Venting About Job/Life Situation

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Hey Guys,

 

I just need to vent since I’m feeling pretty despondent about my career. This is a burner account since I’m too embarrassed to post on my actual account for some reason. 

 

Quick background: non-target, IBD 2yrs, PE 3yrs (1yr at a portco as FP&A Director and working on M&A with my PE principal). I was effectively laid off at the end of April b/c we had hired a permanent FP&A Director and there wasn’t anything in the pipeline M&A wise. So I’ve been looking for work ever since. 

 

I know the job market is fairly dismal right now but I feel like I’ve just about exhausted anything I can do proactively. I’ve reached out to probably every few fund there is outside of NYC/LA/SF (I’m from LA and don’t want to live in CA now that I’m 27 and married) and have been applying for corp dev / FP&A type roles. I feel like I’m sitting on my hands relying solely on recruiters or the rare LinkedIn posting. Not to mention how stir crazy I’m going without any intellectual stimulation from work. It’s weighing on me and I’m getting fairly depressed as a result. 

 

The last 2-3yrs have been very tough for me for reasons I’d rather not discuss and it seems like I can’t catch a break. In addition, my financial position isn’t very strong after a stupid amount of medical expenses over 2yrs and more than I care to think about on restoring a classic car that I’ve always dreamed of, a watch and wedding ring. I will sell the car and watch for a loss if I absolutely need to regardless of how attached I am to them given how hard I worked to both afford them and to restore the car. 

 

I’ve been staying in various AirBnB’s across the country with my wife to try and make the most of unemployment which has made things slightly better. It’s hard to focus on and enjoy what you do have when everything else seems to be on fire. I know I should try and enjoy all this time with my wife but it’s hard when I know I need to work on turning things around. Now I’m staying at her parents house to save some money for a month or two which is a huge kick in the balls to my self esteem. I never imagined this is where I’d be in my late 20’s. 

 

I just needed to get all that off my chest since maybe someone else here can relate in some fashion. 

 

Cheers,

ShortMe

Comments (15)

 
Most Helpful
Sep 11, 2020 - 4:00pm

I've never been the best at providing solace but I had a very similar situation last year and we're kinda close to the same age but on different continents. I won't get into too much detail but effectively, I didn't perform optimally in my first analyst year because I was depressed as shit and I was let go at the end. It was probably for the best since I would have hated to realize 5 years down the line that every aspect of what I spend 80 hours a week doing is actually making me miserable.

Anyhow, I was forced to move back home with my parents at 26 and I realized that I had no savings, no real plan for the next 20 years, and I had been missing out on key moments of my life because I spent all of uni doing internships and getting good grades. During this time I read Rich Dad Poor Dad which is probably the most impactful book I've ever read and it changed my view not just on personal finances but on where your overall priorities should lay.

After some thinking, I decided to go back to school and study engineering which had always been my real passion, I'm now 1 year in and I love it, I even managed to find a part-time job at a small IB firm doing basic analyst shit. Point is, it's possible to turn things around. You're married, you have super good work experience in one of the most competitive fields on earth, and you probably have good references as well, you've come damn farther than most people at 27. Don't let this shit hit you too hard, at most it's gonna be a footnote in history. You know where Napoleon, one of the greatest men in history was when he was 27? He was crying in a small apartment in Paris because he had been demoted, he was in debt, and his career prospects seemed permanently capped. Four years later he conquered Italy, 5 years after that he was the emperor of France. Just take time to reflect and make a plan on where to go next and keep at it.

 
Sep 14, 2020 - 3:09pm

Thanks man, helpful to hear from someone who could relate. Loved the Napoleon comparison too, I'm a huge history buff. I would love to go back to school and study something other than finance/econ purely out of personal interest -- history or STEM probably. I spent a month or so this year learning mechanical engineering because it piqued my interest. I love what I do though (not solely PE but finance/business/operations in general) so wouldn't be a good use of time/money. I could study for business school to keep as a back pocket option.

 
Sep 11, 2020 - 9:57pm

You sound like you have good experience. I think if you keep knocking on doors, you should get one to open.

"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

 
Sep 12, 2020 - 10:34am

I'll also agree that it sounds like you have a good amount of experience and to keep knocking.

If you feel burned out with applying to positions, consider going for a professional designation or two. It's intellectual stimulation, and shows that you're continuing to develop professionally during this time.  Even B-grade designations help explain a gap to HR. I'm doing the same since work has slowed down during this. (Still employed though)

You may also want to suck it up and apply in NY/LA/SF as well. A big gap can be a career killer. I've moved multiple times to advance my career and keep it going.  Sometimes it was an awesome opportunity, other times it was basically with a gun to my head and unemployment as the alternative.  Even if it's not ideal, it's easier to get a job if you have a job.

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
 
Sep 14, 2020 - 3:19pm

Such as CFA/CPA? Yeah that's definitely a way to stay productive and active in my development; though I'd be more interesting in learning a field other than finance while I have the time to do so. Not to make a career switch but because I've always enjoyed learning something new to further diversify my knowledge base.

 

I agree and have decided LA is back on the menu. Should be able to get a little more traction with my network and ties to the area. As for SF/NY, I'll keep an eye out for opportunities where my interest in the position outweighs my geographical preference. 

 
Sep 13, 2020 - 11:12am

you probably know that applying to an online job posting never works...you got to talk to a human being, and have them suggest you to the hiring person for an interview....just like college kids from non-targets who cold email for coffee chats to get their foot in the door.  This aspect never really changes when you are not coming from a position of strength.

so, look on linkedin / indeed for openings, and then search for any kind of warm opening to email (ask a former colleague to  call on your behalf as an intro if you can via common linkedin connections ("hey john, i know a guy who is looking for a new role and i see your group is looking to hire for xyz...i think you 2 would be a good fit....here is his resume")...and if not, then connect on linkedin yourself and then DM there....and if that doesn't connect, then cold email yourself).  This is what it takes to get a job in this industry when you are not coming from a position of strength.   Think back to when you were employed, and random people reached out to you, trying to connect. 

 
Sep 13, 2020 - 11:17am

Agreed with fellow commentators here. Focus on managing what you can control and that starts between your ears. Focus on attitude. Focus on setting yourself up for wins. To me, that means planning. Plan where you want to be in one year. Then plan what needs to happen over the next week, month, three months in order to get where you want to be in a year. If you have a written down, formulaic plan then you will have a path. The plan will change but it will at least guide you. You are clearly a smart person with a track record of success. Determine what needs to happen to get where you want to go and then start walking down that path. Good luck. Chin up.

 
Sep 14, 2020 - 3:26pm

IB: I was in levfin and then restructuring, mainly O&G with some retail, healthcare and industrials. PE: Industrial focused fund; the bulk of my experience was within building products. One idea I've tossed around is acquiring a small 1 location company within the footprint of the platform I worked on/at and flipping it to them after polishing it up a bit. I know a fair amount about the industry and was directly involved in our operational improvement initiatives, so I wouldn't be going in blind. 

 
Sep 14, 2020 - 4:53pm

i'm personally of the opinion that the US is about to go thru a prolonged recession  / depression (unless congress passes that 3 trillion HEROES fiscal stimulus bill....which requires the dems sweeping the election)...so now might not be the time to take that kind of risk without the personal wealth behind you that allows you years of waiting time.

 

Why are you against the idea of going back to IB, or another PE shop as a VP / senior associate, if only for a couple years to build up your personal war chest?

Being an entrepreneur is much easier when you own your home with no debt and have 400k in the bank, separate from your investment capital.  You can sleep at night knowing that if it takes you 2-3 years to flip, its not a problem.  1-2 years of working for somebody else to save a decent chunk of cash is nothing..especially when you are getting paid well.

 
  • Analyst 1 in Other
Sep 14, 2020 - 3:48pm

This could be inaccurate because I'm not applying to jobs right now and don't know how bad the job market is, but it sounds like you have killer work experience and shouldnt be having this much difficulty finding a job. You have IB and PE experience which everyone on this site would kill for. Maybe you need to lower your standards for the time being or expand the locations you're willing to work at until the economy improves

 
Sep 16, 2020 - 1:51am
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