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Young analyst just got fired - Page 3

post #31 of 44
actuarial models are super complex. i can see how the average person can make a serious mistake on one, but at the same time that mistake could cost the company millions and it is your job to get it right. why are you making the mistakes? is it lack of attention to detail? and if it is, is it just the way you are or are you distracted/unmotivated? the latter is fixable (if you even want to) but the former is not. also, please take this as friendly advice from someone who employs financial analysts (and not SF snark), but -
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginlimetonic View Post
Conduct not an issue, but my boss not satisfied with the outcomes on a specific project i've been working on-numerous errors. These errors are a result of my approach of thinking through the problem, implementation and self review. The past 6 weeks have been informal checkpoint sessions to correct this, and I have seen improvement in my approach to problems, but the outcome still shitty. They know there's plenty of tasks I have perfect outcome-familiar tasks, but there's a skill set mismatch as the job requires someone who can achieve robust outcomes in unfamiliar projects.
i hope this isn't how you communicate at work. even if this jargon is pretty common in your workplace, it still gets tedious and for critical conversations (like performance reviews) you need to speak as plainly as possible. what i think you just said was "if i have experience with the task, the outcomes are perfect. however, my job requires me to have perfect outcomes even if the task is unfamiliar, and i don't do that well despite numerous attempts to improve."
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginlimetonic View Post
I work in actuarial.
On notice but almostcertainly fired (boss hints) for contined defects in one particular task.. Owning an excel model.. I can't all the wholistic picture in how business decisions and changes require to be implemented in the model, which in itself is complex and thus making mistakes, missed by my self review.

Mistakes are unacceptable.

General actuarial work shouldn't be that difficult (I speak as a person who does R&D in insurance). There are a number of pricing actuaries at my office that surf the net and run policies through excel raters all day. The ones that are successful are the ones that breeze through the exams. How many exams (CAS or whatever the life side is) have you taken, and what is your pass rate like? This will largely determine your ability to find a new job. Your CFA work would add 0 value at my office (P&C).

If you find this job mentally demanding you should look elsewhere for work. There are plenty of jobs for actuaries that anyone with a minimum amount of skill should be able to do. Do you know SAS? I can't say I've ever used excel for anything more than formatting SAS code to look pretty.
post #33 of 44
Run a small amount of test data through it and hand check every cell. Keep the test results. This will not be much fun.
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by PipersSon View Post
I am assuming that the ongoing problem lies, in essence, in your excel work. That being the case have you considered the possibilty that you're not cut out for this kind of work, ie spreadsheets/ number crunching? In turn that would mean that you may want to relook your long term goals in sell side research.
+100000 Either you should seriously look into improving your Excel skills and/or attention to detail, or look for a job where you will not be working in advanced excel models.
post #35 of 44
I'm not sure how you expect to make it into buyside if you can't make i through one year of sellside, unless you're lateraling into some perfect lev finance position or something. Pretty sure you're going to have a really tough time with megafund and maybe mm. With that said, it's definitely far from over for you. Best of luck man.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from Plano View Post
It's always easier to find a job when you have a job.

I'd work on #2 and #3 at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS View Post
People always say that, but please be specific as to why?

Pressure not as bad as when one is unemployed.
post #37 of 44
post #38 of 44
I also have a problem with self review, but I'm good enough at other things that it has yet to seriously bite me in the ass.

It also helps to just get second sets of eyes from peers around your office, and to lend your own to them.
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginlimetonic View Post
My long term goal is to get into buy sides funds mgmt or sell side research
Quote:
Originally Posted by level32 View Post
I'm not sure how you expect to make it into buyside if you can't make i through one year of sellside
You should already know this, but as level32 correctly points out it will be very difficult to get a buy side position without sell side experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PipersSon View Post
That being the case have you considered the possibilty that you're not cut out for this kind of work, ie spreadsheets/ number crunching? In turn that would mean that you may want to relook your long term goals in sell side research.
Nobody has a long term goal of sell side research, do they? The good news for you is that Excel skills are the least of your worries on the sell side. Your personality and being able to work with the guys on the desk are more important. Obviously as an actuary you can build a model. More important is the fact that if you present yourself as a depressed, introspective, ho-hum actuarial you are going to get eaten alive in sell side.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginlimetonic View Post
Really depressed to report I've got 1 month towards dismissal, having been in this role for 1 year. Conduct not an issue, but my boss not satisfied with the outcomes on a specific project i've been working on-numerous errors. These errors are a result of my approach of thinking through the problem, implementation and self review.

The past 6 weeks have been informal checkpoint sessions to correct this, and I have seen improvement in my approach to problems, but the outcome still shitty. They know there's plenty of tasks I have perfect outcome-familiar tasks, but there's a skill set mismatch as the job requires someone who can achieve robust outcomes in unfamiliar projects.

I can't tell if you're working in finance or if you're a mid-level bureaucrat dealing with a bout of self-criticism during the Cultural Revolution.

Who knew Maoism and i-banking could seem so similar.
post #41 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Islander View Post
Nobody has a long term goal of sell side research, do they?

haha i'll keep this in mind...
post #42 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginlimetonic View Post
In reply to earlier responses..

-Idea that I talk boss into keeping me on lower pay. I'll think about it, but as others have correctly stated, it is nearly a certain decision to dismiss, as I have already been given 6 weeks to show improvement, and I'm still not at expectations for someone 1 year into this role.

If your boss is not willing to keep you on as an analyst, perhaps you could try negotiating moving into a slot for which you may be more qualified. This move, if successful, will give you continuity with the company, even if not in the original for which you were hired. If you can move into another slot there, even if you don't like the job, this would give you more time to pursue #3. Like it has been said, having a job while looking for one allows one to deal from a position of strength in negotiating for the job.


Quote:
-Consensus is on #3. Friends are supportive, I've been trawling industry contacts/friends for a new job.

-Basically, the issue is performance related. By not seeing all the linkages in other projects on this project 'the bigger picture'. Not fully understanding and thinking through how best to implement structural changes in a complex excel model, caused er
rors/defects in the my work. This is one really bad outcome, and as such that's the basis for dismissal.

Even though this advice comes late, finding a mentor on the job can be invaluable with jobs like this. In addition to learning the technical side of the business from them, it also builds a relationship with someone who can go to bat for you when problems like this arise, or least give you good advice on such situations.
post #43 of 44
Analytics is not for everyone, I think only you alone can decide whether you have the skillset or not to do it. You mentioned you were good at VBA, which as with most programming languages, is fairly "analytical" in nature. The difference is that business analytics requires a lot of "thought" and potentially real life experience. If you're going to look for a job, do it now, not after you're terminated.
post #44 of 44
This issue might not be you at all. It could be that your boss's managing style is not right for you. Maybe they need to spend more time with you and have a teaching role. I think a lot of bosses don't understand that when you are young, and out of school you might have the technical know-how, but they aren't working with you to leverage that. Perhaps you need to find a firm, or group that has a manager that is more willing to help you. You are ovbiously a smart guy with your credentials, but young people sometimes just don't know how to "do business" because they don't have that experience.
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