Save Yourselves

The finance job market is an absolute turd. It is pathetic. I’ve been searching, searching, and searching. And searching, and searching. I have an undergraduate business degree from a top 40 North American university. I graduated in the top 15%. I passed my CFA Level III exam last year. Think that’s not enough? How about these returns to my personal portfolio over the last four years: 152%, 71%, 8%, and 39%. No one cares. No one. I could probably find more kids obsessed with playing Call of Duty to care than the employers who have read my resume. “You’re not the right fit for our organization but we are convinced you’ll have great success elsewhere” they tell me.

“Oh he must have some sort of handicap” you’re telling yourselves. No. I’m a white athletic male in his late 20s. I even worked for one of the big four accounting firms under a consulting role.

I don’t regret doing my CFA since I learned a lot of useful information, but looking back on it I probably could have gone without all the stress and hundreds of hours of preparation after long days at work. Finance is a dead industry… It’s not what it was prior to 2008. Now there’s just a tremendous supply of finance professionals in the market and not enough positions to fill in. Everytime you submit your resume, always remember your resume will be compared to the 100+ others being submitted for the same lowly position. If you’re already in a lowly position that requires you punching numbers in Excel and other systems, stop complaining and just be thankful you have a job in the industry and a chance to progress.

If patience and competition are not your virtues, try going in accounting and getting an accounting title instead. Headhunters are all over accounting professionals like flies are all over a steaming pile of cow manure on a hot summer day.

Finance is dead.

You’re doing something wrong.

You have vastly better credentials than I… try some basic free advice in the above and report back in a year…

Are you Asian?

I think it’s always the case (too many qualified professionals but not enough jobs) but it’s even worse in the last few years because of the economy…

That’s why i always believe in having multiple skillsets, do something else, use your finance education in other ways, you don’t always need to be a PM or AM, there are still a lot of available jobs out there.

If you do NOT have a job, you don’t get to be picky.

Keep working and keep being inspired will get you to places faster than just hitting the same jobs over and over and over again…

ps* like my daddy always say when i was little… learn to play piano, at the very least you can be a piano teacher! So i did, and i still teach piano on the side… :slight_smile:

Best of luck!


your quote should say: Finance is ridiculously hard to get in.

Which goes back to my point that you need to increase your chances for opportunities as much as possible, which is best achieved at a top school.


NANA should be an ambassador for AF smiley

This. If you can’t get into finance, then a career that is somewhat related should be your next best option.

Anyway for the OP, the Canadian market for jobs like these is likely even worse than the US because there is a more limited supply of jobs in finance, at least that was my impression when I looked for jobs in Canada and wound up staying in the US.

This. The CFA is, by far, the most impressive finance credential there is, and it’s recognized everywhere. Do you have the Charter? It’s hard to believe that you wouldn’t be able to find some kind of high-paying finance job, if not in Canada then in the U.S., UK, India, Dubai – man, anywhere. Just be more flexible and do something different.

Awww… Thank you!

I hope you are not mocking me.


Are people still using CFA to try to break in?

I am not mocking you!

Do you live near a financial center? Go into a temp agency and tell them you have this background but will only accept a position within a financial services company. If you do this at a few places I bet you’ll find yourself somewhere within a firm. That’s a step in the right direction. A lot of companies want the opportunity to cut people who don’t work out and are only hiring through this way for some departments.

This is exactly the WRONG thinking that is screwing thousands of people. The program is in NO WAY any assurance to a “high-paying finance job”

I wonder…

When people say, “I can’t find a job”, do they mean “I can’t find a position in the field of finance” or do they mean “I can’t find a Portfolio Manager position at Goldman Sach Private Client Group that pays in excess of $500,000 per year in base salary with a $2m guaranteed bonus”?

Getting a job is like picking up chicks at a bar. If the good ones won’t go for you, then lower your standards a little bit. Then you can use that to springboard upwards later, if it suits you.

Going home with a 2 is better than going home with nothing.

People are still having sex

Few things in life will guarantee a high-paying job… this includes family connections, an elite degree, the CFA charter, etc.

Personally, I never expected the CFA charter to make or break my future prospects… just that the synergies from that plus my degree, experience, connections, etc. should likely have a noticible boost vs. not having the charter at all.

I think it’s the latter…

SOOOOOO many university grads, especially business students, these days go out thinking they SHOULD get their dream jobs because they work hard and they are SMART.

I think sometimes people need a realtiy check and a piece of humble pie. Not everyone studied finance works as a PM. Not every PM makes millions a year. Not everyone who makes millions in bonus STAY getting paid year after year… you get my point.

Don’t be blinded by few successes and narrowed your vision to only look at the 5 companies and the same 3 positions.

if you don’t find a job being healthy, able, educated and intelligent, it’s NOT the problem of the world, the country, or the industry. THE PROBLEM IS YOU!


I always started with the 2’s myself cheeky

go to china

any english MBA or CFA automatically = high paying job*

(*for westerner who has servicable mandarin)

mba is a bit dependent on who you know

but especially a taller even remotely decent looking white guy with a CFA will easily make a top salary in any tier 2 city

tier 1 city may take a couple months (just teach english for an easy 60k a year, even high school educated ppl are teaching english in tier 2 cities) but you’ll still easily get a good-to-great paying job and top salary if you know someone or they just like you