Is it a good idea to take a break after graduation?

Like taking the CFA instead of taking the job you don’t really want or not up to your potential immediately after graduation? Will you be less marketable by doing this?

I’ve seen this question asked a million times before on this board and others. The general concensus is you’re better off getting a job right after graduation. If you can’t get a job that meets your “criteria,” go to grad school or travel somewhere like Spain or Italy and learn a language.

yes after you have secured a job.

It depends. Are you ready to work non stop for 10+ years without a vacation longer than a couple of weeks? If you need the break take it.

Why delay success. Start job now, or go to grad school while doing CFA. Or do all 3 together.

See the world while you can. Wish I would have taken a long vacation after graduating.

Take 2 months and backpack Europe while you can. You won’t regret it when you get old. Go to eastern europe so you can get off the Euro. It will be much cheaper.

Your best bet is to secure a job while in school and then, if possible, make sure there is down time between when you finish and when you start working. Not taking a job so that you can study for the CFA seems a bit off to me. Nevermind the paying of the bills etc…, it will leave a gap in your resume. How will you explain that? You took the time to study for the CFA, so you didn’t take a job? What about all the people that do take jobs, even if they are not what they want, and still study for the CFA? Not trying to be harsh, but in my eyes you would be at a distinct advantage to anyone who held down any job and studied for the CFA.

I agree with the FIAnalyst. Also, start chipping away at that 4 yr work experience requirement. You don’t want to pass all of the exams and then have to wait another 4 years to get the charter.

Good points. But assuming the kind of jobs that are available do not qualify for the charter, and there is no carry forward of experience, I don’t see this choice as necessarily better than taking time to get the right job and securing a level 1 pass. Gap in the resume yes, but it is certainly better than an irrelevant BO/MO position that will probably be at a disadvantage in trying for an FO position. What do u think? Im a lil biased because I havent been able to secure a decent position since last june. Passed level 1, and preparing for level 2 while sending applications out.

  • Start L1 in your last year - start looking for a job 4 months before finals end - get the offer u want - take 1-2 months to travel/etc after school finishes - start working while doing L2 and L3 - etc By taking a “break”, did you mean doing CFA? o_O

Your career starts when it starts. Having a gap on your resume right after undergrad is not a big deal. I know a FI analyst who spent 11 years in the entertainment industry trying to become a writer before he finally went back to get his MBA…

I basically spent the few month or so between graduating and my first CFA exam studying. After the exam I turned up my job hunt a lot an landed a job, not a great one mind you, but it got my head out of the trough per se. Employment is generally better than unemployment for obvious reasons, but if you graduate in May and are writing in June, I don’t think anyone would frown upon spending May stuyding and June relaxing/job-hunting

Sounds to me like you posted this cause you want to hear that it is OK to take a break after graduation… that tells me that you probably need a break. I jumped right into work after I graduated last May (had 4 days to transition), I felt this was the right move for me because I wanted to maintain momentum and felt time off might make me lazy. Everyone is different, if you feel you need to take the time off than do it. Any of the reasons for NOT taking the time off listed in above posts is trumped by the fact that you will not be successful in your new position if you are not happy/ready. GenY

having done it myself (went to china)…i don’t recommend it. you will find it much harder to get a job when you come back. people do understand why you would want to travel after school, but you seem to be pigeon-holed as a bit of a slacker (despite them nodding in interviews). you also miss out on recruiting and other such hirings that can only happen straight out of school…which is very important. i learned this the hard way. don’t get me wrong…i absolutely loved my time abroad. however it made it 10x harder to get a job when i got back. the question i received most was, “why didn’t you come to our recruiting session when you were in school?” if you really want to travel…work for a couple of years. get some good experience under your belt, save up some money, and then either take a leave of absence, or simply quit and go travel. you will be much more employable when you return if you’ve already got two years of experience under your belt. ohh…and if you decide to travel for say six months, volunteer somewhere for two. looks alot better than if you just went to thailand to drink yourself stupid for 6 months.

Time off after graduation with no job lined up seems a bit unwise. Time off after graduation with a job lined up (time off meaning a July-August start date) is a great idea (though my trip through Europe ended abruptly with a stomach parasite and sickness it was still a great experience) Not taking a job you don’t really like in hopes of getting a better one strikes me as a gamble, especially difficult to gamble if the job you’re offered has a signing bonus. I can’t say it would make you more or less marketable, but I’d certainly have questions about a gap like that on a resume.

I vote go travelling.

I think the young folks say “get the job, or you’re dead” The old folks say, “take advantage of the opportunity, you may never get another one quite like it.” I guess I’m old…

AssetMgrWannabe- I’m in your situation as well. I took L1 in December after graduating in May. Some jobs I wanted didn’t pan out (not enough quant knowledge, or not enough experience), and some crap jobs passed by my way, but they barely related to finance and for me it wasn’t worth the opportunity cost. I’m taking L2 in May and I have some anxiety about the job hunt. I’m in NY and the market is tepid so I have “some” excuse, but not much. I “work” for my dad doing some light office work but I never go to the office. In my spare time I am finishing up some loose ends from college, learning about some things I wanted to learn about and officially end that unique experience that is college. I have some solid family support where I don’t have any bills or debt but if I did I probably would have taken a crap job. My recommendation is to be able to explain what you did in the interim if you can’t put something on your resume like I did and make sure you learn some other skills, maybe some computer programming, and it is absolutely mandatory you keep up with the markets each and every day. Go to the library read some books on the subject, read some of their periodicals once or twice a day. Just don’t veg out, play video games and smoke pot all day.

By asking the question, it seems like you’re not ready to enter the field with 100% commitment. Perhaps taking a year will do you wonders. People burn out easily in this industry and taking a year off will help you manage through the up and downs in subsequent years. Best of luck.