Want to quit, but have no clue what else to do. Anyone have a similar experience?

No offense to anyone on this board who loves their job, I truly envy you. But I think I've finally reached the point where I'm over not only the job but the entire IB --> buyside career track. I've been hanging on for the promise of the next job, and have come around to the realization that I don't really want the next job, and there's no reason for me to be sacrificing my health/life and working 16 hour days on something i'm not passionate about, for something I don't even truly want.

I want out, but honestly don't have a clue what else to do. I wish I could say that I had a strong passion to follow, but I'll just be honest and say that I don't. Obviously I have pipe dreams of moving to the virgin islands and scooping ice cream, but it's not realistic to think that would actually make me happy in the long run.

I'm not asking for the magic solution or anything, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has gone through this, or is going through this, and how they've handled it.

Comments (23)

Mar 30, 2016

lol

Mar 30, 2016

Agreed with CTLax50 on the vacation part, not the "pussy" part. That was a douche thing to say.

What is your coverage space in ER? Are you interested in maybe working in the industry? Even switching to the buy side or starting your own Asset Management firm sounds bad to you? What are your passions? Maybe you can start something that interests you.

I don't want to be in IB forever. The ultimate goal for me is to start another business, but on a highly successful level. Nothing more rewarding than seeing your hard work pay off.

    • 3
Mar 31, 2016

Travelling and doing some soul-searching will be your best friend. There is no magic formula around this. I have wanted to get into IB/Trading, but lately I have been looking into Financial Advising (Morgan Stanley and various firms) because of their flexibility and scheduling. Starting salaries are great and it shares a good work/life balance as oppose to making a load of cash at the expense of family and friends.

Just...one step at a time. I would start by eating healthy first, exercise, and continue from there. This will help improve your thought-processes a lot.

Hiten

    • 3
Mar 31, 2016
Hiten619:

Travelling and doing some soul-searching will be your best friend. There is no magic formula around this. I have wanted to get into IB/Trading, but lately I have been looking into Financial Advising because of their flexibility and scheduling. Starting salaries are great and it shares a good work/life balance as oppose to making a load of cash at the expense of family and friends.

Just...one step at a time. I would start by eating healthy first, exercise, and continue from there. This will help improve your thought-processes a lot.

Hiten

Where are you getting your information?

MS FA starting salary is abysmal and has like a 95% failure rate...

    • 1
Mar 31, 2016

Financial Advising starting salary at MS is not great and there is a high chance of failure. Unless you get yourself on a team where they will throw your revenue/accounts.

    • 1
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Mar 31, 2016

Travel, soul-searching, eat healthy, depussification? I'm going to go way out on a limb here...GO GET LAID

    • 1
    • 6
Mar 31, 2016

I went through a similar experience of realizing I was on a path that I no longer wanted to be on. I don't have recommendations on specific jobs you should look at, but I do have three suggestions for solving the bigger question of "what do I do with my life?"

1) You mentioned that you wish you had a strong passion to follow, but I think following your passion is a bad idea. Check out these two articles for why:
- https://80000hours.org/articles/dont-follow-your-p... - http://blogmaverick.com/2012/03/18/dont-follow-you...

2) Something that helped me was reading a book called "How Will You Measure Your Life?" I wrote a book summary for WSO a few months ago that you can check out here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/how-will-you-m...
3) Finally, make sure you enjoy this process. This should be exciting, not stressful! Not many people have the luxury and freedom to stop their career and do literally whatever they want. Forget about the pressure to succeed that you inherited from the finance world and just put yourself out there and try stuff. You're never going to have a moment in your life where you stop and say "I'm finally happy", so make sure you're enjoying the journey along the way.

Good luck!

    • 3
Mar 31, 2016

How is a 1st year ER associate over the whole IB --> buyside career track? :)

In all seriousness, though, I feel the same way you do. Good luck on your search. I wish I had something to offer, but I'm trying to find my way too.

Mar 31, 2016

Agree with Sil this is kinda strange coming from a 1st year ER.

A lot of suggestions from students who have yet to experience this feeling and people who have already gone through with the IB -> Buyside track.

I'm interested in hearing from people who left IB or even finance. What type of jobs did you end up in, what type of marketable skills did you have (other than being good at excel and powerpoint alignment), and are there any regrets?

To lurker2312's question though, a lot of my friends from BB research have moved into industry. Many of your skills would be useful for an IR/corp-fin/strategy role and I'm sure you could pivot from this into something bigger further down the line.

Mar 31, 2016

A couple thoughts:

  1. If you haven't, get your finances in order. I can unequivocallly say that I do not have the flexibility I wish I had. I'm working on that, and if you aren't I encourage you to do so as well.
  2. Take a vacation and/or just quit. Sometimes, and not always, the best way to shock yourself into making a change is to simply do it. Maybe it's going back to grad school, or maybe it is simply affording yourself the time to focus on you and only you to gauge your options.
  3. Lack of passions isn't a bad thing, my guess is that you have them you just haven't focused on them in awhile due to work. Candidly, passion is overrated unless you are on Instagram hocking motivational quotes alongside supplement products.
  4. I would literally write down a list of things you liked and things you didn't like from your previous career. That can help you inventory the types of things to look for in your next move. If, for example, you find yourself enjoying and succeeding at talking with people you can look at careers which feature that. You get the idea. I've found that really helped me to focus in on how I want to move my career path over the next few years.
Mar 31, 2016

Pace yourself... I hit this bumpy road in college. I quit my 'prestigious' job without a real plan and have been fighting just for another chance at the seat. Granted it's a different track, but all the same. I shouldn't have bought into the grass is greener and instead stuck it out to find something much better.

    • 1
Mar 31, 2016

I have went through this process as well and after spending many nights just reflecting, I realized that it wasn't really the goal that would make me happy. It was what I was becoming in pursuit of my goal. By fighting through all of the challenges that came along with IB and PE, I now feel like I can truly face any challenge that life throws at me with the confidence that I handle it.

Learning these lessons at an early age will enable you to jump off the buyside track if you would rather pursue a different career later on. As to what will make you happy...you really have to look back and try to determine the moments in your life in which you were the happiest. When you assess these events or achievements, you can begin to understand what about that particular moment really made you happy and then try to pursue a career where you can relive this experience every day.
1. What is something you proud of today (something you are happy about)?

  1. What is something you aren't currently happy about or dissatisfied with?

You are happy if where you are today is where you believe you should be or maybe even further than you would have thought. You are unhappy if where you are today is not where your true identity says you should be. My health was the first one I chose to work on when I was facing the same situation. Once I got back in gym and started putting on muscle again, my energy was renewed and I felt 10x better even though nothing changed externally, everything inwardly changed.

Mar 31, 2016

I haven't even started working in finance yet, and I already wish I was a farmer (driving tractor or combine harverster) or professional athlete or owning some business, just not to go trough shitload u guys are mentioning here and dealing with miserable co-workers whose only value is to sacrafice everything to get money in life.

    • 1
Mar 31, 2016

You've already learned one hell of a lesson, and haven't had to go through the pain in order to find that out. Make use of this knowledge!

Best Response
Mar 31, 2016

You can get through this. A little over a year ago I was in a similar situation: I had a job I was good at, they had plans to promote me in 12-18 months, and I was planning a wedding to someone I had known for 5 years. To outsiders it looked like I was in a good place but I was fucking miserable.

What people didn't know was that I wasn't happy with what my job would become if I took the promotion but had no clue what else I should do. While I knew the guy for 5 years, we had only dated for 3 months before getting engaged and I started having this nagging feeling that we shouldn't be married at all. Making matters worse, I was using "the marriage" as a way to escape my current situation and suspect he was as well. I had never felt so empty in my entire life.

A few months before the wedding was supposed to take place I hit rock bottom - feeling like I was shuffling toward an inevitable death in the desert. I realized I felt zero purpose in my life whatsoever. It was about this time that I started looking into joining the Navy Reserve because I wanted to feel that there was some sort of purpose to my life. Well, he flipped out - apparently he had been envisioning me barefoot and pregnant and was opposed to my doing anything for myself (even though I was further along in my career and made more than him).

So six weeks before the wedding I called it off. I had decided I was going to focus on doing what felt right to me. I spent a few weeks identifying the aspects of my career that I loved and those which I was hoping to leave behind. Then I focused on the types of roles I enjoy and what gave me a sense of purpose - I tailored my work to focus primarily on those things so I could have the experience to get another job I loved. Now, here I am, I just started a new job a few weeks ago doing what I love and I'm happy. About a year ago I thought I was on the verge of a breakdown - and while I broke everything it wasn't a breakdown... I broke things deliberately and in a controlled fashion so I could put it all together in a way I wanted.

You can do it, just focus on finding the things that give your life some sort of meaning to you. You can more effectively plan your next step once you know those. And take a vacation.

Good luck!

    • 5
Mar 31, 2016

Very inspirational. "One step at a time."

Hiten

    • 1
    • 1
Mar 31, 2016

OP you can't accurately imagine your professional future using a present day perspective, you have no idea what the future will hold. Just take a vacation, get laid, recharge your batteries and keep steering the ship. Baby steps

Read this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Stumbling-Happiness-Daniel-G...

    • 2
Apr 1, 2016

OP, vacations are awesome, but they won't work...you'll begin stressing about coming back to your job a couple days before hopping back on the plane, if you can even completely unplug during the vacation at all. I went through this very thing, still am, to be honest. I quit IB, went into corp dev at a very acquisitive F500 company and was bored out of my mind, then went back into IB. The advice given by another poster is probably the best on here...stick around, but focus on getting your finances in order to afford you the flexibility to take a few months off or invest in something you would actually like to do. Personally, I've sadly realized the following: If you don't love your job (and won't unless you're working for yourself), you may as well work in a field that enables you to do the stuff you love when you're not working. Finance typically fits that bill and will sustain you well until you actually figure out what you want to do. Just don't fall victim to the "greener-grass" syndrome...

Apr 1, 2016

It all boils down to doing research on what they enjoy doing, knowing thy self comes to mind.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

Apr 2, 2016

just get a 9-5 corporate financial analyst gig

alpha currency trader wanna-be

Apr 3, 2016

How about trading stocks?

Apr 3, 2016
Comment
    • 1
Apr 5, 2016
Comment

...