When Do You Know It Is Time for A New Job?

“One door closes and another one opens.” Old saying that you hate to hear when it is you, but it is so true.

Today’s blog will be much different than what I normally do, but I get asked these questions quite often so I wanted to share my own story. I’ve been fired, laid off, and quit on my own, so I’ve really seen it all. I’ll do my best to discuss when it is time for a new job and share a few things I’ve learned over the years.

Getting Fired

I worked for more than a decade at a very small research shop near the beginning of my career. I had a lot of fun leveraging social media, traditional media, learning about sentiment and technicals, writing blogs, presenting, and developing my quantitative framework. But after many years it was clear to me that I wanted to work more with clients and help people, versus sell them a newsletter.

There is nothing wrong with learning new things and along the way you realize you could probably help people and our industry in new ways. I really enjoyed presenting and wanted to manage real money. (I was also pretty good at it.) So, after a decade a running virtual portfolios, it was time for a change.

Here’s the other part to my story. The company I worked for was the type of place that would promise you ‘a bonus on Friday’ only for Friday to come and nothing in the bank account. If you asked where it was, they would call you out in front of the whole team. As crazy as it sounds now, after the GFC most of us were just happy to have a job, so we didn’t make too big of a deal. But after being lied to multiple times I had enough and said to either pay me the money you owed me or fire me. Soon after I was fired for having a bad attitude. I didn’t disagree about my attitude, as it wasn’t very positive by then.

Getting fired is never fun and I was quite worried about what would come next. Looking back, it was a total blessing and I’m so glad it happened and it was exactly the way it was supposed to happen. If you are at a place that doesn’t value you or outright lies to you about pay or bonuses, know that there are many more companies out there that won’t treat you that way.

Getting Laid Off

I landed at an RIA as a Portfolio Manager next and I was having a lot of fun, learning how to take my skills and apply them to real money and clients. Well, on my 90th day the company I was at was bought out by a bank. They called everyone into a room and said you will now go meet with HR to learn your fate. I was told because I was so new I wasn’t going to be able to stick around, but I did have three more months to stay on board.

This was a total gut punch, as I didn’t want to leave. Careers are funny things, as they most assuredly don’t always go the way you think they will. The quote above about one door closes and another one opens really comes to mind here. I was the one who had another door closed on them and I wasn’t happy about it. Many people told me this was happening for a reason and it’ll all make sense down the road. I can truly say you feel like punching the person telling you this, but looking back close to 10 years later it is absolutely true.

If you lose your job for a reason out of your control, feel bad for a few days, but then get on it. I worked extremely hard at networking (I bought a lot of lunches for people) and at getting much better at Excel (learning many of the studies I share today). I had three months to get paid while looking for another job. I didn’t sit around and hope something good would happen. I worked at it every single day.

Leaving On My Own

My next job was at very large independent Broker/Dealer and it was a ton of fun. Made a lot of great friends and realized I loved working with Financial Advisors. I was with them nearly seven years, but then you could say I hit my seven-year itch.

I wanted to do more creative things, have more of a voice on a team, but still be able to work with and have an impact on Financial Advisors and their clients. What I just said can be very hard to do at a very large and institutional place. Companies change over time and I learned I didn’t want to work at a big place where I couldn’t make an impact. The research department at the firm had become mired in conventionality and the bureaucratic needs of a large organization. And I was expected to stay in my narrowly defined lane, be a good boy, not think about the actual needs of advisors, and do my job. I had so many ideas that could never happen, as there were too many layers of people saying no all the way up. I had hit a ceiling and my impact was muted due to new leadership and decisions made well above my paygrade.

This isn’t a bad thing though, as many people are comfortable working for large companies and doing their job and going home. The issue was for me it just didn’t fit what I wanted to do at this point of my career. So two years ago this month I left on my own terms and after what happened the two times before, I must say this felt much better. 😉

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Right Now

At this point of my career, I’m having an absolute blast at Carson Group, working with the strongest and deepest investment research team I’ve ever been a part of, with the best leadership and corporate culture I’ve ever seen as well. You could say it took me more than 20 years to get to this point, so remember that if you are younger and still trying to find the perfect fit for your career.

We only get one career and one chance to make a difference and have some fun. That is what I said from the very beginning when Carson started recruiting me. I wanted to have fun and make an impact. If you are an Advisor out there and you’ve hit a ceiling, feel lost at your current home, or don’t feel the same passion about your career as you once did, I’d love to talk with you about why Carson is truly different. You can also learn more right here.

Thanks for reading and if you are at a career crossroads know that another door is going to open for you very soon.

Lastly, for some thoughts on why a summer rally is likely, I joined Joe Kernan on CNBC’s Squawk Box yesterday to discuss this and more. Watch it all below.


For more content by Ryan Detrick, Chief Market Strategist click here.


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