The only thing better than being an investment banking analyst? Being an ex-investment banking analyst. It’s the day every analyst dreams of, when he can throw his blackberry against the wall and say, “Peace, I’m out.” This day may not come until two years after you start if you stick to the plan, or even three years if you were not good enough to land a hedge fund or private equity gig. For those more ambitious analysts, or ones who f*ckin’ hate the job, “F you, I quit” day may come much sooner.
The true baller leaves before the first year bonus is even received because of sheer hatred of the job or a better gig. These analysts are usually hated by the firms for not living up to their end of the bargain, but at the same time loved by the firms because they mean less little mooches wasting money on SeamlessWeb, taxis, black cars, and reaping a decent bonus and salary. Making some analysts so miserable that they quit, equals not having to layoff any analysts and being able to continue to say, “Despite our $80 billion loss this quarter, things will not get any worse… at least until we announce next quarter’s results.” The reasons for an analyst to quit pre-bonus are far shorter than post-bonus.
To leave pre-bonus you might hate the job so much you’re willing to leave without a job lined up and will scrub toilets for $10 an hour just to get out of the hell hole. Another reason might be that you found a job at a hedge fund or PE shop, and they want you ASAP for a sizeable signing bonus. Or maybe you miss the days of smashing beer cans against your head and want to return to college for some type of graduate study. The possibilities are endless for leaving pre-bonus, but the analyst usually has a nice gig lined up or truly hates life in investment banking, take your pick.
Far more analysts up to quit the day after bonus day in July or August. This is a terrific “F you” to the firm since you are taking the money and running. These analysts have far more reasons for leaving. After getting a nice sum of money, some opt to do some good in the world by traveling to a third-world country to volunteer or joining a microfinance organization. Others take the bonus money, then take a nice signing bonus from a hedge fund or PE firm and start making even more money. These are the all-star analysts who are money hungry and willing to sell one of their kidneys to make a nickel. These analysts may hate investment banking just as much as the pre-bonus quitters, but they are either smart enough or fortunate enough to be able to wait until after the bonus. Or they just have smaller cahones and are willing to take the pounding in the behind.
For you analysts out there considering taking the plunge and quitting before your two years are up, I applaud you for your year of service and wish you the best in your more enjoyable future ventures. For you analysts who hate the analyst job as much as the next guy but are sticking it out, I urge you to reconsider and search for your passion (and for a job that offers more free time). And finally, for you analysts who enjoy the role and can’t wait for your third year and future roles, what are you smoking and where can I get some of that sh*t?