3rd job change in 1.5 years ..should I take it?

This might have been discussed before but the search didn’t return what I was really looking for. Here is a some background. I graduated in May 2006, started working at an insurance firm as a business analyst, left after 6 months in Dec 06 to work in IM at a BB and still there. I have been at my current position for 9 months and I have been looking for jobs for June 08 when my analyst program ends. During my job search for next year, I came accross a great position on the equity derivatives desk at Goldman, interviewed for it and just got the offer this morning. The thing is they want me to start in October (and I would prefer to start in June 08) which means I would be leaving my second job after only 10 months. I also wouldn’t be getting any bonus at my current position which is paid out at the end of the year. As much as I want to take this position, I’m just worried it would come back to haunt me in the future on my reume. This would be my third job in less than 1.5 years. The only thing I’m really concerned about is how it’s going to look on my resume and what kind of impression about commitment it shows (and how much that even matters). Any advice on what I should do? Should I let it go and wait it out until the end of my analyst program next year? Anyone been in this situation before?

Do you have an email address that you can access at work? If so, please post your email, I would like to ask a few questions.

What will you be doing on the equity derivatives desk? There are many job functions there and your experience will vary widely based on role, i.e. trader =/= analyst/technical specialist, etc. You have to ask yourself what your reasons and motivations are for taking this position – a 3rd job in 1.5 years is not out of the realm of possibilities, but you can be certain that you will be asked why you made the switches at every interview you go to and you’ll have to present a very compelling reason for your moves. If you can’t sell your “story” then people will view you as a hiring risk and won’t give you the job.

I can’t access my gmail or yahoo from work but feel free to post any questions here. If you prefer email, my address is shafreeman@yahoo.com and I’ll reply when I get home.

Now you get an offer, so I don’t think it matter much that you changed 3 jobs in 1.5 years. The question is whether you will like your new job and how it fits into your career plan.

I can’t access my gmail account either, we’re in the same boat if you know what I mean. I was just curious as to what you do in your current position.

Numi, I will be working as an Analyst on the equity derivatives desk not as a trader. What you said is exactly what I had been thinking. I was actually surprised the interviewer didn’t ask me why I was interviewing for a new job after being on my current one for only 9 months but then again he is an alum from my school. bryant, I work in Investment Management as an Analyst supporting Institutional and Alternative Investments so this new position would be totally different from what I do now.

Being that it’s completely different (and for some reason I figured it would be for the analyst role, probably based on how you described your background previously), how can you be sure that you will like the new position? Why do you want it in the first place? Will it actually be a step forward for you in terms of your career, or do you just want to change course from what you are doing right now? You don’t have to post these answers here (although you may), but these are things you have to ask yourself when you’re thinking about switching into an entirely different group as it will create a discontinuity in your employment history (which is brief).

To put it in perspective, a lot of times there are people who leave alongside their senior managers to move from one firm to another – in fact this is pretty common Wall Street practice, yet these people are still asked why they switched firms time and time again. If they get asked why, then you can be absolutely certain that you will be asked the same question…and sometimes successfully explaining your “story” of why you switched jobs can be more tenuous than you might imagine.

When I switched from the insurance side to IM, I went into a totally new business then too without knowing if I would like it or not. I just wanted to get into finance so I didn’t really care about ‘liking it’ or not. That being said, I enjoy what I do now but there are limited growth opportunites in my current group. I would have to switch to a new position at the end of my analyst program anyway so I figured I’d give this new group a try (just like I did when I switch to IM). I’m sure it would be a step forward in terms of learning about various businesses in finance. Sure it doesn’t say much about consistency but I doubt it matters that much at analyst level. Plus, my comp is expected to go up by 50-75%

Three jobs in 1.5 years doesn’t look good but I don’t think you’ll have a problem explaining it to future employers. Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into at Goldman and you HAVE to stay there for at least two years- I’d advise at least three to dispell the appearance that you “job hop.” Afterall it is Goldman, I don’t think you’ll have a hard time explaining this to future employers if you stick around at GS for three years.

I agree. I feel like if I accept this offer, I absolutely have to stay there long enough to not have to worry about explaining my previous job changes to employers down the road. TPain, as you said, it’s Goldman after all…that’s a good enough reason right there.

Goldman + 75% more comp + more opp. = take the job

should I bring up the fact with the HR that I will be giving up my bonus at the current job if I start in Oct and see if they would try to match some of it in the form of signing bonus? or do I not have a chance as an analyst?

What happened to discretion? Don’t you know there are people on these boards who work at GS? re: bonus, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Be diplomatic though, you don’t want to give the wrong impression right out the gate. btw, if you like the job, and are serious about committing to it for at least two years, take it.

I think the explanation - “I left to take a job at Goldman” does a pretty good job of explaining your switch. As long as you stay at Goldman for at least 2 years, I don’t think you have much explaining to do.