It is time to move on, a new career

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Aug 29, 2005 10:15 pm

Hello everyone. My name is Anthony, and I am in IT geek. I have been in IT for 8 years, and I have had a good career thus far. I have not had much to complain about, except for the fact that I hate what I do. Yes, you heard that right, I hate what I do... like many other people do. However, unlike most other people, I want to do something about it.

I have many IT certifications, and an associates degree in computer science. I was working on my BS in CS, I have no idea why, other then to just do it. I think I am going to make a change.

I have always been a big fan of money. Who isn't? Unlike most other people, I find myself with a Wall Street Journal subscription, and I read financial sites all of the time. My family (read: my wife and cousin) seem to think that maybe I should persue a career in Finance. I am 26, it is definately not too late for a change.

So, here I am, I am thinking of finishing dinner and going to the book store. I am thinking of picking up the NASD Series 7 Study Guide, and giving it a try... a STRONG try. If I like it, and I try the exam in a few months, I am thinking of changing my BS degree into a BA degree in Finance, it won't add too much to my requirements...

I don't really know what I want to do just yet, junk bonds, mutuals, who knows. I just want to look into the field and see if I am interested.

Anyone care to talk about this, about the exam, or the career? I see job postings all the time in my area for people with their Series 7, since I live in the NYC area. I am of course going to stay in IT, I just want to explore other options.

I would appreciate any insight. Suggested books on the field, including but not limited to study guides for the exam. Books that are "must reads" for people new to thefield would be nice. (i.e. People would recommend 1L to most anyone going to Law School)

Thanks for your time,
Anthony

Aug 29, 2005 10:26 pm

First things first, Anthony.  Series 7 is not for a job in finance...it's a license to be a salesman.  Early in our careers we've all, I'm sure, dreamed about finding the next MSFT and putting all our clients into it, making them all millionaires.  The reality is that until you have someone to sell it to, all the financial research is worth exactly squat.  Do you like the idea of sales, Anthony?  Because that's where the big money is made.

Aug 29, 2005 10:30 pm

It is nearly impossible these days to break into a brokerage career without a mentor or sponsor to help you out.



You should call a local brokerage to see if they have a place for you to work as a junior associate for a senior producer.

You'll get exposure to the biz, and then if you want, they can sponsor
you for the 7 test. Maybe you'll be chosen to be a jr associate for
some retiring broker, and become a jr partner in his business.



Otherwise, forget it, especially in NYC.

Aug 29, 2005 10:36 pm
Starka:

First things first, Anthony.  Series 7 is not for a job in finance...it's a license to be a salesman.  Early in our careers we've all, I'm sure, dreamed about finding the next MSFT and putting all our clients into it, making them all millionaires.  The reality is that until you have someone to sell it to, all the financial research is worth exactly squat.  Do you like the idea of sales, Anthony?  Because that's where the big money is made.



More correctly a series 7 is primarily used for entry into the "financial services realm".  Most with this license are salesmen/financial advisors/investment consultants/account executives...whatever.


However, if you are seeking to get on the number crunching side of things as a research analyst the series 7 is generally required too.  Additionally you will also need to get a series 87 for a top tier research analyst positions.


Anyway, get the series 7 by any means possible.  Call a few of the ads in the New York Times and feel them out.  If they want to use you for slave labor...use them to get your series 7.  Then leverage the hell out of your series 7 and talk to those firms that truly have what you are seeking whether it be sales, service (sales assistant), or research.


Good luck!

Aug 30, 2005 8:47 am

I guess I should switch this around.  I am motivated to make a change in my life, and make life better for my family and myself.  Can I do sales?  Of course, I know that to be in the industry you need to be able to sell.  I have been told I have a very strong presence when I sell, which is why I do well at it.


I guess I should be brutally honest.  I have no idea what I want to do in the field yet, which is why I am looking for books to get a grasp, which I continue my IT career.  I want to read books like the series 7 exam prep, The Complete Words of Wall Street: A Professional's Guide to Investment Literacy, and Stock in Trade: A Guide to the World and Work of Wall Street.  Maybe it is for me, maybe it isn't, but I won't know unless I give it a shot.  I don't want to "settle" for a career I am not happy with, then turn around and regret it later.


Now is the time for me to make a move.   I am not too far along in my career to give up IT and become a Junior Associate somewhere.  I would have to cut out some of the "finer" things I am used to, since my salary will plummet, but other people have had to do that in the past.


So, going off of that, any advice on reading material?  Should I open an online account, throw some spending money in there, and play around and learn, try and get used to some of the language of the market?


Thanks for all of the replies,


Anthony 

Aug 30, 2005 9:03 am

It is a "career", not a quick fix. It will take you years of frustration and hard work and luck. You are young enough though, to get it out of your system, and there is the chance that you will have  phenomenal success.

Aug 30, 2005 9:13 am
moneyadvisor:

It is a "career", not a quick fix. It will take you years of frustration and hard work and luck. You are young enough though, to get it out of your system, and there is the chance that you will have  phenomenal success.




I am fully aware that it will take time, and you don't make money immediately... which is why I stated I am looking to change my career :)  I am definately not looking for a quick buck or a get rich quick scheme... I am trying to decide what to do with the one life we are given.


It took me 7 years to get where I am in IT, I assume it takes the same or longer in just about any career to get to a point where you feel comfortable.  I did my time working 16 hour days to get ahead in my current business... I am willing to keep doing it, for the sake of my family and my life, no matter what venture I take, whether it be securities, mortgages, etc...


Thanks!


Anthony

Aug 30, 2005 10:22 am

Besides books (which won't necessarily give you what you might want re understanding what it's like to be a rep), set up some informational interviews with experienced reps.  Check with friends, neighbors, your boss, etc. of who their brokers are, and call them to see if they'd spend a few minutes with you.  Tell them you're considering the industry & want to learn more about the pros/cons.

Aug 30, 2005 10:38 am

Are you good talking with people?  Do you have a wide circle of friends?  Are you comfortable speaking in front of people?


This is a people business.  Your IT background may not have prepared you for this.


If you like stocks and the market, maybe you should be a trader.  You have to like people - good or bad - to make it in this business.

Aug 30, 2005 10:53 am

I am a very good talker, and when I did sales, I was a very good salesman.  I decided to do IT because it was a hobby, but the lack of interaction is boring, so I guess that is a plus.


I know people in the business, some that have worked as a trader, others that are advisors, I am not really sure at this point what I want to do, but the advice of talking to people is good, I will definately look into that.

Aug 30, 2005 11:10 am

I am just unsure where to start. I don't know if I want to be a financial advisor, a broker, who knows. I don't know if I want to work in Bonds, Mutuals, anything.  To be honest, at this point, I don't even know much of the difference.

I guess I am just looking for a start, some good books or websites to get a feel if this is even for me. Maybe I should start an online trade account and research and trade... not day trade, but learn about the market, how daily news effects the market, etc...

I could maybe start studying for the Series 7 and look for a company that is willing to hire a Junior Broker or Advisor. Can you give me some direction, possibly on what I should be doing, where I should start?

I would think that read/read/read and find some people in the industry to talk to are the right steps...

Aug 30, 2005 11:37 am

I wish you well, and feel sorry for you at the same time. BTW, there are alot of ways to make money. If you have passion, are driven(which it sounds like you might be), and enjoy what you do....You will be happy, and make some good dough.

Sep 1, 2005 1:27 am

as said before, i think it's v important to set up informational interviews with any good reputable firms to get an idea of the business...just ring them up or drop into their office on spec as that is what i did when starting out!! Remember it's always better to know a little and have good questions to ask so that you are prepared!


You should check the nytimes.com for posts or register with wallstreetjobs.com --think of getting the 7 exam soon!!


Good Luck!