What Job Would You Do If You Weren't In Finance?


I've been questioning my path recently. I'll be applying for full time positions soon and there's part of me that isn't 100% sold on what I am doing. It feels like it is the right path but I know there are so many other paths out there.

For me, if I hadn't spent so much money on an education, I would work with my hands. Go to trade school and become skilled in a trade. If you weren't doing what you are now, what would you be doing?

Comments (39)

Jun 10, 2019 - 10:37am

I recommend taking 6 or so months off and just work a simple hourly job. This break will give you the opportunity to think about what you want, and some a little less pressure to get a job right away. It'll also give you an opportunity to recharge a little after school. I was advised this and am extremely glad I did take the time off.

Jun 12, 2019 - 11:08am

Second this line of thinking. I worked in masonry for a few seasons in high school and after, mainly building patios and retaining walls. At first, it's moving pallets of bricks/pavers from spot to spot but once you get into the design and deeper into the building process, it's fascinating work. I look back on it now and still admire some of the work we did. It's an ultimate team profession. You build trust with those around you, not only that the job will get done, but you are trusting these people with the 12 tons of fill being dumped, the pallet of flagstone being bobcat'd in, or the backhoe digging the foundation while your next to the bucket with your shovel. You learn quickly that everything you work with is hard, extremely hard. Your feelings on indestructability go away quickly as you realize the damage and injury potential of pretty much everything.

It's back breaking work but it fulfills both the physical and creative side of things. I imagine that I could've kept doing it, working my way up to having my own crew, having a few trucks, and made a pretty good living.

Jun 11, 2019 - 3:33pm

I second this. I miss being tan af by the end of the summer and giving swimming lessons to little kids was always fun. Although the pool I was at (5+ years) the boss would sometimes have us out there for 2+ hours... I definitely was ready to leave by the end as I got hella bored just sitting up in the chair.

Jun 10, 2019 - 2:25pm

Probably either a college professor, opening a restaurant or a scalable fast casual chain I've been thinking about, or something related to supply chain operations management maybe.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Jun 10, 2019 - 4:29pm

Definitely Attorney. Took the LSAT and everything.

Thank god that didn't happen.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Jun 11, 2019 - 9:42am



Because I couldn't imagine being the person checking to make sure commas are in the right place on documents instead of actually doing the work

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Jun 10, 2019 - 9:40pm

Through college, I wanted to be a lobbyist. It’s not that different from my current role in PE BD — both involve managing relationships with high-profile individuals (CEOs v Legislators) and overseeing a long-term sales cycle (M&A v regulatory initiatives).

I chose finance of the two paths in large part because it offers a more defined/structured promotion path, better comp at the junior level, and is seen as more transferable. Not sure what else you’re considering, but I suspect you may come to a similar conclusion.

Jun 10, 2019 - 9:58pm

I've always wanted to be a cop as a kid. And honestly state troopers are quite well paid (up to 100K a year in some places such as Massachussetts). You work for 20 years and its 50k annual pensions for the rest of your life. Too bad there ain't a lot of exit ops.

When life gives you kefir and flour, make some blins.
Most Helpful
Jun 11, 2019 - 1:02am

Teach history or money management in high school and coach football at my high school alma mater.

Work in the athletic department at the Univ of Hawaii, my alma mater, and watch games from the sidelines in Aloha Stadium. If not a worker, then a wealthy booster.

Be some kind of strategist / diplomat or work in a think tank in East Asian foreign policy, for the State Department. For instance, help negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership or planning our response for the protests in Hong Kong.

Make war documentaries. Preserve the history for the person, the nation, but also for the families. Particular focus would have been WWII, but next the Korean War (the forgotten war), Vietnam, and our Middle East wars. Learning things like how Chairman Mao’s only heir son was killed in an UN air strike in North Korea, which altered world history, that gets my juices flowing.

I love what I do though.

Have compassion as well as ambition and you’ll go far in life
Jun 11, 2019 - 3:17pm

Architect or something in a related design field.

I enjoyed creative fields (art and technical drawing) in middle school / high school and excelled at it before switching gears into "business".

For anyone who hasnt seen it, the Nexflix documentary Abstract is excellent and follows renowned architects, sneaker designers, car designers, cartoonists, etc. It really struck a cord with me and has stayed with me since watching ~16 months ago.

Jun 12, 2019 - 2:34pm

Arms dealer or boxing trainer. Arms market in the US is too saturated and boxing is terrible for your brain. I love sparring but won't let myself do full contact anymore (we do body sparring below neck at my gym all the time still) due to CTE. Maybe I will own a martial arts gym one day and try to invest on the promotional side...

Jun 13, 2019 - 10:58am

if i could start all over again, i would be a coach. played sports in college and wish i had positioned myself accordingly.

fast forward, i worked in finance for a while then switch over to sales. glad i made the transition.

Jun 14, 2019 - 7:03am


Motivational Speaker. Uplifting people to find themselves is so empowering.

Aka cashing checks via regurgitating generic platitudes

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2020 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (17) $704
  • Vice President (45) $323
  • Associates (257) $228
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (37) $203
  • 2nd Year Analyst (142) $153
  • Intern/Summer Associate (134) $141
  • 1st Year Analyst (566) $129
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (547) $82

Leaderboard See all

Jamoldo's picture
LonLonMilk's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
Addinator's picture
Edifice's picture
redever's picture
frgna's picture
NuckFuts's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up