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Note: I know there are many questions about quitting a new job for a better offer, but most of them seem to talk about better pay in a competing company. I am simply looking for guidance, so if this is a duplicate please direct me to the original.

I am a fresh grad, ~ a month into my first job at a very large financial services company. I got this offer a year ago, during my university's placement fair. I took it even though I don't feel interested in finance, because it pays well and I was grateful to have a job in the pandemic. This company also has a culture of very long working hours, high-pressure, and competition (which I got to know of only much later through employees who work there).

I have majored in computational mechanics, and genuinely liked my undergrad education - I have a decent GPA and many projects to reflect my aptitude and interest in the field. Over my final year I worked on two research projects that genuinely made it "click" within me that this is what I want to make a career out of - or at least try to. I wanted to proceed for a higher degree in the field, but can't right now because I simply cannot afford it at present.

Now one month into my job, I have received an offer from an automotive firm, the role is almost the same as what my background is in. They are offering nearly the same pay (it's 20% lesser than the current offer, but since it's in a way smaller city I will save a lot more than at present). It's an R&D role, so there is immense potential for papers and patents. This company has a pretty great reputation (heard some great reviews from friends). I feel this could be my chance to get to do research in a field I love, while getting decent money.

However, my parents have cautioned me that leaving this early, on my probationary period, will reflect very poorly and may harm me in future. Finance is known for paying well, they want me to at least "try it" before going into something they view as a "niche, underpaid field" like computational mech.

Some questions my parents have raised: How can I know I am not interested in finance without even trying it? Am I "bailing out" because of the stressful culture at my present job? I can't deny this, I simply don't have a temperament for stress. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) at 15, was on-and-off medication for several years. What if I decide later I want a "more monied" industry like finance, but have burnt these major bridges?

I don't know how to assess now whether they are right or I am. Please guide me on how I can objectively assess both sides and explain to either them, or myself, what is the "right" decision to take.

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    Go, make yourself happy ASAP, you only have one life, you'll regret it/resent your parents if you don't. Jul 30 at 13:18
  • Take the job. It’s more money (after cost of living). It’s the thing you really want to try doing. You’re a fresh grad one month into probation, you could easily leave it off your CV in future and no-one would even notice. Finance is, as you say, long hours and lots of stress. And it doesn’t get better either.
    – Kaz
    Jul 31 at 12:29
  • Based on what you’ve said here, I think you’d be a fool not to take the other job. Your parents worry about you, want to protect you, want what’s best for you. But they don’t know what’s best for you anymore, you have to decide that for yourself.
    – Kaz
    Jul 31 at 12:32
  • Your parents are idiots. Don't listen to them. What you're describing sounds like an awesome opportunity. Not only that, but for your talents, it can be very lucrative as well. Jul 31 at 21:04
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However, my parents have cautioned me that leaving this early, on my probationary period, will reflect very poorly and may harm me in future.

Since you are still within your probational period, give the proper notice and leave.

Probation is designed for both sides to determine if the fit is right before making a stronger commitment.

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    This makes sense
    – user128679
    Jul 31 at 1:49
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You have two questions to ask yourself. First, do you think the job you'd be moving into is stable? Second, are you sure that you yourself are reliable? Switching now into another job starts looking a bit concerning on your record, and might make it difficult to find another job, but that basically goes away if you're at the new position for more than a year or two. Assuming the job's going to stick around, and your interest is going to persist, then there's no real downside to jumping to the field you want sooner rather than later.

If you do not have the tolerance for stress that finance demands, then you just don't. There's a reason why those jobs pay more - because most people don't want to put themselves through that. It's okay if you're like most people in that way.

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  • Thanks for this answer, it's quite helpful. The job is definitely stable, it's a pretty famous and well-known automotive company. For the second question, I am determined to stay here for atleast 2 years, regardless of whether I like it or not, because I want to know whether I like comp modeling as a career.
    – user128679
    Jul 30 at 14:06
  • And the stress part, I do think I have even lower tolerance than most people, because I have an 8-year long history of anxiety, depression, insomnia. I feel a lot of pressure to "grow up" and "stick it out" but it's not like I want to sit idle. I'm willing to do a normal job, after all I did get through college, I just don't want to do an unusually stressful one...
    – user128679
    Jul 30 at 14:08
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    @Joe Strazzere - I sought help long ago, when I was 15ish, and was on medication for quite a while. What my parents don't understand is, even though I am "cured" now, I simply don't want to take that much stress again and go through hell all over.
    – user128679
    Jul 31 at 1:49
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There is still time for you to switch the domain of your job. If you want to go to the technical domain you should switch your domain right away because if you go to the non-tech domain there are very low chances after 1 year or 2 years. But as an answer of long hours working (overtime), every company has the same scenario also there will be a little bit of high-pressure, and competition in any domain you will go. If you still feel more burnout in your first job you should find and switch your job right away. Because you are a fresh grad- you can still switch the domain. After that there will be very low chances for switching new domain.

"I was grateful to have a job in the pandemic"

Every fresher is, because there is a very small amount of companies hiring freshers during the pandemic, and judging by your question I think you are from India.

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  • Though when working for the government there is generally low pressure as is working for most non-profit organisations.
    – bibleblade
    Aug 10 at 8:32
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I think you are quite clear in your mind about what job you want to do, and with the details you have shared, it's clear that you have made a sensible assessment. You are rather more concerned about how to convey this to your parents, given their skepticism and your own anxiety issues in the past.

It's really a positive thing that both you and your parents are concerned about each others well-being and feelings. That is why they are cautioning you, and you too are really considering their advise and feelings on the matter.

Their caution obviously stems from experience - it can indeed reflect poorly on you if you jump jobs so soon, and from an old world perspective, "a job is a job to just earn money" and thus from a long term perspective, the better pay in finance does make a lot of sense. And perhaps they are also worried that the anxiety issues you struggled with as a teen are again flaring up under the stress of the new job.

So if you have indeed decided to accept the new job, you have to assuage your parents' concerns when talking to them, to reassure them that the decision is sound and made in a practical manner. To that end, you can point out to them:

  1. That it makes more sense to work at a job that you have actually studied for, then struggle in a job that you lack adequate skills at and don't find interesting.

  2. That you have a clear goal of doing your Masters and / or Phd later, and thus this new job can really help with that.

  3. That the current job is quite stressful and you fear the negative impact it can have on your mental health if you find yourself stuck in such a job you do not like, and may not like in the future.

It will also help a lot if you can find ways to assure your parents that a research job can make a worthwhile career. (They are indeed right that future opportunities, at least monetary wise, are better in other fields, especially finance.)

Q. How can I know I am not interested in finance without even trying it?

A. You can point out to them that you already liked what you studied. So why make an effort to find a professional interest in something else, and potentially waste time? Moreover, you lack the qualification and skill-set to advance in finance (you will have to do an MBA in finance in future if you really want to advance in this field). An MBA is very expensive and preferably needs job experience of a few years, in good colleges. Do you and your parents see you doing an MBA in the future?

Q. Am I "bailing out" because of the stressful culture at my present job?

A. Yes, that is playing a huge role. Be honest. Stress does induce anxiety. And you know the cause of the stress - the lack of skills (or rather the pressure to learn new skills), and the excessive demands placed on you. Obviously, you will have to deal with the latter in any industry, and not just finance. But learning a new skill is stressing you out because its a field you are totally unfamiliar with and something your college education has not prepared you for. It is fair to ask if you unnecessarily want to experience that stress.

Q. What if I decide later I want a "more monied" industry like finance, but have burnt these major bridges?

A. The first part is a very fair question - following your passion doesn't necessarily mean that money will follow too. And at some point in the future you will care about money too. In general, we humans like to compete and compare ourselves with our social peers (Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - Esteem Needs). So when we are in school and college, we compete with our peers on grades / sports and socially (friends and dating). And when we are in the workplace we compete on responsibilities (job & family), achievements and salary / incentives. At some point, a decade later, you will find yourself making this kind of comparison too. And if your peers are more financially secure than you, it will hurt your self-esteem - especially if you have a family and struggle with the money you make. (When family comes into the picture, many of of us are quite willing to sacrifice our passion at work because we care more for the pleasure of seeing someone in our life happy. And for many Asians, family includes caring for our aged parents too).

However, you really won't be "burning any bridges" in a place you have worked for a month (unless perhaps you got the job because of someone you know).

Worst case, you can strike a compromise with your parents - suggest that you will work two-three years in your field, and then either do a Masters in your field (preferably from a good college abroad) if your passion doesn't wane or you will do an MBA in finance and change your career. (Ofcourse, if your parents are going to finance these, like most Asian parents do, that can be an additional cause of concern for them that you will have to address.)

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    Thanks for this answer, it's the sort of objective guidance I needed. I do understand my parent's POV as well, and this makes sense
    – user128679
    Aug 1 at 7:28