What's your backup plan?

There's an article on CNN today that talks about creative things you can do when you find out you're no longer going to be gainfully employed, and aside from the bullshit stuff about "mourning" the loss of your job, and learning a new language, it did get me thinking.

With the very real possibility (maybe "probability" is the better word) that you too will be kissing your career goodbye, at least for a while, what is your backup plan? Not to piss in everyone's cheerios, but let's be realistic here. The job market is virtually non-existent right now, so simply sending out resumes isn't going to cut it.

What's the next step for those of you who have already found themselves on the wrong end of a pink slip, or soon will be?

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Comments (105)

Dec 16, 2008 - 10:30am

You just keep looking until you can't anymore.

I've heard from analysts/associates that say they've interviewed with/networked with/sent an email to every boutique in NY, and alot in CT/PA/CA/MA and still nothing.

Its a bloodbath out there.

I wonder how many junior bankers are out there and how many investment banking opportunities are available.


We're about to enter a Great Depression.
Don't you want a president who's already dressed for it?

------------ I'm making it up as I go along.
Dec 16, 2008 - 1:23pm

That was a good article.

I can assure everyone that it is almost futile to job search right now, particularly at this time of year. If ever there was a time when it is acceptable to just chill out, now is the time. Mid-January may be a better time to resume a job search. Until then you are sending out resumes in vain.

Some perspective... I had dinner with friends this weekend. My girlfriend graduated with an MBA in 2006 and struggled in her job search THEN. She wanted to transition from finance to marketing and nothing ever came of her job search. Anyways, since then she started a family and now she's stay-at-home mom. However, her husband is the head of HR North America for a Fortune 500 consumer goods company. He said that with his travel and year-end strategic planning, he's not meeting with compelling candidates until early next year. It's just impossible from a scheduling standpoint to do anything right now.

There are so many folks that were laid off recently who think these are catastrophic times. But it's been catastrophic since 2002-2003. I've had MBA friends who graduated in the 2004-2006 time frame who have really struggled to find work. After operating lean since 2002, many firms aggressively scaled up their staffing needs in 2006-2007 because they were optimistic about their businesses. However, no one anticipated the awful year 2008 has turned out to be. So if you consider it this way, many of the layoffs are a result of a combination of trimming back to 2002-2003 staff levels and eliminating duplication of positions from so much M&A in the financial services industry due to these bailout efforts, and add to that an environment where banks are trying to reinvent themselves... VERY CHALLENGING TIMES.

I have a girlfriend who is in charge of HR for a middle market private equity firm. I asked her how it's going with her firm and she said she's been getting hit with so many resumes from well qualified candidates and it is extremely difficult to screen everyone. They're not aggressively hiring either so it's a bit of a headache.

There are many good industries out there that do not feel the impact of this market environment. I would recommend folks stop thinking purely about IB/HF/PE and consider Fortune 500 firms and "alternative" careers in finance.

Dec 16, 2008 - 3:43pm

Luckily I am still in college, and have an offer. My offer was my back up plan, as it is for a new M&A advisory team within a reinsurance company. My back up plan if they decide to say fuck it and buy some more CDOs is to go to colorado for a year and teach kids to snowboard. Its what I've always wanted to do, and if this job falls through I might just stay there for a while

Dec 16, 2008 - 4:20pm

...ski bum for a year


We're about to enter a Great Depression.
Don't you want a president who's already dressed for it?

------------ I'm making it up as I go along.
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Dec 16, 2008 - 8:16pm

That's just up my alley. The same thing I have been considering for some time now.

If things don't workout and your offer falls through, shoot me a PM and we can work out the details.

Be easy and good luck,

Chris

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
Dec 17, 2008 - 7:49pm

I'm a senior without an offer, but if it stays that way I'm just going to go home, work at a local country club in the golf shop and found a charity or make a start up that'll keep the resume up, but at the same time be low stress

i've decided i'm really not going to worry about it anymore.

Dec 19, 2008 - 4:02pm

My firm in the San Francisco bay area is still hiring analysts. 70-80k starting salary, tiny bonus, 3-year commitment, 50-70 hours a week serving $100m+ clients. It wasn't sexy two years ago but now we're seeing refugees from all the investment banks. If you're really desperate, you can PM me.

Apr 13, 2009 - 3:58pm

What is your backup to working on Wall Street? (Originally Posted: 08/06/2009)

So obviously not everybody is getting the job that they want on Wall Street coming out of College this year because of the state of the economy.

For those with finance/business majors, what contingency options are you looking at? Corporate Finance? Going back to school? or something totally unrelated to your major to start with?

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:01pm

currently on the street but if i wasn't, i need to showcase my BSD in some shape or form


I'm making it up as I go along.

------------ I'm making it up as I go along.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:03pm

Well I don't think there's any company where I have a good shot at getting a job, but things I'm considering:

  • Start-ups -- preferably something to do with finance like WeatherBill.
  • Consulting & Advisory firms -- there's some firms that do say valuation work for bankruptcy protection.
  • Private equity funds -- usually funds who do a lot of outbound sourcing could use a junior person.
  • Proprietary Trading firms
  • Hedge Funds
  • Corporate finance at a large company
  • Investment Banks
  • Some sort of management training program at a large company

I don't think I could consider any of those back-ups. If I get more than one offer I'll be pretty happy already.

http://teamlram.wordpress.com

Jan 24, 2009 - 10:16pm

I read that the unemployment rate, while in excess of 7% for America, was somewhere around 3% for college grads. That's just college grads from any school in the country. What do you really think the unemployment rate is for a top 20 b-school grad with experience in one of the world's top financial firms? I think this is more a question of setting the bar too high vs. having no opportunities. Just because GS didn't call you back doesn't mean you can't land a high paying and rewarding job. If you stop thinking the world revolves around 10 firms based in NY then maybe you might have a little more luck. Just my thoughts. By the way, I'm gainfully employed and seeing opportunities.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:06pm

Do MO or f500 and delay graduation. No way I'm giving up.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:09pm

Ditto. Never rush it. Obviously if youre graduating from undergrad at age 25 youre gonna be a little suspicious.But if you need to transfer to a better school or do an internship that will in turn help your chances and give you more time to make it...by all means do it. Thats what I'm doing right now.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:08pm

I'm a math major, so my situation does not apply to everyone here. however, what my co-students - who want to go into finance do but dont get in - is either risk management (not as glamorous as trading or IBD, but also quite well-paid and good job security). Another option for many is actuarial work at an insurance or reinsurance company. grad school in financial math or financial engineering is an option as well. and last but not least management consulting. they love mathematicians, as they can are good at analytic/ problem-solving thinking. We've had math graduates who joined McKinsey, BCG, Roland Berger etc., then MBA and then headed to banks (or returned to their consulting firms, since the sometimes carry the tuition fees (under the condition that you come back, of course))

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:16pm
kelleykid:
fuck bitches, get money

That's my Plan A. Banking is Plan B. Plan C would probably be Corporate Law.

You know you've been working too hard when you stop dreaming about bottles of champagne and hordes of naked women, and start dreaming about conditional formatting and circular references.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:19pm

I'm currently on my Plan B now.

Was unable to get a FT Banking/Trading position in 2008 (my fault as I didn't know any better, and only tried AFTER graduating during the time banks had massive layoffs) ,so I co-founded an online startup (we're still not profitable but we're in the process of raising more capital from angels/vcs)

Hopefully I'll be applying to B-school within the next year, and take it from there..

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:20pm

What was your backup plan/career if you didnt make the street? (Originally Posted: 11/08/2010)

If I couldnt get a legit job out of a nontarget background I was going to say the hell with it and go join the navy and be a fighter pilot and pewpew lasers with my 20/13 vision. might as well fly a multi million dollar plane and go uber fast if youre not making bank.

and youuuuuuu?

Mar 9, 2009 - 9:08am

Sometime last year, when I started university, Plan B became the Plan of Action. It also coincided with the start of the subprime mess.

Law School.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:22pm

I would be a consultant to Somali Pirates...

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:24pm

Being a trust fund baby

I had a flair for languages. But I soon discovered that what talks best is dollars, dinars, drachmas, rubles, rupees and pounds fucking sterling.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:28pm

AllDay_028:

Ya, bro, being a navy fighter pilot is way easier than getting an IB job....

Also, here I am, doing my backup.

Any regrets? Do you at least enjoy what you're doing?

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:27pm

Also thought about arms dealing and contracting for rogue militaries. Pops has a lot of contacts in West Africa.

I had a flair for languages. But I soon discovered that what talks best is dollars, dinars, drachmas, rubles, rupees and pounds fucking sterling.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:29pm

brazzers

Disclaimer for the Kids: Any forward-looking statements are solely for informational purposes and cannot be taken as investment advice. Consult your moms before deciding where to invest.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:34pm

shorttheworld:

If I couldnt get a legit job out of a nontarget background I was going to say the hell with it and go join the navy and be a fighter pilot and pewpew lasers with my 20/13 vision. might as well fly a multi million dollar plane and go uber fast if youre not making bank.

and youuuuuuu?

That actually sounds like fun.. 20/6 vision checking in.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:35pm

If you're fired, whats Plan B? (Originally Posted: 11/17/2008)

As someone who is waiting for the other shoe to drop, I'd be curious to hear what other people in finance who have been laid off or are waiting for impending layoffs plan to do if they're let go.

I'm looking into Teach for America or considering going to a non-top 10 B-school.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:36pm

Here's what I've heard (not in this current downturn, but in past downturns):

  • going back to the family business
  • get married, move to Australia and opened a bar
  • opened a restaurant
  • started an apparel business
  • became a general contractor
  • Teach for America
  • Peace Corps
  • joined government agency or NGO (IMF, World Bank, etc.)
  • traveled for one year before getting an industry job
  • took time off before enrolling in medical school
  • move back with parents, reassess life for 6-12 months

If you're young and single, as dire as it may seem, know that it could be a lot worse - you could have a mortgage and kids like some of my friends/classmates who are VPs and Directors who are fearing the axe. So long as you're willing to keep an open mind, there's a lot you can potentially do. And so you don't have the "perfect resume" that you were hoping for since undergrad. You may have a gap in work history. You may have to take a job that is beneath you. You may have to work at Starbucks to pay the bills (that has happened - not as uncommon as you may think). But none of this is fatal - it's a part of life. If you don't struggle at any time in your life, you're not truly living. Tough times and the fear of a "spotty resume" can be a huge blow to the ego, but it'll make any future good news that much sweeter.

Alex Chu

Alex Chu
www.mbaapply.com

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:37pm

pulling a george constanza and trying to live off unemployment.
just kidding.

a non-top 10 school? so u can get into number 11? i think going to lower tier b-school makes sense. obviously ur not going to get into a large/prestigious IB.

If its a decent b-school where corporates recruit for FA's or big4 to regional accounting firms recruit for analysts/managers, then its a good idea.

u'll probably be pulling in (depending on the years of experience, I'm assuming 1.5) 55 to 75K a year.

If it were me with less than 2-3 years experience, I'd volunteer/teach for america/work in microfinance and then craft a story around that to gear it towards a Stanford, Columbia or NYU. I doubt HYP or Penn would much care for it. Depends on what u want to do after b-school.

After hearing some of my friends' stories, I'd leave finance/accounting/consulting altogether.

Thats just me though.

------------ I'm making it up as I go along.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:39pm
Cornelius:

If it were me with less than 2-3 years experience, I'd volunteer/teach for america/work in microfinance and then craft a story around that to gear it towards a Stanford, Columbia or NYU. I doubt HYP or Penn would much care for it. Depends on what u want to do after b-school.

Princeton does not have a business school. Yale SOM ain't that great. The categorization of "HYP or Penn" in one bucket is completely meaningless in a b-school context.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:40pm

What is your plan B? (Originally Posted: 11/16/2011)

So, after being black listed from two solid internships due to the failure of the grand state of New York yo correctly file paper work I've started to think, what am I going to do if (when) I don't land a high flying gig in the world of finance?

Being honest with myself I'd be completely miserable working in some random corporate/public office making 60k a year for the rest of my life. I always figured the over sized paychecks of BSD's would make it all worthwhile. However, in the highly likely event that doesn't happen I'm weighing my options. If I'm going to get paid like the 99% I want to at least be living a top 1% interesting life.

Maybe I'll go to Australia and start digging holes? I've got a few bat shit business ideas floating around in my head. I could slang crack, be a hitman, collect cans, start siphoning off natural gas from upstate New York myself until I have enough to retire on while everyone else is caught up in regulatory bullshit. Actually considering learning ruby since I could freelance from anywhere and make bank (I feel this is too legitimate).

Seriously, what is your game plan if you can't get a "dream finance gig"

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:42pm

the going rate for a hit is $10K. to make a decent associate salary you need about 20 hits a year, assuming you are not paying taxes on your blood money. however, the nab rate for first degree murder is 10% so you are looking at an EV of 2 murder apprehensions per year if you are no better than the average murderer in covering your tracks. according to my friend the assistant DA by the time they charge you they almost have an airtight case, but even then, assume a a 50% convict rate to be generous. you should fully expect to get convicted for at least one murder for your first year's operations. i don't know how you would discount 20-life in prison or the possibility of the chair if you are particularly gruesome with your methods.

all i can say is if your victims bought any burgers before you greased em don't eat the burgers.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:44pm

Well if I had to pick a plan A right now it would be consulting... if I couldn't do that I'd try to either:

a) see how trading is
b) become a programmer for a top company
c) do freelance programming
d) start a business
or
e) get a job writing reviews for video games... that would be bad assssss

in no particular order... I wonder how hard it would be to get a job reviewing video games for a magazine that is actually stable though

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:46pm

I forgot to mention that Plan C is evading jail time. If I was ever facing more than a year of jail time I'd split completely (or at least try to - lifes to short to spend it locked up) and go live on an island drinking my weight in rum every night.

@Eddie I worship your life man you've done more crazy shit than any of us will dream of

@ivoteforthatguy GTFO with that negative shit. I watch Dexter It doesn't seem that hard..

@Asatar The only way I would teach is if I could bang 17 and 18 year olds all year without being called a "pedophile"

@Scott comon you can't get anymore creative than that? I could see a writing gig though I've been toying with the idea of writing a book on how to be a homeless professional.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:47pm

I don't want to get more creative than that... if we're talking about realistic goals, that's my list. Though touring the country/world playing metal or techno shows (weird combo. whatever) would probably be my number one choice.

Still though, if I stumbled upon a billion dollars I'd probably still try to do everything mentioned on that list (trade [or invest]/start business/program (though starting a business and programming would probably be done at the same time) ... except I wouldn't get a job reviewing video games, I'd just play them whenever I wanted

I had my creative lifetime goal... I was going to school for music so I could eventually go to a school to learn how to be a sound "engineer" (work in a studio). I don't think it's really for me anymore, I don't want to turn a passion into a job... and learning how to play music (guitar) in a school setting is bullshit.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:49pm

@Scott a kid I went high school with spent a year becoming a "certified" sound engineer and now works at a club in Colorado. The kid got better grades and partied harder than the rest of us and he did what he wanted to do. I don't know what the salary potential is for a sound engineer but I wish I had something like that, something I knew I wanted to do and that I'd be willing to do for no money at all.

Apr 13, 2009 - 4:59pm

Well I'd rather work in a studio than a club, but still, I'd rather not do it at all... I'm a perfectionist when it comes to recording music and there's pretty much no right or wrong when recording music, so I'd probably spend 10x more time recording something than I should.

Salary potential really isn't too great unless you become a big shot producer... even then, I took a class with a producer that's worked with Eminem, Aretha Franklin, and some other people. He had a house that was really not something to gawk at (the producer himself had ~12 platinum records and ~10 gold records to his name). Though it was right next door to his studio which was in residential area.

Even then, the low pay wouldn't bother me, but I've talked to the producer of Between the Buried and Me's albums (they sound amazing) and he said that he usually spends 80 hours a week working and I doubt he's making tooooo much, especially considering how the recording industry is doing in times like these with torrents and whatnot.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough. "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:52pm

Plan B? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING PLAN B

Get busy living
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:54pm

Be a cop so I can beat hippies with a stick.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Apr 13, 2009 - 4:56pm
happypantsmcgee:
Be a cop so I can beat hippies with a stick.

Man I'm tired today, I just busted out laughing and I couldn't stop. Well played good sir, the [insert major metropolitan city here] PD would be proud.

#1: "Have you seen ______'s analyst. She's only about 3 weeks of anorexia away from looking hot." #2: "Maybe 4." -GSElevator
Apr 13, 2009 - 5:01pm

Sell drugs for a living. You make way more sitting on your ass doing that than putting your brain to the test in finance. Hell, if you're smart enough you can even create your own mini-pipeline.. but youre probably not that smart or strategic. 60k is not that bad for the first few years as long as you have another source of generating revenue. Maybe you should consider poker, gambling, selling drugs, prostitution, etc.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:02pm

@General, that method didn't work for me. That's how I posted it but it just showed up as the link.

@gstackle32, I fully intend on wingsuit jumping at some point. I will definitely wingsuit skydive but I don't know about wingsuit base-jumping yet. You've gotta be on point and have god-like reflexes in case shit hits the fan. Death is more a question of when not if in base jumping.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.
Apr 13, 2009 - 5:07pm

Plan B - What to do just in case? (Originally Posted: 04/26/2007)

What if all the nay sayers are right?

What happens if you wake up after 1st year/2nd year or even later and you realise you havn't got any friends left never mind a girl friend. You're fat and have started losing you're hair. The work is boring and because that's all you do you're boring, plus you've spent all that money you earnt on stupid rent and stupid stuff to stop you killing yourself?

Has anyone got a viable plan b? If you do you reckon you've got the balls to act on it? Or is it the case that once you're in you're in and you're consigned to a life as a 40 year old MD - rich but not rich enough, divorced with kids who either hate you or sometimes forget your name and worst of all actually looking forward to getting back to work because that's the only part of your life you're a success.

Did anyone really want to be a banker - really? Or are we just selling ourselves short for a high graduate salary and a brand name to impress our gran?

I wanted to do something cool with my life - am I? I'm not sure, it all seems so bleak.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:08pm

if you really want to switch after a few years, and you live in a major city, there are other opportunities. they may be lower paying, they may have different challenges, but they are there. the question you ask, which is actually quite a good one, speaks more towards the inner strength of the individual.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:09pm

i'm not in banking but it seems one attractive thing about that side of the business is the transferable skill set and top b-school placement. plenty of jobs for bankers both in and out of finance...it's a good way to work hard, learn a lot, and get a nice ornament for the resume so that when you know what you want to do, you're in good shape to do it. and if you do want to be a career banker it's probably because you enjoy it, so that doesn't seem so bleak either.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:10pm

Hey, this is a good thread which is touching on a thread I was gonna post asking about people's long term plans. I too have that major worry, although it has subsided a bit of late. I guess you have to keep in mind that your life isn't gonna follow a pre determined path and some possibly even small decisions will shift its path (with me such shifts led my towards IBanking in the first place).

To be honest for me a lot of it was just proving I was good enough to get in and now that I have proved that to myself, on paper at least in terms of offers, I am not anywhere near as keen. I've just sort of convinced myself that it is like doing some degree or something that will hold you in good steed and open other, albeit less well paying doors further down the line if that is what you want.
You need to know what you actually want, it might sound lame but all I want is a niceish house and a few kids. I came from money and know it doesn't really make a massive difference to your life if other things aren't in place.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:11pm

I think that is what a lot of people are looking for. They just want to prove to themselves that they can get this job and hack it, but don't want to spend a career there. You could always go into HEAVEN FORBID PWM. Also if the hours are the issue trading is less time consuming, but still more so than the average job.

I'm looking into a job at a CDO sales/management corporation, it's looking pretty good honestly.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:12pm

Well you are gonna be meeting with clients at meals and things like that. IF you do ultra high net worth stuff and only have like 40-50 clients you may work odd hours, but the comp compared to banking hourly is pretty good. You can be making 2mm working 40-50 hrs/wk.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:13pm

Swapping out into PWM is not really what I meant. Hasn't there got to be something more than landing a good hours/salary ratio?

I went to a party recently (not something that will be happening very often next year I guess) and the people I was sitting next to put it in perspective. One was a junior academic the other was finishing their architecture exams. These people loved their jobs were interesting and passionate about what they did.

When they asked me what I was going to be doing next year I felt ashamed. I mumbled something about working in the city and tried to move on. In their eyes I may as well have said I was shoveling shit for money. There was no value in my job apart from the money I was going to be earning.

What was really sad was I that I agreed. IB is dull 90% of the time if not in theory then in practice. None of us would be doing it if they didn't pay us well.

More and more I've been thinking it's a real cop out and a waste. We're all smart and driven people otherwise we wouldn't be getting these jobs - so why are we doing them and not something more?

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:17pm
quinn:

What was really sad was I that I agreed. IB is dull 90% of the time if not in theory then in practice. None of us would be doing it if they didn't pay us well.

I think this is the problem. You don't really seem to enjoy the work you're going into, so why do it? Personally, I would go into IB even if I only got paid 60 or 70k a year, because I know I want to build a career in finance, and this is the best place to start.

At the end of the day, I look at my career goals, and the type of work I like doing, and IB is the best fit for me right now. If it isn't for you, perhaps you should sit down and reassess your choices.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:14pm

it depends on what you want. your friends are gonna make 35-45k a year. you think there's nobility in poverty? go for it. if not, figure out something else that gives you balance. go be a doctor. start your own business. be a teacher. with every choice comes consequences. you've gotta be able to live with those too.

college is not the real world. it has a weird socialist type vibe that is divorced from reality. money comes freely. no one needs to work. you can sit at a party dreaming of big things, ignoring the realities of everyday life. it is not the real world.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:15pm

I agree with Jimbo, theres no nobility in poverty.

On the other hand you have to be able to do something that you like. For most of us it is convenient that we like numbers, math, and business, and we will be well compensated for enjoying said subjects. I for one follow the market as a hobby more than because I want interviewers and prospective employers to think I'm tapped in.

In the end it comes down to doing what your passionate about, you can always do some shit you hate for a few years to make money, but in the end you are just going to be looking for ways out.

That's not to say that it's difficult to switch, and I don't want to encourage people to live in the jungle and smoke pot for the rest of their lives.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:18pm
quinn:
What was really sad was I that I agreed. IB is dull 90% of the time if not in theory then in practice. None of us would be doing it if they didn't pay us well.
matty200:
On the other hand you have to be able to do something that you like. For most of us it is convenient that we like numbers, math, and business, and we will be well compensated for enjoying said subjects. I for one follow the market as a hobby more than because I want interviewers and prospective employers to think I'm tapped in.

I think these are two interesting perspectives. I am in IB because I enjoy business, math, the markets , and day to day challenges.

Others go into IB simply to chase the almighty $$$, I guess that might not be the best decision.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:16pm

I thought a lot about the same things you all are talking about now when I was in college and in my first 2 years out. I acted on them too, took some risks, left a good paying job to do something I was even more "passionate" about. With my opinion and $2.50 you can get a cup of coffee, but here's my opinion anyway.

It's true that you need to find work that you enjoy somewhat, or at least work where you enjoy a certain aspect of it. However, do not be dissapointed if every day on the job is not a great day, or if elements of your job are dull or annoying or you think are beneath you or your skills. If you're looking for nirvana at work, you'll be consistently dissapointed and spend your time jumping from job to job. Remember, it's work, you're fundamentally being paid to do something that someone else didn't want to do themselves, so keep your expectations in perspective.

The second point to keep in mind when you're in your first job and thinking that it's not nearly as cool as you expected is that life can be hard, and what are your alternatives. If you support yourself entirely, you need to earn a certain amount which you generally can only reach with professional grade jobs. If your family is able to give you money, you have the option to take a lower paying job and spend more than you earn. In this case however, you should consider how you feel about your parents paying for your living expenses and, more importantly, how long you plan to live off their largesse. If you take a non profit job now for $35k, your expected earnings in 10 years might be say $75k (in today's dollars), at a time when your expenses (with wife, kids' school, etc) are say double that. Are you comfortable asking your parents for $75k a year when you're married with 2 kids?

I think it's great to follow your dreams, just rembember to stay grounded in reality. Life can be hard. Prolonged periods of unemployment or illness can ruin peoples lives. Don't spit on a high paying job in banking if you have the opportunity.

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:21pm
Jimbo:
california if it paid 50k a year would you do it?

Its incredibly easy for him to just respond yes, but who would work almost twice as hard for the same or slightly more salary?

Very few people is the answer I'm looking for here.

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