Re-recruiting for PE while unemployed

A bit of context: Associate at a small, fairly new middle-market PE platform. I tossed my name in the hat and accepted the offer with the understanding that at some point it'd be a hybrid (2-3 days/week in-person) work environment and fully in-person later on, but it has been purely remote (aside from travel) nearly one year in and there's no path to returning to in-person. I'm considering bouncing without another gig lined up, because (a) I've found myself to be unhappy working alone on an island, especially considering I didn't knowingly sign up for a remote PE Associate experience and (b) I'm finding it difficult to learn and develop while being removed from the team. Intentionally left specifics out to not distract from the main question with debate as to whether I have a right to want to leave and to not give my situation away.

Has anyone had experience recruiting for PE Associate roles while having the current "unemployed" status after leaving a prior PE Associate role? How difficult was it to position your decision to quit without something else lined up? Know this varies from firm to firm and from candidate to candidate but felt it was worth getting others' perspectives. I'm pretty unhappy at current role but not certain that I want to completely exit the industry for good, so I'll probably just bite the bullet and stick it out at the job while recruiting if it's worth not having the dent on my job prospects.

Thanks gang.

Comments (3)

Most Helpful
Nov 15, 2021 - 3:39pm

It's always easier to find a job while you have a job. If you aren't miserable, I'd recommend staying put and recruiting at the same time. If you feel like it's really weighing on your mental health, that's a different conversation.

It also might be worth trying to have this conversation with your current employer and sharing your concerns about your learning and development in a remote environment. Don't make it about "I'm thinking of jumping ship as a result", just try to focus it on how they can help you do better work for them.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Nov 16, 2021 - 2:07pm

Would strongly advise against leaving without something lined up - I've done both and it is infinitely more stressful to recruit while unemployed versus employed. I don't regret my decision as I was hitting a breaking point and wanted a long vacay but i) not having a paycheck is always a drag, ii) it raises red flags to recruiters/employers, and iii) you don't want to take an offer out of desperation. 

I don't know your exact circumstances but jumping ship just because you're remote could set off alarm bells. 

Nov 17, 2021 - 9:45am

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