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Am I screwed? Career crisis...at 24.

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
I've posted here a few times over the past year about trying to move around in finance but actually face a serious issue now. About six months ago, I told my group head that I'm interested in exploring other opportunities in finance, be they at my current firm or with a hedge fund / private equity firm. I'm currently in New York; however, my girlfriend, whom I met while I was working in Canada (we dated for 8 months there), still lives in Canada so I'd like to move back. Her moving here isn't an option.

Over the past 6 months I've reached out to as many places in Canada -- maybe around 50 -- at which I'd be remotely interested in working. Only a few (<5) positions have actually come up and I haven't been able to get them for whatever reason. At this point, there are only a few more firms left to contact and maybe a few more I can try and re-tread. People at my current company are trying to be helpful and get me in front of their clients there, but I'm not optimistic.

This wouldn't be so bad, except I'm going to be laid off soon. We've hired someone to be my replacement, and while nobody is forcing me out the door it's probably best given that my interest in my current job is waning very quickly...probably exacerbated by my frustration in not finding a job I want. In ~2 months, I will have no job and have tapped out most of my prospects for one in Canada. I was thinking about business school to get a fresh start but my grades in college sucked (<3.0 GPA), though I did go to an Ivy and study a hard science, for what that's worth.

I wouldn't mind exploring a career in advertising/marketing but have no clue how to get started and my profile is definitely atypical for that field. I want the kind of job where I can think strategically but don't want a career path where the end goal is middle management -- i.e. I don't want to be a 50-year old "Vice President" or "Senior Manager" in some kind of Office Space environment.

The other alternative would be to break up with my girlfriend and find a job anywhere else in the world, which I could probably do easily.

I just can't help escape the feeling that if I'm unemployed I'll end up forced to take some mediocre, paper-pushing job just to pay the bills (although money won't be a problem for at least a year). I understand that some people here have been laid off and have people who really depend on them and entrenched lifestyles, so it's not the end of the world for me...but at the same time I don't want to *settle*.
post #2 of 83
Christ this reads like such a Madlib for anyone in their 20s->early 30s nowadays...
post #3 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftover_salmon View Post

I've posted here a few times over the past year about trying to move around in finance but actually face a serious issue now. About six months ago, I told my group head that I'm interested in exploring other opportunities in finance, be they at my current firm or with a hedge fund / private equity firm. I'm currently in New York; however, my girlfriend, whom I met while I was working in Canada (we dated for 8 months there), still lives in Canada so I'd like to move back. Her moving here isn't an option.
Over the past 6 months I've reached out to as many places in Canada -- maybe around 50 -- at which I'd be remotely interested in working. Only a few (<5) positions have actually come up and I haven't been able to get them for whatever reason. At this point, there are only a few more firms left to contact and maybe a few more I can try and re-tread. People at my current company are trying to be helpful and get me in front of their clients there, but I'm not optimistic.
This wouldn't be so bad, except I'm going to be laid off soon. We've hired someone to be my replacement, and while nobody is forcing me out the door it's probably best given that my interest in my current job is waning very quickly...probably exacerbated by my frustration in not finding a job I want. In ~2 months, I will have no job and have tapped out most of my prospects for one in Canada. I was thinking about business school to get a fresh start but my grades in college sucked (<3.0 GPA), though I did go to an Ivy and study a hard science, for what that's worth.
I wouldn't mind exploring a career in advertising/marketing but have no clue how to get started and my profile is definitely atypical for that field. I want the kind of job where I can think strategically but don't want a career path where the end goal is middle management -- i.e. I don't want to be a 50-year old "Vice President" or "Senior Manager" in some kind of Office Space environment.
The other alternative would be to break up with my girlfriend and find a job anywhere else in the world, which I could probably do easily.
I just can't help escape the feeling that if I'm unemployed I'll end up forced to take some mediocre, paper-pushing job just to pay the bills (although money won't be a problem for at least a year). I understand that some people here have been laid off and have people who really depend on them and entrenched lifestyles, so it's not the end of the world for me...but at the same time I don't want to *settle*.

Sounds like she really picked a winner....
post #4 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nananine View Post

Christ this reads like such a Madlib for anyone in their 20s->early 30s nowadays...

I make three times as much as most people "in their 20s -> early 30s nowadays." I think I have a lot more to lose and am looking to some objective advice. It's a much bigger adjustment to go from $150k/year to $50k/year than from $70k/year to $50k/year.
post #5 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post

Sounds like she really picked a winner....

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftover_salmon View Post

I make three times as much as most people "in their 20s -> early 30s nowadays." I think I have a lot more to lose and am looking to some objective advice. It's a much bigger adjustment to go from $150k/year to $50k/year than from $70k/year to $50k/year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post

Sounds like she really picked a winner....

I'm actually surprised people didn't say that's the obvious choice.

I'm basically looking for either moral support that I can have my cake and eat it too, or people to say "You're a 'tard, girls are a dime a dozen but good jobs these days arent."
post #6 of 83
How serious is this relationship? Eight months isn't really that long when you're talking about making major life decisions unless it's one of those "you know when you know" situations. How does she view the relationship? You don't want to chuck away opportunities so you can go be with someone who ends up dumping you a few months to a year later.
post #7 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftover_salmon View Post

I make three times as much as most people "in their 20s -> early 30s nowadays." I think I have a lot more to lose and am looking to some objective advice. It's a much bigger adjustment to go from $150k/year to $50k/year than from $70k/year to $50k/year.

I didn't originally mean to come off as glib, but... you're still one of us, no matter how much you used to make: young enough to be interchangeable.

Regardless, if you actually believe that your salary proves your value to your significant other, then won't she'll drop you as soon as you take that oh-so-significant-compared-to-the-rest-of-my-peers pay cut?
post #8 of 83
I'd dump the girl unless you think you're gonna marry her. Not worth disrupting your career for a woman at your age imo. Do you have to leave your current job? If you tell them you decided your career is more important will they take you at your word? They probably think you're unreliable at this point but there are still a lot more options in the US than in Canada...
post #9 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftover_salmon View Post


I make three times as much as most people "in their 20s -> early 30s nowadays." I think I have a lot more to lose and am looking to some objective advice. It's a much bigger adjustment to go from $150k/year to $50k/year than from $70k/year to $50k/year.

That's not that much money.

 

I make over 2 million dollars/year posting bullshit information about my salary on clothing forums.

post #10 of 83
Thread Starter 
Okay, I should clarify a few things:

My girlfriend doesn't really care at all about money. The money is important to me, however -- right now, I can afford a nice apartment in a good area, I can go for nice dinners when I want to, go out and spend $100 on drinks some nights, take a nice vacation, order the best cable/internet package even if I barely actually use it, etc...I'm not sure how I would be able to adjust to being forced to "budget" in the sense that I'd have to sometimes stay in and eat Chef Boyardee even if I want to go out. I was a spoiled college student and have been living on my current compensation since I graduated, so I'm worried it'll be a big shock to me.

She takes the relationship quite seriously. I'm pretty serious about it, too. I've avoided saying this but if I move back we will likely get married.

As for my current job, I don't like it but I want to stay in finance. In fact, I know exactly what I want to do, so it's not like I'm confused or anything. The problem is that I'm having trouble getting the jobs I want, and am even having trouble getting the jobs that would be stepping stones to the one I want. There's just so few of them in Canada and all my connections and my colleagues' connections are in the U.S. I can't keep my current job because of headcount in my specific group but I can probably still stay within the organization and take a different job elsewhere that would potentially be more helpful in reaching my end goal. Also, people here have been willing to go to bat for me and reach out to their contacts on the buyside.

So I think I'm really asking a few questions here: How screwed am I if I were to become unemployed? Can I get into a good business school with a sub-3.0 GPA even if my recs/essays/GMATs are stellar but I'm otherwise not that interesting? What the heck are potential other interesting careers that pay alright and how do I get started when I already have two years' experience, very little of it relevant?
post #11 of 83
Avoid being unemployed at all costs. This is not the job market you want to dump yourself into. If that means staying at your current job and remaining apart from your girlfriend for a while longer, so be it. If she is really marriage material, she will understand that is good for your shared, long-term prosperity.
post #12 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Avoid being unemployed at all costs. This is not the job market you want to dump yourself into. If that means staying at your current job and remaining apart from your girlfriend for a while longer, so be it. If she is really marriage material, she will understand that is good for your shared, long-term prosperity.
Worth quoting because it is so true. Stay until you find another job.
post #13 of 83
it seems some people didn't read the OP. he's going to get booted from his job in the near future no matter what.
post #14 of 83
^ this. Short story is you find something new while you still have something - Canada would be ideal given the relationship, but at this point, anything anywhere is in play. Out of curiosity, why is she still beholden to Canada? Is there another area that's in play for both of you?
post #15 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post

it seems some people didn't read the OP. he's going to get booted from his job in the near future no matter what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas View Post

^ this. Short story is you find something new while you still have something - Canada would be ideal given the relationship, but at this point, anything anywhere is in play. Out of curiosity, why is she still beholden to Canada? Is there another area that's in play for both of you?

The OP said he could probably slot himself into a position at the same organization he's already at in New York.

Anyway, say the OP does land a finance job in Canada. As he is currently learning, the financial sector is much smaller there. In this market, a layoff is always a possibility--even without the OP's particular circumstances (why would you ever tell your boss you aren't planning on staying without an exit opportunity lined up. . .). Should he found himself laid-off in Canada, then what? It will be much harder to land somewhere else.
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