Switching jobs after short time at entry level (consulting to IB)

MaximA's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 5

I graduated last May, which means I've been in my current job for about 5 months. Suffice to say I hate it. I'm at a boutique consulting firm in a pretty small town (not super small but definitely no NYC or Chicago or even Boston/Houston). Dealflow ("engagement flow"?) isn't bad. But...
--consulting wasn't my top choice (ultimately not what i'm really interested in)
--I dislike the work environment (not much interaction with colleagues, career advancement prospects are low, etcc.)
--I would like to move out of this town asap

I have always been trying for investment banking (summered at a boutique) but didn't get an FT offer so I accepted my second choice (consulting) thinking that I would like it, I tried it for nearly half a year, and I really want to go back to ibanking.

So my questions are....
--Would it look bad to quit after only 6 months?
--I know I would be joining IB as an analyst, which firms are okay with this move? I know some firms only hire at specific points (graduating senior undergrad, graduating MBA, or after 2/3 years in IB as a pre-MBA)
--On my resume it looks like I am flipflopping a lot, going from IB to consulting and back, how do I convince the banks that I really do want to be in IB?

thanks!

Comments (28)

Nov 9, 2012

Just do it, it's not as big a deal as ebveryone makes out. If you switch within 6 months 3 or 4 times then yes, but to do it once or twice, early in your career is not a big deal.

Nov 9, 2012

Agree with newfirst; Its not a big deal. However, realize that the last 6 months were wasted and consider yourself 6 months behind. If you stay for 2-3 years you may be going for a senior analyst or associate position somewhere. Now you will be effectively starting over on the 2-3 year track.

I cannot speak for everone everywhere, but I do have experience in small(er) cities.

This:

looks like I am flipflopping a lot, going from IB to consulting and back

Does not look like flip-flopping to me and makes your story on why you want to leave really easy (I have a good job and still want IB). Most small city boutiques actually prefer a small amount of previous work experience and your previous summer intership will also bode well for you.

I cannot comment on how BB banks would view your background (my guess is negatively) but I would bet you have a good shot at boutique/regional banks that staff a few analysts/associates.

Also, DO NOT QUIT, rather resign after you have another offer.

Final Advice: Be absolutely sure you like IB better than consulting. You will not be able to go back for as long as you have that 6 months on your resume. Consider that you may be getting the 6 month jitters; Work sucks my man you will just have to get used to it.

Nov 9, 2012

If you want IB then make sure you have a job offer first before you leave. It's good that you recognize you want out of consulting soon rather than 2-3 years in it. You have a great excuse for leaving. You realized that your experience at the boutique IB was a lot better and consulting isn't for you. Boom

Nov 10, 2012
blackjack21:

If you want IB then make sure you have a job offer first before you leave. It's good that you recognize you want out of consulting soon rather than 2-3 years in it. You have a great excuse for leaving. You realized that your experience at the boutique IB was a lot better and consulting isn't for you. Boom

But won't they call up my current employers for recs or bg check? When I was interviewing for consulting I made it sound like I really wanted consulting over IB (I needed a job!) but doesn't it seem a bit 2-faced now?
Glad to hear it's probably not too big of a deal, but do I go about recruiting off-cycle? Cold-emails again? Or would I basically be pitted against current FT candidates right now?

Nov 9, 2012
MaximA:
blackjack21:

If you want IB then make sure you have a job offer first before you leave. It's good that you recognize you want out of consulting soon rather than 2-3 years in it. You have a great excuse for leaving. You realized that your experience at the boutique IB was a lot better and consulting isn't for you. Boom

But won't they call up my current employers for recs or bg check? When I was interviewing for consulting I made it sound like I really wanted consulting over IB (I needed a job!) but doesn't it seem a bit 2-faced now?
Glad to hear it's probably not too big of a deal, but do I go about recruiting off-cycle? Cold-emails again? Or would I basically be pitted against current FT candidates right now?

Just say you realized 6 months in that consulting wasn't for you. Initially, you were passionate about it, but then saw after 6 months on the job that consulting isn't your thing. The employers could call them up just to verify that you actually worked there. Recs are a separate thing. That's up to you. They can be written or via phone call.

At this point, use your contacts and if you don't have any useful ones then start cold-emailing/trolling LinkedIn.

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Nov 10, 2012
MaximA:

I graduated last May, which means I've been in my current job for about 5 months. Suffice to say I hate it. I'm at a boutique consulting firm in a pretty small town (not super small but definitely no NYC or Chicago or even Boston/Houston). Dealflow ("engagement flow"?) isn't bad. But...
--consulting wasn't my top choice (ultimately not what i'm really interested in)
--I dislike the work environment (not much interaction with colleagues, career advancement prospects are low, etcc.)
--I would like to move out of this town asap

I have always been trying for investment banking (summered at a boutique) but didn't get an FT offer so I accepted my second choice (consulting) thinking that I would like it, I tried it for nearly half a year, and I really want to go back to ibanking.

So my questions are....
--Would it look bad to quit after only 6 months?
--I know I would be joining IB as an analyst, which firms are okay with this move? I know some firms only hire at specific points (graduating senior undergrad, graduating MBA, or after 2/3 years in IB as a pre-MBA)
--On my resume it looks like I am flipflopping a lot, going from IB to consulting and back, how do I convince the banks that I really do want to be in IB?

thanks!

In a similar position myself...

How do you get along with your coworkers/boss? Would you ask them for a recommendation when you leave? I'm debating this myself ATM.

Nov 10, 2012
<span class=keyword_link><a href=http://tinyurl.com/3zap9yh rel=nofollow>John Rolfe</a></span>:

In a similar position myself...
How do you get along with your coworkers/boss? Would you ask them for a recommendation when you leave? I'm debating this myself ATM.

Relieved I'm not the only one. I've been asking the same questions, I actually get along fine with my coworkers and boss, but due to the culture of the firm I don't get to see many of them most of the time (travel, lots of people work from home offices, etcc.) I have a feeling that if I leave it may be a bad thing since I still haven't made any strong connections with people, so leaving may be seen as more of a eff you move than anything.

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Nov 10, 2012

Thanks, that helps!
Anyone else have any insight?

Jul 17, 2013

Sorry to resurrect this thread but I'm wondering how early is too early to start applying for other jobs.

I'm in my first month of my first job (yeah I know this is a bad start) and I found another opportunity that I think I am very qualified for, and would be a huge step up from my current position.

Is there reputational danger of applying too early? Would the new bank take me seriously, or would they laugh and possibly black list me (or even call my current boss)?

Silly question I know. But I would appreciate some comments

Jul 19, 2013

It depends. For me, I realized with a few weeks that the FT role I landed out of school was not right for me and worked on transitioning back into IB. I think you need to seriously see what next step you want to make and make sure it is a commitment that you are willing to uphold for more than a year.

Jul 19, 2013

Three months.

Going to better that?

    • 1
Jul 19, 2013

Perhaps.

Jul 19, 2013

Boris Johnson, current mayor of London, quit LEK after a week.

Jul 19, 2013

This wasn't consulting, but at my first job out of college, there was a guy who accepted the job and literally never showed up. Apparently, he didn't even intend to "quit"(they called, and he was just a clueless bastard), but he was fired obviously. (before he ever set foot in the door)

Jul 19, 2013

A guy I used to work w. left his previous job after 4 hours. He came in at 8, left for lunch at noon and never came back!!! IIRC he didn't last too long at the company we were at either, but it was more than the 4 hrs at the last place!!!

Jul 19, 2013

People quit with less than a year under their belt if they get the right offer. I once heard it said the half life of a consultant is 2 years and I wouldn't doubt it. A year tends to be when options open up and people start to waltz.

Jul 19, 2013

A very lazy person I know left a big 4 in 1.5 days. Since this was his/her first job, post-undergrad... he/she asked "should I list the experience on my resume?".

No pain, no pain.

Jul 19, 2013

I know someone who left before training was finished. He was on the sales/marketing side of a consulting firm though, so not exactly in finance/MC.

Jul 19, 2013

Guy in the grad class at my bank this year quit after a week. Said he couldnt hack the hours. Would've thought he would know what the job was like before applying, but just goes to show the best people for the job are often not the ones being hired.

You know you've been working too hard when you stop dreaming about bottles of champagne and hordes of naked women, and start dreaming about conditional formatting and circular references.

Jul 19, 2013

Someone I know quit after two weeks for another gig at a Consulting firm (from Risk previously).

Jul 19, 2013

3rd day of induction week for Big4...technically the job had not even begun yet!

Jul 19, 2013

I had a friend show up to work on his first day and was told that his whole office had been bought by a competitor so his job didn't exist anymore. He was kind of forced to quit and reached out to the competitor.

Jul 19, 2013

at a previous employer, this guy joined and showed up on day 1 & 2 .. went missing on day 3... did not answer calls from HR, etc.. literally just vanished.. now, anything could have happened to him but most likely he got a better offer somewhere else..

Jul 19, 2013

Not consulting, but at a prior job we had a new employee start and when we asked her if she wanted to join us for lunch, she declined and said she brought her own. When we came back, we all had emails from her saying thanks but she quits.

Jul 19, 2013
OverTheHedge:

Not consulting, but at a prior job we had a new employee start and when we asked her if she wanted to join us for lunch, she declined and said she brought her own. When we came back, we all had emails from her saying thanks but she quits.

This one made me laugh. Classic.

Jul 19, 2013
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Jul 19, 2013