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-   -   Advice Please - Not Excited Anymore (http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?t=102403)

Excited to Begin 02-08-2007 07:43 PM

Advice Please - Not Excited Anymore
 
Only 8 months ago I entered the consulting actuarial world as my screen name reads - very excited, ambitious, hoping to move up fast (of course through putting in the work needed). But in this short time working I've become a bit disillusioned with my career path. For starters I see people around me, 10-15 years older than me, who have achieved "success" as it's defined in my firm, and I'm completely uninspired to be in their position. I'm ultra ambitious and have eyes for big dollars. I just don't see their being a fast path to the top in my company (and possibly in the field). I feel I need more of a salesy, financial, businessy type of job - maybe management consulting or hedge funds - I just don't know.

Don't get me wrong I very much respect those around me and respect the field and its challenges but I don't see myself maximizing my aspirations and career goals (at least not in the next 15 years in this field) as an actuarial consultant.

My question to the board is how can I utilize my experience in Healthcare consulting to get a position in a faster paced, reward for your work environment, that I could be well compensated in the short term if I bring unique value to the firm? What fields should I pursue? Is there any way for an overly ambitious person to find a niche in the consulting world I'm in right now - as a sales rep/consultant? Any ideas would be much appreciated.

phatadamwa 02-08-2007 08:00 PM

What's short term to you? If it's anywhere near 3-5 years, I'd suggest financial planning. There's an initial investment, but it sounds like it might be what you're looking for. I tried it, and found out I hate selling. Might not be true for you though...

Dr T Non-Fan 02-08-2007 08:16 PM

It hasn't been that long, and you're already disillusioned. You have too few data points to forecast and conclude anything at this moment, yet you have. Certainly poor analysis for a once-aspiring actuary.

I'm afraid that you'll never be happy with your career choice, so I wonder what the use will be in my advising you.

DW Simpson 02-08-2007 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Excited to Begin (Post 1382287)
I got an offer with 2 exams passed, at a big consulting firm, for $60,000 with a $5,000 sign on bonus. It's in a discipline I like (health)

Have you passed any more exams?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Excited to Begin (Post 1956738)
I'm ultra ambitious and have eyes for big dollars.

There are many health consultants making "big dollars" in the top 10% beyond our www.dwsimpson.com/salary.html salary ranges.

Quote:

I feel I need more of a salesy, financial, businessy type of job
While you may not see this at your firm, or maybe it's there and you haven't seen it, there are certainly health consultants whose jobs might be described as salesy businessy.

Quote:

maybe management consulting or hedge funds - I just don't know
Here are examples of the myriad directions that actuaries have gone in after leaving traditional actuarial roles: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...13&postcount=8 . Those might give you some ideas.

Quote:

how can I utilize my experience in Healthcare consulting to get a position in a faster paced, reward for your work environment, that I could be well compensated in the short term if I bring unique value to the firm?
This really depends on your idea of "well compensated" and "short term". The compensation package that you described above was "well compensated" compared to many of your peers. You have 8 months of health experience, you're not going to find a six-figure job, unless:

Quote:

Is there any way for an overly ambitious person to find a niche in the consulting world I'm in right now - as a sales rep/consultant?
I'm having a hard time getting my mind around your concept of "overly ambitious". If by "overly ambitious", you're saying you passed a few more exams while you've been there, so you're at four now, and you've learned all that you can, but you find it dry busy work, and you feel that you understand it well but want to go in a different direction, ok, I'm with you, you'd like to move on from a position of strength.

However, if by "overly ambitious", you really mean you're simply bored, have failed your exams and are without ambition for your current role, and are looking for a job where you'll be more motivated, then describe the roles where you think you'll be motivated to hit six figures and I'll have a better understanding of the situation.

DW Simpson 02-08-2007 08:22 PM

Since you're in NYC, and you described "financial" as a type of job you might consider, here are many investment banking discussions that might be of use:

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...3&postcount=26

zeus1233 02-09-2007 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Excited to Begin (Post 1956738)
I'm ultra ambitious and have eyes for big dollars. I just don't see their being a fast path to the top in my company (and possibly in the field).

Is it that hard to figure out how the people at the top got there? It isn't a black box.

What do you think an entry-level person at McKinsey does that is so much more exciting than what you do?

Will Durant 02-09-2007 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Excited to Begin (Post 1956738)
Only 8 months ago

Damn, dude. Eight months? What did you expect ... to have been promoted already? Take a chill pill.

Katie. 02-09-2007 12:05 PM

The same thing happened to me when I started working full-time. It is a hard transition from college to entry-level. You're used to frequent feedback, frequent change, lots of stimulation...and then suddenly you're doing similar work every day, it isn't glamorous like you thought it would be, you work a lot of hours, it's boring...I think that's just entry-level life, no matter where you go. My suggestion is to stick it out, no matter how much it sucks. I'm coming up on 5 years and have had my FSA for almost a year, and I am starting to get more responsibility and really enjoy my job - over the next 5 years I should get to do a lot more of the fun strategic stuff. Your job as an actuarial student is to pass exams and get your work done. Right now your ambition should be to do good work so you get a good rep, learn a lot, and get that FSA. That's what will open the doors. Your alternative path is drudgery in some other financial profession, followed by graduate school, and then the fun stuff will come. Or, financial planning might be an option, like someone mentioned. Unless you're an entrepreneur you will probably just have to wait your turn...at least for a couple of years.

I highly recommend reading this book. It has some great advice about getting through this period.
http://www.amazon.com/Entry-Level-Su...e=UTF8&s=books

Guest 02-09-2007 01:03 PM

I agree with Katie and DTNF...

No matter what you do, you're going to have to put in your time as a grunt.

Now, it's possible you're in a position where no one above you is really taking an interest in helping you move up, but, heck you've got 8 months experience! Why should they let you do anything interesting? You don't know anything yet.

Management consulting? What do you know about management? Why should I hire a kid out of college to tell me how to run my business?

Hedge funds - you'll be crunching #s there your first few years, too.

I'm in healthcare consulting and, yeah, the first 3 years were pretty boring. I had the benefit of 8 or years of waitressing full time to help me keep perspective...my feet didn't ache, I wasn't working 14 hours days, no small children were throwing spaghetti at me, and my hair didn't smell like garlic all the time...anyway the point being there are a lot worse ways than being a data monkey to earn a living.

Now I'm in a more senior role, and it's much more fun...I like talking to clients on the phone, going out to meetings, selling business, contributing to technical briefs and marketing materials, etc.

I can't think of any technical/financial/etc career where your first few years aren't grunt work.

If you're not learning anything, you need to find a new mentor - or maybe a new job. But it's not necessarily the career that's the problem. I would start by talking to your bosses/higher-ups about getting more challenging assignments.

Old Timer 02-09-2007 01:05 PM

Isn't the real issue that s/he sees those 10-15 years older around and says "I can't see myself doing THIS for the next decade"?


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