New Career Advice? Would you do it?

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mattod122
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New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by mattod122 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:00 pm

Recently I was offered a position working with Fidelity Investments. The job I would be taking would be entry level and I would receive the necessary training to obtain my series 7, 66, and eventually become a CFP (certified financial planner). In making the move, I would be cutting my salary in half, but the growth and future income with Fidelity would be much higher than what I could obtain at my current job. I would anticipate in about 5 years working for Fidelity I will be making in the $150k range. I currently am a GS 12-4 working for the government and in the next 3-5 years would have my GS-13 followed by another 5 years before I would have my GS-14.

I am 32, no children, and have the ability to make this move financially. I love working for the government, but just don't feel like I would reach my full potential here. I am a go-getter, driven, and enjoy working/putting in 110%. I have a passion for helping people plan financially. The govt has its benefits (healthcare, TSP, etc.), but I have read that Fidelity also has some of the best benefit packages as well.

Just wanted some thoughts on what you would do in this situation? Pros, cons, maybe something I am missing...

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Pajamas
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by Pajamas » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:54 pm

How do you feel about sales? Some people like it and do well at it, some people don't. From what you have said you would probably fall in the former group but just be aware that it sounds like ultimately your success in that job would hinge on being a salesperson. It also sounds like you are in a good position to take the risk.

aquamarine
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by aquamarine » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:31 pm

Some things to consider.

Do you have enough of an emergency fund to carry you if you needed it?

Things do happen: car accidents, unexpected expensive home repair, health crisis, etc. One friend had his basement flood and it cost him 10K in damages not covered by insurance, a neighbor was in an accident driving home from work, one friend got an unexpected diagnosis of cancer. It's not as rare as you think. If anything happens do you have enough to sustain you?

Will you be happy in the job outside of monetary gains? Is it something you'd look back on your life and say you lived a fulfilling life?

What are the dynamics/politics of the actual dept you would be working in? Is the environment friendly, people good to work for/with, a good work experience? Many of the factors that determine job satisfaction lie in the actual department and day to day experience.

If you can say with confidence, that you feel good about the above, you sound like you're in a good position to make the move.

megabad
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by megabad » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:36 pm

mattod122 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:00 pm
Recently I was offered a position working with Fidelity Investments. The job I would be taking would be entry level and I would receive the necessary training to obtain my series 7, 66, and eventually become a CFP (certified financial planner). In making the move, I would be cutting my salary in half, but the growth and future income with Fidelity would be much higher than what I could obtain at my current job. I would anticipate in about 5 years working for Fidelity I will be making in the $150k range. I currently am a GS 12-4 working for the government and in the next 3-5 years would have my GS-13 followed by another 5 years before I would have my GS-14.

I am 32, no children, and have the ability to make this move financially. I love working for the government, but just don't feel like I would reach my full potential here. I am a go-getter, driven, and enjoy working/putting in 110%. I have a passion for helping people plan financially. The govt has its benefits (healthcare, TSP, etc.), but I have read that Fidelity also has some of the best benefit packages as well.

Just wanted some thoughts on what you would do in this situation? Pros, cons, maybe something I am missing...
This is a huge pay cut. One that I likely could not stomach since it would significantly affect my family's quality of life. I would be sure that you will love your job at Fidelity from day 1 to take this kind of cut. That said, you have described yourself as a "go-getter" and folks like that typically don't fit in well with government jobs over the long term. If you do not have dependents, than you will need to make the decision based on where you want to be in your future. I would not count on the promise of future raises from Fidelity (or any company). I would also say that the US government and FIdelity are not the only two options for employers either.

thx1138
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by thx1138 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:37 pm

What about sticking with your current career but moving into the private sector where salaries are usually higher and advancement much faster? I guess that depends a bit on what your current career is but you didn’t specify.

stoptothink
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:41 pm

My best friend worked for about 5yrs for Fidelity before heading off to get his MBA at Wharton and now does very well in commercial real estate. He is very much a go-getter, as evidenced by Wharton, but he didn't get too far working for Fidelity (he did get all the certs you mentioned, including the CFP) even though he was consistently a top producer. I think you are being very optimistic about your possible salary projections if you joined Fidelity. IMO, I'd stay put.

FBN2014
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by FBN2014 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:42 pm

Working for any financial services firm and being successful means you have to be good at sales. Do you have any sales experience? You will be required to push Fidelity funds. Are you comfortable with that? I doubt most Bogleheads would be. Do you know what percentage of new recruits that Fidelity hires are still there 5 years down the road? These companies are noted for churning and burning people who don't last 2 years because they can't sell. Any chance you could take a leave of absence from the government job for 1 year to see if you've got the chops to cut it in sales?
"October is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May March, June, December, August and February." - M. Twain

stoptothink
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:01 pm

FBN2014 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:42 pm
Working for any financial services firm and being successful means you have to be good at sales. Do you have any sales experience? You will be required to push Fidelity funds. Are you comfortable with that? I doubt most Bogleheads would be. Do you know what percentage of new recruits that Fidelity hires are still there 5 years down the road? These companies are noted for churning and burning people who don't last 2 years because they can't sell. Any chance you could take a leave of absence from the government job for 1 year to see if you've got the chops to cut it in sales?
Yup, it is a sales job: period.

mattod122
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by mattod122 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:18 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:41 pm
My best friend worked for about 5yrs for Fidelity before heading off to get his MBA at Wharton and now does very well in commercial real estate. He is very much a go-getter, as evidenced by Wharton, but he didn't get too far working for Fidelity (he did get all the certs you mentioned, including the CFP) even though he was consistently a top producer. I think you are being very optimistic about your possible salary projections if you joined Fidelity. IMO, I'd stay put.
Do you know why he ended up leaving? What he enjoyed or what he disliked most about working there?

mattod122
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by mattod122 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:24 pm

FBN2014 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:42 pm
Working for any financial services firm and being successful means you have to be good at sales. Do you have any sales experience? You will be required to push Fidelity funds. Are you comfortable with that? I doubt most Bogleheads would be. Do you know what percentage of new recruits that Fidelity hires are still there 5 years down the road? These companies are noted for churning and burning people who don't last 2 years because they can't sell. Any chance you could take a leave of absence from the government job for 1 year to see if you've got the chops to cut it in sales?
What I currently do is entitle people to benefits, yet I do not have to sell our product, I have talents for customer relations and maintaining those relationships. From glassdoor.com, the overall employee moral seems high and people enjoy working there. I could try taking a leave of absence, that may work, or I am now thinking to get certifications while I stay w my current job, then apply for a higher position in the future where I wont be impacted as much by the salary cut. I am also buying lotto tickets, maybe I'll win and can do whatever I want !

dcw213
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by dcw213 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:52 pm

It's a somewhat different story since you have no dependents, but I would think hard before you leave a Fed Gov't job for the unknown. I have a close acquaintance who left fed service after 10 years to "try something new". Turns out the grass was not greener and he has been trying to get back in since, unsuccessfully. He's leaving a great work life balance, TSP and pension access on the table simply to scratch an itch. He believes his and his family's financial lives have suffered as a result. Just some food for thought.

stoptothink
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:27 pm

mattod122 wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:18 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:41 pm
My best friend worked for about 5yrs for Fidelity before heading off to get his MBA at Wharton and now does very well in commercial real estate. He is very much a go-getter, as evidenced by Wharton, but he didn't get too far working for Fidelity (he did get all the certs you mentioned, including the CFP) even though he was consistently a top producer. I think you are being very optimistic about your possible salary projections if you joined Fidelity. IMO, I'd stay put.
Do you know why he ended up leaving? What he enjoyed or what he disliked most about working there?
He left to go to Wharton. Pretty simple; heading for the top-rated MBA program in the country gave him a lot more opportunity than sticking around working for a finance mega-corp which will pretty much hire anybody. He was a top performer, scored near 790 on his GMAT (hence a partial scholarship to Wharton) and passed his CFP in record time, but in about 5yrs I think he hit around $90k and I know two others who have both been there for close to a decade (both who have their CFP designation) and do not make 6-figures. Never heard him complain and I don't believe he disliked working there, but it was a sales job and if you are new to the industry and starting in their CFP program I have a very difficult time believing there is even potential to make close to $150k in 5yrs even as the top performer.

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3CT_Paddler
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:05 pm

mattod122 wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:00 pm
Recently I was offered a position working with Fidelity Investments. The job I would be taking would be entry level and I would receive the necessary training to obtain my series 7, 66, and eventually become a CFP (certified financial planner). In making the move, I would be cutting my salary in half, but the growth and future income with Fidelity would be much higher than what I could obtain at my current job. I would anticipate in about 5 years working for Fidelity I will be making in the $150k range. I currently am a GS 12-4 working for the government and in the next 3-5 years would have my GS-13 followed by another 5 years before I would have my GS-14.

I am 32, no children, and have the ability to make this move financially. I love working for the government, but just don't feel like I would reach my full potential here. I am a go-getter, driven, and enjoy working/putting in 110%. I have a passion for helping people plan financially. The govt has its benefits (healthcare, TSP, etc.), but I have read that Fidelity also has some of the best benefit packages as well.

Just wanted some thoughts on what you would do in this situation? Pros, cons, maybe something I am missing...
What is the offered starting salary at Fidelity?

I would focus on a side hustle if I was in your shoes.

MJW
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by MJW » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:13 pm

In the thread title, you asked: "Would you do it?"

My answer is, not a chance. But you're not me, and my reasons may not resonate with you.

I would caution you, however, about envisioning a long career at Fidelity as a factor in your decision. I think the more likely scenario is that this move would set you on a different career trajectory and you'll probably be doing something else within the next few years. I'm not saying that's a bad thing; just something to weigh against the notion of continuing your career working for the government.

eddot98
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by eddot98 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:30 pm

<t>[/quote]
That said, you have described yourself as a "go-getter" and folks like that typically don't fit in well with government jobs over the long term.
[/quote]

For what reason would you take this gratuitous slap at government workers? Do you have first hand knowledge or are you just spouting conventional conjecture? My first hand knowledge says that your opinion is not based in fact.

misscourtneyk
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by misscourtneyk » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:49 am

dcw213 wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:52 pm
Turns out the grass was not greener and he has been trying to get back in since, unsuccessfully. He's leaving a great work life balance, TSP and pension access on the table simply to scratch an itch.
THIS :sharebeer :sharebeer

You asked, would I do it? Hands down NO. A GS position is steady, secure, and well paying. Taking a 50% pay cut in a new job sounds like a recipe for dissatisfaction down the line. When you have those crappy days at work, or coworkers are getting on your nerves, that poor salary is going to make the job a lot less exciting. It also sounds like you love your current job. The grass is usually not greener, and an exciting job offer may not look so glamorous 6 months down the line.

I recently turned down a position with one of the three letter intelligence agencies, for similar reasons to those you are considering. Would it have been the coolest job ever? Maybe, and it was definitely a once in a lifetime shot. The salary was actually a bit more than my current earnings, but it would have been a huge paycut because it required a move to a much higher cost of living area (at least a 100% increase in COL). At the end of the day, after the honeymoon is over, a job is a job and I'd rather be paid more to put in those 40 hours.

But that's just me. I'm not a risk taker.
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.

daheld
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by daheld » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:02 am

So, a few things:

1. GS 12-4 can indicate a pretty wide pay range depending on where you're located. Care to say how much you currently earn per year?

2. Depending on what agency you work for, there is a decent chance you'll be giving up stability and job security that you'll never find anywhere else.

3. Benefits. People always think of TSP, and rightfully so. It's a great retirement system with the lowest fees you'll find. But you're also entitled to a pension. With your current pay and possibility of promotion, it's not unlikely you'll earn $100k-$120k (in today's dollars) by the time you retire. That would entitle you to a $30,000-40,000 (again, today's dollars) pension in retirement. For me, that's a hard thing to pass up. Additionally, you're young and single and understandably probably haven't thought about things like family leave and vacation policies. Again, depending on where you're working in the government, you're not going to find an organization as forgiving and flexible in terms of leave policies and paid time off.

4. Work-life balance. Kind of deals with the leave and paid time off policies mentioned above. I've been in cut throat jobs in cut throat industries on the promise of making more money, career advancement, etc. I learned pretty quickly (thankfully) that, to me, it just was not worth it. Again, depending on where you're working, you will not find a better environment for work-life balance than in some GS positions.

5. Advancement. Here's the one that kills me. People still tend to view government employees as crusty, dusty old coots who have zero ambition or drive. That's insane! You can work anywhere in the US (and likely anywhere in the world) depending on what you do and how ambitious you're willing to be. If you're tired and burned out where you are, look for another GS position somewhere else in the federal government!

As you can tell, my answer is no. I would stay right where I am if I were you.

Jayhawk11
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by Jayhawk11 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:04 am

Having worked in both the private sector and the Federal government, there is no way I'd give up a GS position with a clear upward trajectory to take a sales job in finance.

(1) worse salary, (2) worse security, (3) worse benefits, (4) worse work-life balance, (5) worse retirement outcomes. All for a potentially higher salary down the line. And it sounds like you like your current job well enough. When I worked in the private sector I had 15 of these guys calling me every week to pitch products. It seemed totally dispiriting, the cold calls, the million pitches and no bites, the fact that you're annoying 99% of the people you contact.

If you're a real go-getter, try something else in your spare time. Teach the gmat, sell stuff on ebay, learn to code, throw yourself into crypto.

Good luck to you.
Last edited by Jayhawk11 on Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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fandango
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Re: New Career Advice? Would you do it?

Post by fandango » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:15 am

I was formerly a Fidelity customer. From my standpoint it looked like a revolving door for the position you are discussing. It is a sales position and nothing more - some people don't make the sales they need to stay employed.

Look at small career changes in your government job or enhancing your skills. Consider starting your own business. Government jobs are not that time demanding so you can do whatever you want.

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