Sign up  |  Log in

Career Switch at 30 - Switch to VC from research?

Hello guys and gals,

I just turned 30 and have been in equity research for 4+ years - was looking for some career advice. I feel very much stuck in my current role (equity research), terrible hours low pay. However, when I look at options in Asset Management, things dont seem great there as well with ETFs killing mutual funds.

My ideal goal would be to move to growth equity or VC shop, but I am not getting much traction there. I was wondering if I am being unrealistic in my goals or if there is a something I should try to maximize my opportunities to move to VC?

Behan ji, lagta hain aap aatak gaye.

Are you in India? 

No, the United States.

To be honest, without significant deal experience you have a very minimal chance of getting into VC or PE. I mean, they mostly hire people from IB because they get client-facing time and hiring managers already know them so it is not impossible for you to get in but very unlikely. What’s wrong with ER? I’m 32 and I’m trying to break into ER. 

Another thing about the VC or PE is that if you are not a salesperson then you have no upward mobility in that game because after analyst role you will need source deals which I mean aka is sales. If you can’t source deals because you are some Indian introvert or stuck up analyst type person then you will be let go. ER is best for you. 

No offence but 32 at ER is not the place you want to be. The industry is dying and hours are just getting longer

I don’t mind hours as long as i’m adding value and learning new things. I don’t plan to stay in research forever and so I would probably move over to F&P or a Fund focused on debt investments. I’ve got technology, deal and credit work experience so after few years in research I can open up a lot more options for myself. I’ll be very honest with you. PE or VC isn’t happening for you unless you have a solid deal experience because those guys won’t hire someone they don’t know or have never worked with on a deal before. Your best bet would be either stick with research or move over to F&P. Don’t complain about salary. You only get what you deserve and for introverts market is getting tougher unless you are in tech. 

Hey Radhika,

Thanks for posting your question. You mentioned in one of your notes above that the industry is dying and I understand that ER is usually not the highest priority for a Bank/FI in terms of selling research. Would you be able to elaborate a bit on why you feel/know the industry is dying? and what are some of the factors leading to it?

I had initally decided to do the CFA with an idea of getting to ER - but now the landscape has changed since I started; but still love finance and the craziness that comes with it.

Thanks.

Yes, landscape has changed. It has changed even since I joined - and only gotten worse.

Dying industry = revenues are shrinking, hours are getting longers, fewer chances to move up, limited career mobility

I would like to say that maybe you are underestimating the efforts required in other business lines to move upward. If you are not a salesperson then 70% of the banking jobs are not for you and even you somehow get in, they will not promote you to the next role without significant sales experience.  

I would stay in research and love doing what I do. 

Thanks for the feedback - coming from someone who isn’t in the industry, it means a lot. No really it does. Thank you, next.

This guy is obviously a troll - ignore. Only someone really dumb would advice you to keep slaving away when we all know the industry is likely to shrink significantly in the next few years.

The best options are corporate finance or IR role. You hit a ceiling in EQR, that’s well known.

I have seen VC happen as well, though you are likely to take a pay cut there. VC roles are very hard to come by, also.

ar169 wrote:

This guy is obviously a troll - ignore. Only someone really dumb would advice you to keep slaving away when we all know the industry is likely to shrink significantly in the next few years.

The best options are corporate finance or IR role. You hit a ceiling in EQR, that’s well known.

I have seen VC happen as well, though you are likely to take a pay cut there. VC roles are very hard to come by, also.

are you an idiot? I never said that she shouldn’t try. And what VC jobs are you talking about? analyst or maybe associate. Do you even know the profiles of partners? most of them ran a successful company and sold it off and then joined VC as a partner.  In order to be successful and move upward, you need a lot of connections in the industry and you have to have people skills to relate with owners. She is from research and likely looking for some introvert type/technical/analytical role where she doesn’t have to pursue people.

Get off the high horses. 

@ar169 Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I can see corporate development as a good exit though I am getting less enthusiastic about VC. Many of those roles are just 2 year programs etc - very few firms have partner track programs.

@Streetfighter Go away troll. NO one ever said I was looking for an introvert type role.

StreetFighter wrote:

ar169 wrote:

This guy is obviously a troll - ignore. Only someone really dumb would advice you to keep slaving away when we all know the industry is likely to shrink significantly in the next few years.

The best options are corporate finance or IR role. You hit a ceiling in EQR, that’s well known.

I have seen VC happen as well, though you are likely to take a pay cut there. VC roles are very hard to come by, also.

are you an idiot? I never said that she shouldn’t try. And what VC jobs are you talking about? analyst or maybe associate. Do you even know the profiles of partners? most of them ran a successful company and sold it off and then joined VC as a partner.  In order to be successful and move upward, you need a lot of connections in the industry and you have to have people skills to relate with owners. She is from research and likely looking for some introvert type/technical/analytical role where she doesn’t have to pursue people.

Get off the high horses. 

You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. What do you think research associates do? They aren’t just sitting behind a desk, doing Excel - client interaction is the single most important  part of the job.

Oh btw look up Bill Gurley and Mary Meeker - pretty successful VCs coming from research. Please research before you write something.