Can someone advise what are the various career options for a L2 candidate? Where would passing all 3 levels take a person?
Hard to say, but I wouldn’t rely solely on progressing with the CFA to secure a role. I am only taking it, on the basis that everyone else seems to be and it is more a negative if you do not have it on a resume. If you want to succeed in finance, without doubt the best way is through nepotism.
You cannot change your career with a CFA candidacy. What kind of positions would you be applying for without the CFA? It just adds X% to the probability that you will get those positions.
I think it all comes down to networking, unless you have a perfect resume and perfect timing you will rarely if ever get hired by some company by submitting a resume online. In my experience all of my jobs have come through friends of friends or acquaintances. If you don’t know anyone do the informational interview thing. An informational interview is actually how I found out about the CFA. A PM told me having some of the tests under my belt would give credibility to the fact that I have finance knowledge, the rest is selling yourself through contacts to get a job. As to informational interviews this is what I’ve found, people love to talk about themselves, love to give advice, so roll with it, and ask great questions to keep the dialog running. If they like you sometimes you might get an offer, or you might just get a contact to follow up with. Either way it’s progress in the right direction.