Pursue a Career in High Finance or Family Business and Chill

My parents offered me a managerial role in their company whereby I can basically do almost nothing and still get paid a decent salary, then I can slowly work my way up and learn new things according to my own pace and eventually take over the company when I'm ready to, possibly earning a higher salary than a lot of folks in finance, with less hours and stress.

Plus after reading the various threads on people dropping out of high finance and the various reasons they do so, I'm not sure if I want to go pursue a career in high finance anymore, I'm beginning to wonder if I should completely give up my uni offer at this semi-target.

They kept promoting the idea that working for others will never really earn you much of a fortune, that instead of spending time in university pursuing a degree that thousand and thousands of people own, instead of working so hard to become distinguishable from all the other graduates, that entrepreneurship is the way to go as you make others work for you instead, that they'll support me fully if I decide to start my own business too.

They mentioned how they know exactly what high finance entails (long working hours, pressure to perform etc) and that it is not worth it to suffer in life to that extent for that bit of money, that there are other ways out.

But part of me still want to take the conventional route of doing a formal degree and going for a traditional career path as it feels like a much more financially secure decision, and also due to my insecurity that I wouldn't be respected if I don't have certain educational qualifications or  fancy job titles - my parents own a trades related business.

Should I be getting over that insecurity and go for what my parents offered, or go for the 'safer' route of pursuing high finance?

I don't want to be in the position whereby I get a bachelors degree, work a few years in finance, realise it's actually too much stress or whatever and end up going back to my parents company asking for a job.

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Comments (17)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 26, 2021 - 4:04am

Well, spending your whole life working at your parents' business sounds boring as fuck t b h

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 26, 2021 - 6:43am

Depends on what this family business is about, but doing an IB stint if you can would give you career mobility (opens a lot of doors), as well as the skills and discipline that would prove helpful if you want to start your own business. And if you want to join the family business, even having 2 years of investment banking on your resume would give you more legitimacy, because people absolutely hate nepotism.

Jan 26, 2021 - 4:21am

PM me. Had a similar situation, happy to share my thoughts and story. 


Jan 26, 2021 - 6:00am

Depends on what sort of business they have and how the future outlook of the business is. Furthermore, I´d go to College and get an education which would benefit you whether you want to work in finance or at your parents company, especially since paying for it doesn´t seem to be an issue.

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Jan 26, 2021 - 7:44am

After discussion with a few students and professionals I have decided that uni is worth the time and money investment. Didn't want to to into it without doing a full analysis of the pros and cons. After all, tuition isn't cheap, I'll be spending the next few years of my time generating 0 income if I do go, and I'll also miss out in terms of getting industrial experience in the 4 years. In my opinion a degree is really not an end all be all.

Jan 26, 2021 - 8:46am

Unpopular opinion but honestly, fuck school. You have a job lined up that will pay you well, I'd use that extra time explore other interests and enjoy myself. Yes there's the whole "social experience" of college, but given the bullshit wokeness, inflated costs, and now diminished experience for the foreseeable future due to COVID, I say why bother? Taking over the family business and being able to develop at your own pace while being completely supported sounds like a way better deal. There'll be people who say "it's boring" or act like it somehow means you're less driven that you didn't go to school/stuck to family work. That's a load of crap and 9/10 times they'll be wishing they could have at least had the option to choose what you do now.


Jan 26, 2021 - 11:04am

Regardless of whether you decided on finance or the family business, I would definitely get your bachelors degree. Minimally, the degree would give you greater perspective for different career paths and, hopefully, some practical skills you could apply to any job. Not having a degree isn't really socially acceptable among most folks you'd probably want to hang with in life anyway.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 26, 2021 - 11:17am

here's what I would do

Do IB/high finance for x years (define x yourself) just to prove you can do it, then go on with the fam biz; Why? IB would make you think hard about what you really value, and if it is really finance that you love then go for it. If not then great you realized how lucky you are to have the fam biz with still tons of potential to learn and grow, albeit in a less sexy industry

Plus doing IB gives you some sort of cred, just in case those bitter employees from the fam biz start chattering and disrespecting you for being the boss's kid. Your parents are right too - give you have this opportunity I would say your earnings potential would be higher than working for someone else

0.02 cent from a rando

Apr 5, 2021 - 1:56pm

here's what I would do

Do IB/high finance for x years (define x yourself) just to prove you can do it, then go on with the fam biz;

Yeah I think this is a good path and you get a good base of experience.

Without this base of experience, you're really locked into the family company. But, if you don't like the family company after a couple years, you could always go back to work or do an MBA.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Apr 4, 2021 - 1:09am

Your thinking is very lucid and you are on the right path, mang. Don't be a finance concubine!

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Apr 4, 2021 - 3:36am

Taking over a family business is very very different than booting up your own company and even more different than booting a company up + scaling it quickly.

I would probably do the time in IB first. It's helpful to get exposure to hyper successful entrepreneurs + business models. 

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