My turn

I see many people asking for advice, and so many more willing to give it, so I’m very curious to see what others have to say about my situation. I apologize in advance if I start typing away too much. I currently work for a large financial services company (mostly insurance, some retirement services and investment management) as an analyst in the corporate dept. I mostly deal with investment accounting/reporting and some forecasting work. I’ve passed Level 2 but failed Level 3 this year, and I’ll finish up my MBA by next summer. What I’m doing now is not “CFA work”, and I’m looking for a job that will help me meet my work experience requirement for the charter as well as provide a first step in an investment career. I’m leaning towards portfolio management but I could easily go a number of different ways. The company I work for is really the only major financial services firm in the area. I’m about a couple of hours away from Southern CT or Boston, the nearest major markets. The closest city with a realistic commute is Hartford. Opportunities are few and far between in my company for someone with my background and interests, plus lately they’ve been hiring a lot of external candidates which only makes things harder. I’ve been looking outside the company, mostly attempting to stay local but slowly expanding my search radius, but it’s been close to a year and still no luck. At the moment I’m looking into a small company that is owned by a major IB (rhymes with “Bold-man Packs”); the position is very similar to what I do now but has the potential for a respectable pay raise, maybe about 20%. Problem is, it’s similar to what I do now, which as I said, isn’t something that interests me long-term. But it’s more money, and it’s a company owned by “Boldman Packs” which I’d hope would open doors in the future and would have more prospects for a CFA holder than where I am now. So that’s my sob story. I’m dying to hear what others have to say. Should I bother with this opportunity? Should I continue a job search at this stage, or hold off until I’ve passed the 3rd exam and finish the MBA? Should I consider leaving the boondocks and move closer to a larger market? From what I’ve read in other posts, a lot of people here seem to know what they’re talking about, so I’d love to hear what you might suggest. Thanks.