Which Offer to Take - Bad Dept. at Goldman, or Good Dept. at Jefferies?

What do people weigh the most when considering multiple offers? The overall firm, or the specific department in which you'll be working?

And by "Goldman," I don't necessarily mean Goldman, but top-tier firms, in general. Same for "Jefferies" -- that represents a "second-tier" firm.

I'm just trying to ascertain whether it's better to work in a bad/boring department at good firm, or good/more rewarding work at "lesser" firm.

Comments (33)

Jul 30, 2018

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Jul 30, 2018

Do the opposite of what this guy said

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Jul 30, 2018

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Jul 30, 2018

Yeah I'm going to have to second this. Money is money. The brand value you get from GS doesn't outweigh the bonus money you'll earn working front office elsewhere, and it will always be easier to get to GS front office coming from another front office rather than trying to get in from BO.

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Jul 30, 2018

So if you get a BO job at some firm, will that always be held against you at that firm? In the sense that it will be stigmatizing and, at least at that firm, you'll most likely be viewed as a "BO Guy?"

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Jul 30, 2018

I don't think you should think about the bonus money... it's all gravy as you move up.

Focus on where you get the best experience (i.e. build relationships for the future and develop skills that allow you to succeed)

Jul 30, 2018

Hmm... sounds very level-headed and measured coming from an AspiringDegenerate. But thanks, I suppose that's sort of the answer/opinion I was hoping for -- go with your gut, what feels right and what you actually want to do.

Jul 30, 2018

It is absolutely not all gravy as you move up. You can earn $1mm+ in a senior front office role at a bank and more if you go buy-side. Try finding out how far up you have to go on the back office ladder to get to $500k. A second or third-year FO analyst can earn even more than some director-level people in back office.

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Jul 31, 2018

What if offers are both FO, but offer at "better" place is in area you're just not very interested in (fixed income?)

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Aug 5, 2018
bfd:

What if offers are both FO, but offer at "better" place is in area you're just not very interested in (fixed income?)

Then you turn them both down and join the crew at Starbucks because with that Brown degree, its the trendy thing to do. Plus, they have free health insurance! Think of how many hits and likes you'll get if you make a stance against the corporate industry so early in your career to put forth your notions of the idealistic world to common folk as you fill up their coffee day after day. They will never know that you're a genius working behind the desk as a humble barista! This will definitely make a great introduction to your autobiography. Profits from the autobiography will be donated to African children without water. Obviously.

So fixed income? Nahhhhhh.

"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

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Aug 7, 2018

No, the team makes way more of a difference to long term happiness. Plus, it's not like the exit opps for Jeffries are the checkout stand at McDonald's.

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Jul 30, 2018

See, this is why I asked. Since coming onto this site, I've become surprised at the weight given exit opps. when considering your first job. I'm not saying that it's not right to do so; but it seems that a lot of people think exit opps. are an extremely important factor -- if not the paramount factor -- when deciding which job offer to take.

Aug 4, 2018
MichaelScarn:

See, this is why I asked. Since coming onto this site, I've become surprised at the weight given exit opps. when considering your first job. I'm not saying that it's not right to do so; but it seems that a lot of people think exit opps. are an extremely important factor -- if not the paramount factor -- when deciding which job offer to take.

Exit opps is how you really evaluate options.

You can go to Harvard or Penn State. Why Harvard? Exit opps(among other things).

If it's FO vs. Mo vs. Bo, take whichever role is FO. If it's both FO, take the one you'll feel youll be more rewarded in, not just financially, but networking and exposure to. Being a big fish in a small pond can be great. You want to exposure to. And getting out of MO/BO into FO is really fucking hard. Doable, but fucking hard

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Aug 6, 2018

As an example, what if it's JP/Goldman/BAML Risk (MO) vs Nomura/BNP/BMO IB (FO). Where would you be better off?

Aug 4, 2018

Avoid the back office and middle office like the plague, or you may never get out.

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Aug 5, 2018

Role > firm. It's better to be in the head of the snake than in the tail of the tiger (the opposite of the Talmudic wisdom). You're gonna be closer to the food and you're not going to get the sh*t splatter that the tail frequently gets.

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Jul 30, 2018

All good, thanks guys!

Aug 6, 2018

I would take the role that most aligns with what you want to do because at the end of the day the skills you end up learning in IB (for example) are most transferable to other industries than a MO/BO role at a top bank. I know people who've been in this exact situation and took roles like credit risk etc at a GS/JPM and inevitably felt stuck there. The opposite is almost always true of folks who went to a Jefferies/Macquarie/etc but are doing great front office work.

TLDR: Role trumps prestige by a long shot.

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Jul 30, 2018

Thanks. Yeah, sometimes you can get blinded by the prestige, but I guess it'd be like being a starting pitcher for the Rays or pitching BP for the Yanks. You would definitely go with the Rays. (I realize this analogy might not be the best one... but you know what I mean).

Aug 6, 2018

Always work in something you truly enjoy and you'll find money comes easy. I don't burn out because I love every minute of what I do and so do the people I work with.

Jul 30, 2018

Yeah, I gotta remind myself of that. If you don't mind me asking, what is your job and why do you love it so much?

Aug 7, 2018

FO > MO/BO

Now if you're debating groups...like the "worst" product group at GS vs the "best" at Jefferies, that might be a more worthwhile argument.

"If you have a difficult task, give it to a lazy person; they will find an easier way to do it." - Hlade's Law

Aug 8, 2018

Take the good dept at Jeffries, wait a year, transfer to the good dept at Goldman

Oct 15, 2018

Simple - Jefferies without a doubt. They're the best MM right now and also why would you want to be working at a good firm doing shitty work that doesn't grow your skills/career? It depends on what you're comparing tho. I would say any M&A / investment banking coverage group at GS / MS / other EB would be better than at Jefferies, but it all comes down to what you want.