Help me try to figure out what kind of career might be good for me.
November 18, 2013 7:40 PM   Subscribe

Help me try to figure out what kind of career might be good for me.

I am currently an investment portfolio manager. I like most aspects of my job, but I don't like my company and my exact kind of job in my field is hard to come by and very competitive (I've been looking for over a year and most times can't even get a callback for positions I'm perfectly qualified for). I'm wondering what other fields I should be looking at for the kinds of things I like doing.

What I do:
-Manage investment portfolios within asset allocation guidelines (all investment products - trad, alts, etc)
-Write client communications on markets and investments
-Conduct due diligence on product (fund) managers
-Run analytics and simulations on various products to help construct investment models
-Lots of other industry specific stuff, but those are the main things

What I don't have experience in:
-Actual company and balance sheet analysis. I have never been an official stock analyst.
-Not much tech background at all. Other than some industry programs (FactSet, Morningstar, etc), the only things I know are MS Word, Excel and Power Point (I don't really know Bloomberg either).
- No management experience (people management)

-I have extensive client experience and sales training
-I've taken the CFA exams but don't have my CFA
-English degree
-10 years experience doing what I'm doing now
-Mid-30s female

What I'm looking for:
- I absolutely love the analytics and research work in my job. I also work on a lot of little side projects (writing research papers on econ/markets, etc) and I love these as well. If I could do this stuff full time, I would do it in a heartbeat.
- I've been involved in a ton of ad hoc committees, various work groups and councils in my career. Lots of project stuff.
- I really want to get away from the client-facing, sales aspect of my job. It's not the clients I mind, it's the sales/revenue targets part of it. This is becoming a bigger and bigger part of my job but I don't like it. It is also probably a big strength of mine.

So what kinds of jobs can I look for where I can do a lot of in-depth research or projects? One requiring good communication skills would be ideal (such as interpretation/communication of results/policies/procedures etc), as this is definitely one of my strengths.

I am a strong believer in a work/life balance, but I don't actually mind working longer hours once in a while if need be - as long as there's no pressure to do so for no reason. Both of my major jobs in my career have been big on facetime and pressuring people to "work outside of normal hours" even when I could get my work done within normal business hours (which I almost always have been able to do).

My questions:
1. I am vaguely thinking that product analyst or research analyst might be good jobs to look at. Does anyone have any other ideas? Titles that I can use as search terms would be helpful.

2. While there seem to be a lot of these kinds of jobs out there, how do I spin my very specific experience in investments to be a good fit in a totally different industry that I have no specialized knowledge about? An example would be an opening I saw for a market research manager at a large energy company with the following description: "Lead market research team to provide timely competitive, market and customer research, conclusions and recommendations. Develop internal and external data sources. Provide regular reports, analysis and recommendations to clients on market information for use in marketing strategies and tactical plans." I've done all of this in the context of investment portfolios but wouldn't have the first clue what they're looking for at an energy company.

How do I market my very specific experience with things like mutual funds, ETFs and REITs to be relevant at an energy or healthcare (or whatever) company? Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Almost all of your skills are totally applicable in almost any aspect of business. Don't worry about marketing the mutual funds side of yourself. What your experience tells future employers is that you can master complicated concepts easily:
  • Manage investment portfolios within asset allocation guidelines — you are detail-oriented
  • Write client communications on markets and investments — you communicate well
  • Conduct due diligence on product (fund) managers — you are still detail-oriented and have follow-through
  • Run analytics and simulations on various products to help construct investment models — you have some technical aptitude and aren't afraid of Excel
Work for a consulting company or a marketing company or some other company that has a lot of different client industries and non-specific titles like "consultant" or "analyst" or "project manager". A lot of those jobs are found almost entirely by word of mouth and networking, so work your friends. Find out what they do. Don't get bogged down in the specifics of your current job if you don't actually like your current job. Examine what you already have for transferable skills and find where you'd like to transfer them.
posted by clone boulevard at 9:45 PM on November 18, 2013

You might look into doing regulatory compliance in either the energy or healthcare field. I work in the latter. Memail me if you're interested in more information.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 7:18 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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