Personally, I am the biggest advocate of working in an investment bank and I love my job (sad I know). However, I don't miss my analyst days at all. Being an analyst is tough. It's a gruelling time and only some survive.
If you're an analyst who's been sitting at the desk for hours on end working on a pointless project which is making your life a misery, resignation probably seems like an appealing prospect.
Chucking in the security pass and dumping the Blackberry may seem like a passport to freedom. But is it really?
The truly brave and truly impetuous analysts quit before bonus day. To fall into this category you need to really hate your job with a vengeance, so that you'll do anything paying 6 an hour as an alternative. Others will return to graduate study. I've seen colleagues turn to arts/farming/fashion....anything but figures!
Most analysts quit after bonus day. These people are effectively taking the firm's money and running. It's not illegal and it's financially sensible. The best analysts will often find alternative employment in a hedge fund or private equity fund.
Either way, exiting analysts are usually hated by everyone who stays behind. The firms dislike them in particular: they didn't stick around and keep up their side of the deal. You may not realise this if you're a disgruntled analyst, but your employer spends a lot of money on you in your first years of employment in the form of training, exams, qualifications, systems...You are a big investment
For the analysts reading this thinking about quitting....think carefully and don't make a rash decision. Whichever bucket you fall into, this is about your future. Try to hang on until bonuses are banked at least.
If you're an analyst and you genuinely love your job and can't wait for the next year, I wish you well. I also suggest you invest in multi-packs of Redbull and a fully-loaded Starbucks card!