I'm a Senior Associate at a MM PE fund in my mid-20s. I enjoy what I do, but want to try something different.
I've had an entrepreneurship bug as far back as I can remember, so this would be the most logical place to jump, for me. Chances are I'll fail. I'm quite realistic about the probabilities of becoming a successful entrepreneur. I'm aware of the stats. Nevertheless, I feel as though there's no better time in my life than now - to try and to fail trying. I'm at a point in my career where my future could take one of two fairly different paths. I could see myself continuing to move up in PE and next thing you know I'm 40 with kids and am making okay money, not fuck you money, but doing well enough to remain complacent. The proverbial "golden noose." Nothing wrong with that scenario, but I know myself well enough to know that I'm not going to be truly satisfied until I take at crack at something else at some point in my life, taking some fat risks and pursuing with purpose. I could completely fuck up and wake up a few years from now and still be under 30. Even if I am to fail, personally, I think it could be a journey worth having.
But I don't want to get hung up on that part as much. What I want to focus on and what I wanted to ask the WSO community is about how this "break" would be perceived in the echelons of the finance world if I wanted to return, after, say a 12 - 24 month period.
- Would temporarily pivoting away from "the track" hurt my chances of returning to a MM PE fund?
- Would it look better to join a start-up, than to found your own company?
There wouldn't exist a "gap" on my resume necessarily, but certainly would not show as following a linear PE/finance route. My sense is that having 2 years IB experience and 3 years PE experience (with solid reviews, recommendations, etc.) is still strong, even if you did take a year or two to experiment. Perhaps you even become a more interesting candidate to some.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.