Preparing to Lateral

Hi all,

I'm about to start my career at a NY-based M&A boutique FT. SA'ed with the same group. Played my hand at FT recruitment elsewhere with little luck before accepting to return. For a combination of reasons (bit of a laundry list and would prefer not to dive into details) I will most likely seek a lateral move to another bank at some point during the analyst stint.

While there are many threads about lateraling (most specifically s/o @Sil for taking the time to make a very detailed guide), I have two main questions for those in industry:

1.) Is leaving in < 1 year a "bad look"? Have heard this both ways: under a year gives the appearance that you were forced out / fired, and others have mentioned that anything after 6 months is fair game. Would really appreciate any clarity as to when the best time to apply for open spots and contact recruiters is.

2.) As I have a few months before work starts and time becomes very limited, is there anything that can be done now to set the stage well for when a role becomes available somewhere? Too early for networking (but is it really ever lol)? Maybe reach out to others that have made similar transitions?

Of course, I will go into the boutique role with energy, an open mind, and work as hard as possible (very thankful for the opportunity and not taking anything for granted).

Any related advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!