What should I do with my life/career (help needed)

Hi everyone!

I am a long-time WSO reader, however, I never posted before and so this is my first time asking for help here. Just want to briefly acknowledge that English is not my native language so apologies if some mistakes/inaccuracies. So here is my story.

I am located in so-called emerging market (Asia). Industry is fairly small represented by some BB branches and a couple of local banks which actually do better in terms of the dealflow. Went to target school, graduated with close to 4.0 GPA and combined my last year at university with working in IB at one of those locals where I managed to convert internship into FT offer (also had a couple of offers from BB branches, however, declined them since they offered intern positions while I was an analyst already).

I came from quite wealthy family with both of my parents (long-time divorced) operate their own businesses. Important to mention – I never had great relations with my father, as he was always focused on «work hard play hard» and never paid much of his attention to kids (I have 4 siblings/half-siblings). Personally, I also always wanted to achieve something on my own, was never solely financially driven and considered IB the best option to test what I am really worth.

I spent in IB two years. At the end of my second year my father who was in his mid- fifties came to me with a proposal to head his company (by that time it was ca. 20 USD mln Revenue, 3.5 USD mln EBITDA, B2B products manufacturer). Before that he never discussed with me or any of his kids the idea of running his company, as he considered us grown in comfortable environment unable to do so, but seeing my independent success (well, kind of), hard work and being fed up with working himself he probably changed his mind.

When I first started I thought it would be great to spend my whole career in banking making it up to MD, however, given that industry is not doing so well in my region which ultimately affects the pay and the exits, at the end of my second year I considered switching to something else (MC, industry, etc.) and then my father came to me with this offer, which I agreed to at the end. As a matter of fact, I was good (not great but good) at work in IB – wasn't the star analyst but always put everything at work, never ever pushed back and produced almost error free products by the end of my first year and always had good reviews from all of my seniors.

To be clear, I was offered the following: for a month or so he shows me how the things work there, then he quits and leaves me on my own running it. Also I was promised and equity stake subject to results of my first year results (specific indicators were set). Everything was fine during my first year; I quickly got up to speed, got together with all major clients, extended our distribution, and enhanced profitability.

To cut the long story short we delivered it well during my first year and…here is where it all went wrong.  For the first month or so of the next year my father kept telling me «everything is fine, delivering on my promise is just a matter of time", "will fix this shortly, need some time, etc.". I kept listening this and worked even harder, but after some time I got fed up, felt myself like a complete dumbass and by the mid-year decided to quit. I was still 22 and a half and had some chances to make comeback in my corporate career. However, only I started touching waters with some headhunters the worst nightmare happened – father faced some serious criminal charges (was personal not business related) and was arrested and remanded.

I was pissed off at him but felt like I can't quit at the moment and leave him in such situation as lots of work needed to be done: reassuring clients, lenders, employees that everything is fine and we just continue working and so did I. It lasted for almost a year; happily he was almost cleared from the charges, pleads almost innocent and got away with the minor fine.

Although those 8 month were incredibly intense, we (I always put it like this since it was not only my work but the people who worked with me also) managed not only to stabilize the situation but to deliver quite impressive growth by successfully entering two new markets within a year, which in fact doubled our revenue and EBITDA (it is now 40 USD mln Revenue and 8 USD mln EBITDA company) and those two markets still provide for ample growth opportunities. After achieving this I felt like maybe he kind of changed his mind over that time and would give me what he promised initially. However, it was not the exactly the case. He did praise my work and decided to raise my salary as CEO (it is now on BB Senior Associate/junior VP level). Of course, he doubled down on his equity promise saying he needs more time as he has personal stuff to fix which happened during his absence. Of course, I do not believe him.  The question I would like to ask you WSO to help me with is quite simple – how do I recover from this and what should I really do. I am almost 24 now, have 2 years of IB experience, quit, and now I am running MM manufacturing company with no personal development options. However, if I quit (which I am leaning to right now) the prospects are not that fantastic also given that I don't know how do I sell the experience above to any "prestigious" (yes, we are on WSO so it should came up at some point) firm especially given that the domestic market is not doing well and companies tend to cut costs as much as they can; not wasting too much money on M&A, advisory services, consulting projects. As for "non –prestige" positions, well…I already have one (yes, I consider heading MM company with low brand awareness (it it industry specific thing), to be not so exiting, and would have never taken the offer unless there was equity stake involved).

So I really don't know what to do, I feel like I am completely f*****, for the first time in my life I really don't want to get up in the mornings, go to work, achieve, deliver, etc., and see no clear way out of this. I don't want to sound like a complete wimp but I feel like I am broken apart.  

So, guys, I know WSO has some of the best members in terms of providing "strategic advice" and as you can see I am really desperate for some.

Thanks if you managed to read the whole thing, please share your thoughts as I really need some independent view on this.

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Comments (1)

Sep 13, 2021 - 2:03pm

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