Taking a break from work

Hi Guys,

I just gave my CFA Level 2 exam this year. I wanted to know if it would affect ones employability as a CFA Charterholder if you have quit your job to prepare for CFA. I am thinking of taking a break from work as lately I haven’t been able to balance my studies and my work. I already have 4 years of work experience in Financial Services. Just asking for a second opinion. Would be glad if I can get some insights.

Are you sure those 4 years can qualify you for the charter? Also, many candidates work f/t and study for the exam so, to me, I couldn’t justify quiting a job just to study for an exam. Also, in the long run, big gaps in employment history is not a good signal to a potential employer.

don’t sacrifice job for the CFA…goes without saying i would imagine.

What buys you quitting job?. You have 1 year to study for next level. Start early, spend 2-3 hours/day and take-off last 2 weeks. I am on the same boat. I don’t sacrifice my income just to get CFA in 3-years. Just my 2c.

Don’t do it, not worth it. Work experience trumps everything else in this job market.

I infact get my Income to contribute towards CFA/FRM.

For sucess you sure have to suffer a bit. Why not study late night? I am sure we are all pretty young and our bodies can cope up.

Yes, but What Kind ? Thats the Question…

Hey, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I didnt actually go into the details when I described my situation. I have been looking for a new job for quite some time now. But I want to get into a proper finance profile that would help me in attaining the CFA Charter. My current work profile is that of a Financial Back Office and to overlook movement of funds. Thats a broad description, but it does involve diff roles and functions within. I also have to work in various shifts (including odd hours at night). I did clear my Level 1 on the first attempt putting up with weird shifts and work. However, recently I have been alotted work that in fact needs to be handled by 3 ppl. Plus I have been working 10 hours a day for 5 days a week. On top of this, no one really gives a damn how well I work. And I think that the 4 years of experience that I have will count for nothing in the CFA. I was pretty depressed, not to mention frustrated when I started this thread. I was wondering whether I could just quit my job and then start looking elsewhere. The description I gave at the beginning of the thread was to find out what would happen in the worst case scenario that I dont land a job for several months. However, I think I will pull up my socks and just get on with it hoping to find something better soon. Afterall, theres no gain without pain. Appreciate your advice.

Do you work for a large European bank, by any chance?

Its actually a US bank, and one which withstood the financial crisis better than most other banks.

You should try and bargain for a sabbatical, which may not be too difficult if your other considered option is to quit.


  • You still have all your employee benefits
  • Any share options you receive continue to vest
  • You can take your CFA and come back to your old job if you wish
  • Your sabbatical time-period still counts as work experience in your CV, rather than just ‘unemployed and studying for the CFA’

And so on.

What you said makes sense. Although, I have to check at my workplace if they do have such a policy. It would be great if they do. Thanks a lot.

I’m sorry, but working 50 hours a week does not seem all that much. Do you have kids? Other personal obligations? That may change my perception a bit.

What about doing a masters degree… and then transitioning to different positions ? in UK its only one year vs 2 in US (i think)…dont be too depressed, there are ppl who can’t even get employment in the industry ( e.g. me)…in any case, if you are going to quit, do it for masters rather than mere CFA…