Am I lost?


Dunno about Canada, but the degree in Music won’t really hurt you in the US this many years after college.

Do a MBA, shouldn’t have left the PE firm imho and CAIA won’t help you find a job.

That’s what I thought as well but I’m finding that the undergrad in econ/commerce is still a very hard requirement here despite solid work experience.

Ya, it was shortsighted. I’ve learned my lesson.

In general, employers don’t like to hear ‘I quit my previous job to go study full time for 5 months’, especially when it’s for a designation like CAIA that will only prepare you for a small subset of roles. They’re probably wondering ‘what really happened’ that made this guy leave full time employment. The fact that you have a degree in music is no big deal, until you throw up a different red flag like this.

It seems odd that you now can’t find employment for less than half the pay you were at, but I don’t see why an employer wouldn’t bring you on for an average analyst role. Might require you to take a bump down in pay and work your way back up, but $50k for an analyst position seems more than reasonable and should find you work quickly. Are you only applying at RBC? I’ve found these big employers to have very ineffective websites. Have you tried recruiters? I know they aren’t always helpful, but it seems like they are always loaded with generic analyst positions.

I’d say your most important thing is to just get back to work and then decide your career trajectory, there’s nothing wrong with admitting to yourself that your current job isn’t what you want to do long term…but remaining unemployed is only going to make it that much harder to find work when you do discover what it is that you’re looking for. Much easier to jump career paths when you’ve got a solid reference from a current employer.

Good luck, this stuff isn’t fun but it sounds like you’re hard working enough to make it work out.


It seems like you will eventually find something similar in your salary range. You have only been looking for 2 months at the end of the year. In January or February, a lot of people will quit and there will be more openings. If you do an MBA, you will probably enter a higher salary category - just putting it out there.

True. I was hoping the CAIA would help employers say “oh, this guy can do the math stuff” but I think it makes most of them just say “wtf!” unless they are recruiting for a fairly niche position in alternatives. My extreme concern is being out of work for too long…Hard to spin that. Most MBA programs start in September and I’d need to write the GMAT. Ideally I’d love to bounce back into the workforce in any old job and work my way up over time (and hopefully stay!)

Up to 1 year off can be explained. Just don’t say you studied CAIA full time… Make up something like first job didn’t work out, so you travelled or something.

Thank you.

Your background is actually perfect for a MBA program since you don’t have a finance undergraduate degree and you came from a top undergraduate program in Canada. Your career earning trajectory will be significantly higher after a MBA program (even if its not a M5). In addition, your current salary bracket makes the opportunity cost of doing a MBA much lower than the average cohorts applying to the program. Just my 0.02.

Thank you! In your experience, is the GMAT quite a challenging exam? For some reason I have built it up to be a rather daunting experience.

This is very true. Companies are busy creating budgets in Nov/Dec, and getting them approved. There are ton’s of new job openings in January as a result of this, so hit the market hard now and into Jan. Just don’t expect people to be super responsive over the holidays. Send out resumes and then follow up with a nice email early in Jan

Thank you very much

hope you dont fail brah. what instrument did you play?

I hope so as well! Thanks. At least, my dating life has been a bit cheaper lately.

Given your undergraduate degree, I doubt it’s going to be hard for you. Just hit around 720 and you should be ok. Take a few practice exams first to see where you stand.

Thanks. I am hesitant to be out of the workforce for much longer…If anything I’d want to do some sort of masters degree part time while I am working. The trouble is just getting my foot in the door. If I apply online I just go into a black-hole and never hear back from anyone. I have no connections or people able to vouch for me…