CFA CFA General Stuck in a Rut – Low Motivation

Stuck in a Rut – Low Motivation

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    • MockTurtle
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      Hello all, nice to be back to the forum after a long time away. I had some home improvement works done to my flat and that took way longer and was far more disruptive then initially estimated. I’ve been job-hunting with not much success. Recently I had a small holiday to recover from the stress, so my study plans have been on the back burner for a good while now.

      The home improvement works are complete, so I can enjoy my shiny new home environment. My holiday was wonderful too — I really needed it. But in terms of career and job-hunting, I’m a bit stumped.

      I’m trying to do the right things. I’ve joined the local CFA society and go to all the events in my city. I’ve updated my LinkedIn profile and eFinancialCareers profile and I’m getting some interest from recruiters. I’ve applied to several roles and had interviews with two places. But they haven’t amounted to anything concrete, and I’m getting quite frustrated with my present job, which is not interesting enough, not well-paid enough, and doesn’t give me a chance to develop my skills.

      This is just my opinion — in the UK, being in any city that is not London seems to put you at a disadvantage. I live in Edinburgh, and though it is sufficiently thriving in the financial sector, it doesn’t have a fraction of the opportunities that London has. And I’m reluctant to move to London. I’ve got a great home and standard of living in Edinburgh and don’t want to give it up. But it’s looking like I (and my spouse who also works in the financial sector) might have to move in order to get the right opportunities.

      As I mentioned above, CFA studies have taken a backseat for a good while now and I’m not very motivated to resume studying — I think, ‘What’s the use? I might even get the full CFA charter and still be stuck in this boring job!’

      I know I’ll have to snap out of it and dive back into CFA prep because it certainly won’t help my career prospects if I do not pass the exam! So I’ll resume studying this weekend.

      Sorry for boring you with my venting — but this week one of my senior colleagues retired (at the age of 60!) and another young colleague gave notice to leave for a better job elsewhere, so I’m having a bit of a pity party! But at the same time I’m mentally slapping myself and gearing up to continue looking for opportunities.

      It’s hard to maintain optimism, but we have to. I’m going to keep trying my best.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hey @Mockturtle – glad to see you back after a well deserved break.

      While the opportunities is not as vast, but it is definitely possible to search for something that works for you in terms of developing your career – I’m just naturally optimistic perhaps, but Edinburgh is a lovely place to live and it’s all about minimising the tradeoffs.

      If you don’t mind me asking, what role are you in now and what are you looking to go for job wise? There are quite a few financial institutions with branches or headquarters in Edinburgh that you could start if you’re aiming for a corporate role. Let me know more and perhaps the community can help too.

      It’s also the time of the year where recruitment activity dies down a little for the holidays, so fret not, job search is always hard, but it’s something to just keep at it. No worries, it’s not a rant per se, we all experience these frustrations at some point and I believe there’s always something we can teach and learn from each other in this community, so keep us posted.

    • MockTurtle
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      Thanks @Sophie. I work in performance measurement and reporting for a custodian bank’s investment analysis department. I’m looking for opportunities in investment analysis in an asset management firm. There are many asset managers here in Edinburgh, but not many roles are openly advertised. In particular, there are several small asset managers for whom I have never seen any job postings — maybe they fill their vacancies by recruiting through word of mouth? I’ve got a couple of leads (for larger, multi-national firms who have offices in Edinburgh) which I’m pursuing at the moment.

    • Sophie Macon
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      How about applying speculatively to the smaller firms as well? I think a good targeted cover letter plus your CV would be good to alert them of the opportunity you’re looking for and why you’d love to work for them! I remember reading that lots of jobs are never advertised and normally found through networks – no harm trying this route either and following up with them to get feedback or try to get a meeting with an employee to have a coffee with. If you’re good I’m sure they will keep you in mind next when a vacancy pops up!

    • MockTurtle
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      That’s what I was thinking of too, @Sophie. I think I’ll start doing that in January. Thanks for your advice.

    • artyeasel
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      I had some home improvement works done to my flat and that took way longer and was far more disruptive then initially estimated.

      Can you share pictures @mockturtle?

    • hairyfairy
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      @mockturtle take some time off this Christmas! I know I will…. ~O)

    • MockTurtle
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      Thanks @hairyfairy — my in-laws are coming for Xmas, so I’m looking forward to lots of good food and chat.

    • agent1
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      MockTurtle, thanks for sharing this. I think I know exactly how it feels. Although I live in London, I find myself completely stuck in a mediocre job and I don’t know how to break out of this circle. London indeed offers more opportunities than any other city in the UK and probably in the entire Europe. However, it seems that a lot of it is based on pure luck and personal connections/non-transparent recruiting (aka “networking”).

      I have seen young people making brilliant careers (Bachelors Degree => 2 years in a bulge bracket bank => credit hedge fund), being less than 25yo, no Masters, no CFA exams, nothing.
      Others get into front desks of the bulge bracket banks straight out of the uni without seemingly being better or smarter than many other guys.

      Many of them didn’t even do the L1 CFA exam and some of them don’t even know what this is (especially traders).

      Let’s face it – most of the candidates pursue the gruelling exams to eventually land a well-paid job (let’s say £70k+) and a good bonus (let’s say 40%+), at Associate level.

      I am about to start preparing for an exam an June. And I think about it: the amount of time, health, nerves, managing your work/study/life balance that goes into it is HUGE. How do I know that in the end of the day it will worth it? Football analogy: that’s like training every day to become a top goalscorer in the world and then just sit on the bench. In my circle, there is very limited evidence of landing well-paying job/prosperity and passing the CFA exams. Although such examples do exist, I must admit.

      I am facing a dilemma here, my choices are:
      1) take the exam and subscribe to no weekends, very little time off, putting more strain on relationships with colleagues and friends;
      2) shun the exam and spend the time on hard networking, extending personal relationships, attending industry and career events and applying to every opportunity there is.

      Not an easy choice, would love to hear your opinions. Thanks.

    • Sophie Macon
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      @agent1 – I can understand your frustration here.

      Tell us more about what you do, we’re based in London too and would be familiar with the context of work/job market etc. What do you do now and what are you looking to switch into?

      Although they are random instances of pure luck, I’m a firm believer that luck comes with preparation meets opportunity. Whether you decide to take option 1 or 2, significant amount of time is needed for preparation in order for things to work. The difference being option 1 is more structured and measurable (and in a way straightforward) compared to option 2.

      Look forward to hear back from you

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