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How stable are some of the post mba careers?

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How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 09:21
It might be a bit vague but I am curious as to how stable some post mba careers are to others? I guess the big names - IB,Consulting,PE/VC,Marketing to name a few. I am mostly talking about circumstances out of one's control so we are assuming the employee is gonna put in the hours and he is going to do at least a good job to not be on the performance firing line... Thanks!
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 09:48
There is no such thing as a stable career. It really depends on circumstances, and depending on one's situation, a (perceived) stable job can be an unstable one, and vice versa.

For example, some might say that working on Wall St is relatively unstable. But there are plenty of professionals out there that worked with the same firm for a long period of time, even through recessions, acquisitions, etc.

Just like one must consider business risk and market risk when valuing investments, one's career can be looked in a similar view. One may lose a job due to nationwide recession, or one may lose a job because the company that you are working for is consolidating, etc.

I understand why you may have this question on your mind. For a lot of people, investment in your bschool education is a huge commitment in many ways. You may feel that if you are going to spend $100K+ in the next 2 years, you may want to look for a stable post MBA employer.

But you should always look for a career excites you, regardless of whether the job may be stable or unstable. You won't find a satisfying career without taking on some risk, and taking on some risk is not a bad decision, as long as you manage your exposure to that risk.

Your 1st year internship is also a great opportunity for you to try out a career in a specific function or industry. You should leverage the opportunities available to you, before making any "safe" commitments. A lot of people end up picking a career that is completely unrelated to his/her summer internship experience.
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 10:30
what about post mba career transition? I read that in IB if you fail within first 2 years you have to 'start over"? Any "career traps" i should be aware of? I definitely gonna try doing something i like since quite a few require lots of hours (i work 40hr/wk now) and it would be horrible working at a job i dont like AND longer hours...
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 04:14
shaselai wrote:
what about post mba career transition? I read that in IB if you fail within first 2 years you have to 'start over"? Any "career traps" i should be aware of? I definitely gonna try doing something i like since quite a few require lots of hours (i work 40hr/wk now) and it would be horrible working at a job i dont like AND longer hours...


You're paying $100k to double your working hours?
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 05:18
shaselai wrote:
what about post mba career transition? I read that in IB if you fail within first 2 years you have to 'start over"? Any "career traps" i should be aware of? I definitely gonna try doing something i like since quite a few require lots of hours (i work 40hr/wk now) and it would be horrible working at a job i dont like AND longer hours...


Not really sure what you mean by "fail within first 2 years" but if you are not good at what you are supposed to do, most likely, you will be pushed out (rather than starting over...not sure what that means either).

3underscore is probably more of an expert on this topic, but Wall St is not an easy place to work. You may have bad days, and then you may have really bad days. A lot of people may be unhappy for different reasons (horrible bosses, compensation, etc).

But I haven't met a single person in bschool (headed to Wall St) who is worried about "pitfalls" about working on Wall St. Pretty much all of us believe that we are going to be successful. That's the mentality that you have to have and that is especially important during the interviews. It depends on the individual interviewing you but in a lot of cases, you have to demonstrate that winning mentality and boldness during the interview.
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 06:01
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You called?

Stability is something that never reaches one as a quotient - you can always lose your job for no fault of your own. You can do stuff that makes that less likely; not sucking; working hard; not being a buzz-kill who moans; understanding when to try new stuff and when to just do what you are told. These are all things that generally get you past the first few rounds of firings.

Consulting is more stable than banks. Consultants advise on how to grow when times are good, and how to sort out a shit-storm when times are bad. Quotient of stability is nearer 1 there, though quotient of 'knowing where the f you will be next week' is nearer a zero.

IB - you can avoid one or two rounds of cuts by simply working clever. The third round, everyone is pretty good and it is luck and friendships that see you through. Banks have no issue with handing out pink slips when times are hard - it is central to their business model to cut like that and part of the game. Sometimes you are simply unlucky - ask 2008 MBAs who were toast because they never had a chance to learn their jobs.

PE / VC. For once, I will entertain this fantasy land where the tail of the distribution perhaps work. These are managing other people's money, so you are potentially victim of a cash call (several hedge funds with outstanding records closed last year because other funds blocked clients withdrawing funds, clients needed cash). If form is poor, you can't raise another fund. Goodnight Vienna. Stability? Well, given that the Feds are out to get you livelihood, I would say "minimal".

Marketing. Some day everyone is going to realize that marketing departments are about snake oil, much like human resources. Someone needs to explain spurious correlation to these folks and send them home. Until then - marketing is cyclical. Stability is a little better at Corporates, but you still run the risk that - like HP - mature firms raise margins by cutting costs. Marketing is a cost center.

As for working on Wall Street. Wall Street is full of people who want it - be "it" money, success, BSD status, Master of the Universe - there are seriously driven people. Driven to the extent that many wouldn't think twice about stepping on your head if you were all drowning. Not many places are like that, but then not many places give you quite the clear definition of how you are performing relative to your peer group.

You know pretty quick if you are done on an Associate program on Wall Street. First full year will give you a good clue (many will cut the bottom group then). Most will last a few more years with VP being the bit when the bank truly seperates the wheat from the chaf. Many leave by then as the idea of working extreme hours isn't as smart as they thought at school, in spite of everyone else telling them it was insane. You really have to be determined to do IB, or S&T or Research for that matter, as the first three years you are swimming through crap. Many can't stomach it. The market for jobs after that varies - if you have a solid reason to get out you could do well (kids or medical reasons I think work) as the bank may support you in your search. Otherwise, good luck and unlucky on making a big mistake.
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 06:16
3underscore, thanks for the overview. I guess a followup would be, in the unfortunate event that ones get laid off, is any of the listed occupation harder to rebound than others in terms of switching from IB to Consult vice versa etc?
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 06:28
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Trading has the least transferable skills. But really, it all depends on the person. If you are in a downturn and people are getting laid off, it is down to how the person works the position that defines whether they get out. Personal characteristics are really key in persuading and constructing a new role for yourself, not your last job.
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 11:35
very nice write up 3u. thank you very much.
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2010, 04:10
Thanks for the post. Not sure if you're purpose was to solicit career advice, but you certainly seem to know you stuff, so I figured what the hell. I'm currently in S&T and have been for 2 yrs directly out of undergrad. I had no plans on entering this side of the business but needed a job and 2008 sucked in that aspect. I'm finding, as you said, the things I have been learning are not As transferable as I'd like, and I want to get out now before my marketability to another line of business within finance dwindles further. The only thing I can think of is to go back to school for my MBA and kind of hit the reset button based on the fact my quant skills have vanished. I'm still going to look for a gig in corporate lending or a boutique bank, both at the entry level which is going to suck, but that's the way it is. What are your thoughts on this situation? Where in the eff do I go from here? Sorry for the long post, and, again, for the unsolicited advice.

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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2010, 10:44
Do we have any threads on here where people tell what their post-MBA jobs are like? I mean what kind of day-to-day things they're doing, big-picture advancement opportunities, what they enjoy, what they don't enjoy, etc? I'm in the process of trying to figure out what I am most interested in, and a lot of these fields I've had little or no exposure to, so it's hard to say how much interest i have in them.
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2010, 12:20
Reflections from any post-MBAers who have gone on to work in ops or the nonprofit sector would be much appreciated.
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Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2010, 14:20
Thanks for the advice, I'm thinking MC or VC.. it's good to see down the road before I make a mistake and get into something too deep (I'm still in undergrad)
Re: How stable are some of the post mba careers?   [#permalink] 19 Aug 2010, 14:20
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