Blue collar to white collar....possible?

I had originally started this under the “car” thread until I veered so far off topic with this long anecdote that I realized I should probably make a new thread. I drive a toyota tac, wife drives audi a6 and have a f-150 and my baby is my 71 bronco. I am more curious as to whether or not all you folks in the finance industry change your own oil or…I dont know…do your brakes, etc. I am no motorhead, but I have always just done all my own maintenance on my vehicles. Shoot, I even rebuilt my 302 from just doing some research on my own. The reason I ask is because this past weekend I had a friend over while I swapped out drums for disks on the bronco and he knows I am going back to school for undergrad and spending a lot of time studying for this CFA to make a move into the industry. He said to me as I was going on and on about my thoughts on bernackalackalacky and co’s rate cut, “I don’t get it…you really are serious about this move into whitecollarville eh? You won’t fit in there bud,” he continued. “We don’t mix with them. Those pretty boys don’t do stuff like you are doing right now…they don’t know the meaning of hard work (I think he meant physically), and they certainly wouldn’t do something that might god forbid get dirt or oil under their fingernails…their more concerned about filing their nails.” I’ll admit, I laughed a bit with him after that. I know him well, and know he was only kidding. He’s a pretty hardcore guy, not the type one would want to mess with…but I thought he was showing his blatent ignorance. I told him that, and also told him that perpetuating stereotypes does absolutely nothing constructive. He’s not the brightest bulb in the box, but he’s the type of person that would lay his life on the line for his friends, I know this firsthand. I never spent a good deal of time thinking about collars…blue vs white. I have always just figured. I will do what I want and others can adjust. I thought about it though… With the arrogance that seems to be somewhat widespread throughout this industry… And this emphasis on pedigrees and my school vs your school pettiness, what kind of roadblock will my resume chock full of blue collar work present? I mean, if I am competent and know my sh*t, what does it matter? A little about me… 34 years young (well, soon 34) Work as a PM. No, that is not Port Management, but rather Project Mgr. - construction. I avg about 70k annually. Come from a military and blue collar family. Instead of going to college out of high school, went into the us army. Felt like I had an obligation and I needed the college money. Airborne infantry. Out of the service, did a short stint as a smoke jumper while starting school…you could say that I am not the “risk averse” type. Messed around and got the girlfriend/wife pregnant, so smoke jumping days were numbered. Needed the quick money to stablize and set up infrastructure for upcoming family…hence, construction. Had some success late 90’s with some real estate flips and over the last few years got involved in the market. Always have have had a bit of a fascination with the capital markets. Olmstead and L Macmillan books took that fascination a notch further as I began really trading derivatives on my own. More various readings and I decided that I wanted to make a move into the industry. I have always liked numbers, and have a bit of an analytical mind. I think financial analysis is a good fit for me. Of course, like others, some day id really like to manage assets. So, I am back in school working towards that undergrad in finance while simultaneously going for this CFA. Would have been much easier if I had began this process 10 years ago, w/out wife, kids, mortgages, etc… Lol but, what the hell. I will be 37 when I finish my ugrad and hopefully this CFA. I just wonder…is the fact that I have always changed my own oil gonna matter in the end, so to speak?

first, great job on serving the country for a few years. I wanted to go to the service(father was USMC) but went to college to play baseball. I think you can make the jump but the gap just may be a little wider. I think you bring a lot to the table. You may not fit the mold of a large corp but maybe a more niche shop. If you have the will to knock out BBA in finance and CFA while working full time, hubby and dad then I think you can manage this jump. And yes I do a lot of things that would be called blue collar… I hunt,fish and drink beer…many of my co workers do the same… keep an open minded and you will be fine

Your posting style is literally screaming mid-west blue collar…:slight_smile:

Thanks for that gboy. I was hoping that my post didn’t offend people, was just laying out my reality. I am not looking at wanting to get into the big boys, smaller niche is definitely more my style. I appreciate the encouragement. Hunten, fishin, and a few 8 oz curls is all good stuff… For me, add to that golfing, skiing, backpacking, and climbing. Hopefully in a few years ill be able to get back to doing more of that because right now, I need to effectively manage to cram 2000 minutes worth of work into a 1440 minute day. Take care.

I am who I am stern…close, northwest…:slight_smile:

you will be fine… just keep your head down and keep working hard…

you’re buds a tool, i work on my car and have installed all the aftermarket parts on it, the only reason i dont change my own oil is because it takes too long to do it. i dont think you’re roots will be a hindrance if anyhting its a breath of fresh air.

i take my car to the shop since it is free

grizzums, I grew up on a farm. Studied geology in undergrad Have a welding license Worked as a fitter/welder in shipyard If I can do it, anyone can do it. I found my experience actually helped get through CFA.

Distract them. Tell them you may be secretly gay.

I think your friend is jealous. I wouldn’t solicit career advice from him. Hard work will eventually pay off. I come from a blue collar family and am the only one to go white collar. It doesn’t matter. Sure it helps if your daddy is an MD at Goldman or a PM at a HF somewhere, but most people appreciate hard work and I think you’ll find some people who like your story. You may have to start out a little lower on the salary just to get in somewhere, but not too much.

grizzums Wrote:Those pretty boys don’t do > stuff like you are doing right now…they don’t > know the meaning of hard work (I think he meant > physically), and they certainly wouldn’t do > something that might god forbid get dirt or oil > under their fingernails…their more concerned > about filing their nails." > Hard work is good for the soul. When I was in high school I worked in my dad’s truck shop and changed oil in trucks, greased them etc. It was hard. dirty work that paid crappy. But in the end it made me a better person unlike a lot of schmucks out there who wouldn’t know hard work if it hit them in face. What was Gordon Gekko’s quote about guys who work hard, are hungry and have no feelings versus ivy leaugers? Anything is possible my friend! If I was a recruiter, I’d put a high premium on someone with miltary service as it shows you have leadership skills and experience with adversity.

I kindly thank all of whom have made serious replies here. I have little time to come to this forum so I may not reply to any other comments but I will be sure to pop in and read. I wanted to say that although I have not participated here much, I have found this place to an interesting source of information. There appears to be more diversity than I initially expected. I kind of came in assuming that most would just fall in a line…like good financial robots. There are a wide range of traits that I have seen here… From arrogance, to pompous, to insightful, to helpful, to spoiled, to shallow, to kindness, to materialistic, to genuinness, to ambitious, to friendliness, to the trait that I find the most widespread regardless of the underlying comment made…intelligence. My best to all of you! G

Grizzums, Best of luck to you as you pursue your degree and the CFA designation. I would just echo some of the other posters’ comments regarding finding more of a niche shop where your unique background could be more appreciated. From all the HBS/Wharton/Stanford-MBA-or-bust threads, it can be easy to think that a less-linear and finance-directed background might not be appreciated anywhere. I don’t think that’s true. In particular, I think your military service could go over well at smaller shops where you just need to find one person to take a chance on you. And, honestly, you might find that the experience gained in a smaller shop is more varied than what you might get in a larger firm. Good luck!

Appears to be a common theme growing here. Another thanks out to you cfa2grunt…funny, and I’m working on going grunt2cfa…lol