No VP Promote from Sr. Associate - Seeking Advice
Long-time user over here, who has read through the insane amount of helpful commentary dating back to my time in college all the way through IB, PE, and Venture/Growth.
Well, I'm hoping to bounce some questions off of the more senior members out there regarding my current predicament. I'm going to try and be as vague as I can, as I don't want to ruffle any feathers at my ex-firm, or give away too much personal info that could track back to me. The TLDR here though, is that after 7 years in the industry, I propositioned for a promote and voiced concerns with comp/my position - well, the absolute worst thing happened... I was told no, and instead begrudgingly agreed to part ways.
As a deeper background - I did two years at a respected IB, 3 years at a traditional PE buyout shop, and then jumped ship to what I thought was my end goal. I just wrapped up 2 years as a Sr Associate on the growth side of things, and absolutely fucking loved almost every second of it. I was given nothing but rave reviews, "top bucket" bonuses (still sub-market, mind you), and a continuous indication that there would be a road for me to grow. Because of this, I voiced concerns with my comp levels, and ultimately felt I had the legitimacy and value-add to push for a VP promote. Well, push come to shove, and as we enter into my year-end review, I'm told that they don't see the capacity for another VP, wouldn't have a timeline to when that might shake out, and ultimately had decided that instead of keeping me around another year (in likely a disgruntled shape), that it made the most sense to amicably split apart and let me go. Que my absolute deep-pit depression extravaganza that I'm currently experiencing.
To add insult to injury, when I left my last firm (where the promote was offered to Sr Associate & I had a decent chunk of carry), this firm that has just recently decided to nuke my life, hired me under the assumption that a fundraise close was within spitting distance and that I would have meaningful carry in it at close (100bps+). They had targeted the $800mm level, and two years later, not only did it decrease considerably, but after TWO WHOLE YEARS, the fund is barely halfway subscribed to. That's where the comp anger stemmed from and fueled some serious discontent internally.
Well, shit hit the fan. I've since spoken with members of the team in a much more candid manner than the legal BS I was given at the departure. I was told that by and far, the decision was not performance based - that my execution, deal work, investment acumen, and finance skills were among the strongest in the organization. But for some reason, despite that, there was a fit issue, that I was competing with an inside track member who had risen the ranks internally from Analyst to now VP, and that capacity didn't dictate my promote...that it was "just business". Fuckers. They've all offered to corroborate my value-add and that this was a capacity issue, giving strong recs & intros when needed, as well as the optionality of leading some VP level roles in portco's if that interests me (and they claimed my skillset would be a huge value-add).
I had planned to kick off lateral searches this year due to a bit of concern that this could happen down the road, but hadn't really pushed forward because I never in 1000 years would have anticipated this outcome so soon. I got my bonus, some decent severance, and they basically told me to fuck off. I'm losing my mind, and there isn't enough valium in the world to fix how I feel right now. Depression and bad, unsafe thoughts are all that are taking up my brain activity. Ive been taking down too much of benzos and whiskey, and I'm spiraling downhill fast.
Ultimately, my question to you fine folks is: am I ruined? Is this the end of the line? I gave it a valiant effort but I'm now pretty senior. If other firms know I wasn't promoted internally, in what world would they want another's garbage? I've never been canned, and I've never felt this level of failure. So close to those big 7digits, only to get t-boned by a semi. My number one struggle right now is thinking how to frame this right, and come out the other end in maybe even a better position. Any advise for a tired, beaten down, fellow finance monkey?
That was longer than I expected; so if you made it here, I appreciates you. Hope there's actually people reading this over the Holidays!