Working in the private equity domain can have ups and downs, especially for those who are just beginning their career in this area. It’s something that is about money, and in finance, the private equity is the asset class that consists of equity securities and debt in those operating companies which are not publicly traded on a stock exchange.
In short, no matter if it’s about a venture capital, a private equity firm or an angel investor, there are different strategies that are used and they have the same goal – to provide the working capital for a target company, in order to nurture new product development, expansion or restructuring the operations and management of the company.
Here are some secrets to make sure you make a career in the private equity domain, easily explained for those who want to become partners in such firms.
Do the Hard Things
As a beginner, you’ll need to show others that you’re ready to take on the hard stuff, the difficult and tough tasks. Everyone would love to work on new tasks, but those who take on those tasks that require a big attention for details are easily noticed, not to mention noticed faster. If you’re an associate, the most experienced people say that it’s harder to get credit for winning, but you can get tons of credit for helping fix the losers. This will help you in getting more authority and a higher degree of autonomy.
Focusing on Private Equity Portfolio Companies
It’s a rule that says that you have to make your portfolio CFOs and CEOs happy first, and then you can move to your private equity boss. This means that you will be able to learn more about what matters in a business and what matters for your own career from the management teams you interact with than from your co-workers.
This is another rule that you’ll have to try to respect. There’s an upside about having a private equity – a PE role versus the banking area that you’ve quit, as the first one puts you in the position of having influence regularly. It also lets you have a position where you really look bad, and everyone who you have the opportunity to meet outside your firm can consider you too pompous and less qualified. It’s better to show the image of a grateful, humble and self-aware person and it will be a win-win situation for everyone.
Shut Up and Find the Right Time
Even if you do have more knowledge than the people around you, working in an environment that allows little influence from the bottom up, you need to bite your tongue and bide your time. It would be the perfect opportunity to gather some experience and wait until a better job offering appears in finance or another company. Working in private equity firms often opens up doors to other related domains.
Think Twice about This Career
This domain is similar to any other domain, no matter if you’re thinking about banking or consulting, because being an entry-level associate in PE has very little to do with your requirements for the job as a partner. You need to think really hard if you really want to spend the next 20 years doing what is required in a private equity company. Even if it does seem that it’s a very interesting job, it doesn’t always mean that it is your career.
Even if you do have the needed skills for processing a deal, are you sure you also have the interest in finding these deals, managing the investors and managing the funds? These are important questions that you need to answer to sooner than later.