You know you want to... break out of Wall Street. Here's how: the lighthouse cheat sheet.

Are you considering transitioning from your finance role? 

Keep reading our lighthouse-approved cheat sheet on how to move on from a career in finance.

This guide is curated by finance career transitioners and panelists at our Breaking Out of Wall Street eventMaya BrooksJames ShalhoubHootan RashidifardRob Betz, and Julie!

Making The Transition

Step 1: Reflect and introspect Think about what your interests are and how those interests align to career paths. Hone in on your strengths by taking a personality test or referencing past performance reviews. Make a list of what like and don't like about your current or previous roles. Create another list of what you'd like out of your next opportunity.

Step 2: Narrow it down Once you've narrowed it down to a few different career paths, start reaching out to people to learn more about the role or industry - both internally and externally. You can also check out thelighthouse Coffee Chat Series. Schedule phone calls and coffee chats to understand: What is their day to day like? What skills are needed to break into this role? What are the top resources to learn more? Pro tip: don't forget to send thank you notes and always ask if they know of any open roles.

Step 3: Conduct a 'skills gap' Once you're clear on where you want to go next, find a job posting for the role and compare it to your resume. In this comparison, consider what skills or experiences you already have and what skills or experiences you are missing and how can you fill those gaps. Fill the gaps by volunteering to do work for start-ups, non-profits, or teams within your company. For the more technicals skills, check out online learning platforms like General Assembly.

Maya on the importance of creating the experience you need: "If someone is starting a company, tell them you have no experience but want to learn, and ask if you can help do that XYZ for them. It doesn't have to be paid; add it to your resume or portfolio for experience. This will show the interviewer that you are passionate about this." - Maya

Julie on how to leverage your current company to get new experience: "Before I knew about my current job, I started working on more philanthropy related things and dove into it - that's how I got the attention of my current boss. I was able to align myself with the right people to make the pivot internally." 

Step 4: Network for the role Once you're clear on what you want, network within your company, schedule coffees with your network (or check out Lunchclub), and meet new people by going to to industry events. 70% of jobs are filled through networking so get out behind your computer and start meeting people.

The Tactical Advice

Don't be afraid to be selfish. It's your career, your happiness on the line, and you know what the best decision is for you. 

Applying to a job can feel like a full time job. It's important to make time for your job search while continuing to do well in your current role. See The 4 Hour WorkWeek or read Essentialism to figure out how to find more time in your schedule. 

Take advantage of your associates and people you work with when it comes time to get references. Asking your boss may not be an option, so leverage your peers and previous managers who have also moved on.

Why it's all worth it

"Even though I might not be getting paid as much, the work that I'm doing is so much more fulfilling and interested and I get so much more out of it." - James

"I used to stress about getting up and going to work, and now what I stress about is doing the best job at my job and making the best decisions. I don't stress going to work anymore, and that's a healthy transition to me." - Rob

"You learn a lot about people when you're in really stressful environments and I still keep in touch with some of my associates. Quickly identify who you can trust, and those relationships are really meaningful." - Hootan

Upcoming Events

Curious about a career in Venture Capital? Join Work-Bench VC on 1/15 to discuss the "Many Paths to Enterprise VC: How to Get In & Thrive".

Date: Wednesday 1/15/20 Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm Location: AWS Loft @ 350 West Broadway

Register here to attend.

Join the club

Apply to join thelighthouse membership to tap into a network of industry professionals who are here to help you break out of Wall Street. Apply.


81 Prospect Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201


Terms of Service

Privacy Policy

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • LinkedIn - Black Circle

©2020 by thelighthouse International, Inc.