world kicked me in the teeth, it clicked. It gave voice to something inside me I had not been able to elucidate before:

I had been sold a lie. Life was not about going to the right schools and getting the right jobs just so I work a job I hate in order to accumulate more crap I don't want or need. That's not how life was meant to be lived. There is another way. I can be the man I want to be, I can do the things I want to do and I can live the life I want to live...I just have to stop believing the lies I have been sold, and stop caring what all those people think who don't matter, and find the courage to go out and do it.

Make no mistake about it: What you do with your with your life is A CHOICE. You can be who you want to be, you just have to have the courage to go do it.

You don't hear this from your parents or your teachers or your friends, because they never tell you the other option. You know why? It's because they don't know it exists. They tell you that to do what everyone one else is doing, they tell you that you have to get a safe job and be like all of them, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY DID.

Feb 16, 2013

just find what you enjoy and stop complaining about it... its so easy. find an industry, dedicate your life, and make money.., I love my industry, and i'm going to commit my life to it.. I don't get how you feel like you have a choice.. In this economy, you take what you can get, and just move forward. If there's any regrets, there's always b-school as an exit opp

Best Response
Feb 16, 2013
LeeRoyJenkins:

just find what you enjoy and stop complaining about it... its so easy. find an industry, dedicate your life, and make money.., I love my industry, and i'm going to commit my life to it.. I don't get how you feel like you have a choice.. In this economy, you take what you can get, and just move forward. If there's any regrets, there's always b-school as an exit opp

spoken like a true autist.

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Feb 16, 2013

The reason you probably see a lot of people upset/depressed/hating their finance jobs is because they probably got into it for the wrong reasons (read: money, prestige) and convinced themselves that they'll eventually learn to love it. I've had a lot of conversations with top performing students at my undergrad about what their plan was, and a lot of them told me they were studying to become doctors, dentists, investment bankers, etc because they knew they could get good grades and the pay was the best, but they really had a passion for history, art, music and said that would be their dream job.

But anyway, I think I would really enjoy being a portfolio manager at an IM firm. My Dad is the CIO of a boutique IM firm around here and he loves every second of what he does. The main reason why I even sparked an interest in finance was from seeing him come home everyday with a smile on his face. Technically he's the leader of the advisory team, but he still manages the majority of client relations for the firm so he's in NY a lot. Not to mention the salary/bonus is pretty good as well. He could do his entire job from his bedroom besides meeting with clients, but goes into the office everyday because he loves the environment.

The influence from my Dad lead me to start teaching myself finance before I even took a single business course in my undergrad. Before my first econ course I had already finished Basic Economics, and before my first Finance class I had finished, and re-read The Intelligent Investor. I loved every second of what I was learning, and I'm fairly locked in after having done an internship with a boutique IM firm. I'm not really worried that I'll be unhappy with my job as long as its still relevant.

Feb 16, 2013

private banking on the market end side for a latam focus where id magically be able to spend half my year in NYC (summer) and the other half in latin america(summer as well haha)

Feb 16, 2013
shorttheworld:

where id magically be able to spend half my year in NYC (summer) and the other half in latin america(summer as well haha)

Haha, that'd be awesome

Feb 16, 2013
shorttheworld:

private banking on the market end side for a latam focus where id magically be able to spend half my year in NYC (summer) and the other half in latin america(summer as well haha)

Close, 1/4 in London, 1/4 in Germany, 1/2 in Latam and maybe a week in ny / s.Europe.

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

Feb 16, 2013
shorttheworld:

private banking on the market end side for a latam focus where id magically be able to spend half my year in NYC (summer) and the other half in latin america(summer as well haha)

This is what my career is moving towards. No joke.

Mar 4, 2013

same here

Feb 16, 2013

You can't truly enjoy doing something you are told to do.
There is no "most enjoyable job" in Finance or elsewhere it all boils down to what you like and who you are.
I think that I would enjoy a lot more doing something knowing that I can quit whenever I want than doing the exact same thing and knowing I'm stuck with it. People who say money don't just pursue money they're looking for something else.
Freedom that's what it's all about.

Feb 16, 2013

I really enjoy PE, for me it's the fun of banking (deals, transactions, investing) without so much of the bitchwork. Of course bitchwork is still there but thinking about companies as an investor is a lot more fun IMO.

I'd throw VC in there too if you don't like modeling but enjoy networking and looking at business ideas.

Feb 16, 2013

I love my job analyzing blood spatter for the the Miami Metro Police, but that's not my true passion.....

Feb 16, 2013

nice^

Feb 17, 2013

I really enjoyed sitting on an energy desk....

Mar 5, 2013
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Feb 9, 2018
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