Where to?

Almost 5 months after I started my job at a major bank. I really enjoy what I do and have excellent work-life balance. Sometimes I wonder to myself, is this job too comfortable?

I work as an impact investing due diligence analyst. I talk to ESG and impact fund managers, figure out which ones are good for our platform. Related to work, I enjoy going to impact investing related conferences, meet people who work in the same field and learn the latest thinking from them. Impact investing is still trying to grow beyond infancy. Most of the professionals in this field either come from finance or social background. There aren’t many people who are good at both.

I started to wonder what’s the next step for me. Do I want to continue my job as a due diligence analyst? Do I want to go to an asset management firm that actually run the funds? Do I want to become a client-facing sales/service person, or should I continue with research and investment analysis.

I realize I am a generalist at this point. I have done interesting things all over the place, but I couldn’t pin down what exactly I am good at. Maybe I am good at a bit of everything, but not a specialist in anything. I also realize how slacking people are at work. If you do a bit of work, you are about average in a large company; If you are able to finish what you are supposed to do, you are probably top quartile; If you push yourself and do a bit more, you are likely to become a superstar. Another thing about big companies is the promotional path is quite uncertain, which is surprising to me. One could get promoted fast and frequently, but it might not completely depend on performance. I have yet to figure out what lead to fast and frequent promotion. Judging from my other colleagues’ words, my salary may not raise much in the next few years. That is quite discouraging for me.

But there are so much more to consider than simply switching position or company. I have a really good boss, who treats me well and respect my time. I have caring and smart colleagues, who don’t really spend much time play politics. (There is a bit of politics, much less than other groups in the company.) If I want a family, the work-life balance at my current job is quite great. If money is not an issue, I can have a comfortable life here. But is money an issue? How much should I be valuing money vs. other merits of this position?

Let me see if learning will plateau one day. Let me see what happens to my visa situation next year. There isn’t much more I could do until I resolve the visa issue. Until then, I just need to occupy myself with more knowledge (like CFA exam) and connect,learn from the best in my field.

Outside of work, things are going quite well. I get to meet my friends frequently and see how they have grown in their new worlds. I am cultivating new interests and getting to know the Big Apple with my boyfriend together – watching opera, going to museums, symphony, charity gathering etc. I hope we make the time in New York worthwhile. Every day I like the city a bit more and feel a bit more comfortable here. This could be a place for the long term.



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