March 25, 2023

Salvage Jobs

Only the finest business

I Found My Calling at Deloitte After I Was Laid Off From a Finance Job

  • Rohan Kapoor used to work in the financial and risk division at Thomson Reuters.
  • When he was laid off, he thought about what he really wanted to do and discovered Salesforce.
  • Here’s his career journey, as told to reporter Robin Madell.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Rohan Kapoor, a 26-year-old senior consultant for Deloitte based in New York. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I started out in finance right out of undergrad, selling market data to traders, bankers, and investment managers within the financial and risk division at Thomson Reuters. During my two-and-a-half years there, my base salary ranged from $50,000 to $75,000.

Now I’m a senior consultant at Deloitte specializing in the CRM (client relationship management) space. I absolutely love what I do now. And less than three years into working at Deloitte, my base salary is nearly triple what it was in my last role.

While I wasn’t your typical ‘Wall Street bro,’ I dealt with them day in and day out

I got to skip the long hours, stressful deadlines, and pressure these people faced because I was merely a market-data provider.

But with little-to-no actual industry credibility, I realized quickly that I had no business being on Wall Street. My job offered industry training and resources, but I still felt like an outsider in front of the client. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t grasp basic concepts of the financial world, like the buy side versus sell side or the difference between a stock broker, asset manager, or investment banker. 

I was eventually promoted and relocated to Boston, then Toronto, but was laid off as a result of my unit being acquired by Blackstone in 2018

I took a six-month sabbatical and thought long and hard about my next move. I decided to take a chance and try something new. 

I started doing some research into CRM and Salesforce. Around this time Deloitte and Accenture were hiring consultants who had client-facing experience and teaching them technical Salesforce skills before sending them out to clients for large-scale software implementations. 

Looking back, it was really at 17 years old when I took the first step into this field

One February evening, I walked into Staples to buy school supplies. I was a bit of a phone nerd and mentioned to the manager that I liked how Staples was selling phones now. He asked if I wanted a job and hired me at $11 an hour, with commission on whatever I sold.

On my first day, he told me to talk to as many customers as I could and log their information onto this platform called Salesforce.

I became really good at selling and came up with interesting strategies, like handing out custom business cards I’d made with a little QR code on them that checked your phone’s upgrade date when you scanned it. I also used to wear a pair of Beats headphones around my neck while I was on the clock. This was because we got extra commissions for any accessories we sold. 

Before I knew it, I was a top salesman. To this day, people tell me they’ve held on to those business cards and remember me by them. These were the first client relationships I ever made.

I got the job at Deloitte in April 2019 by cold-messaging someone on LinkedIn

They referred me after seeing mention of Salesforce on my profile. I participated in four interview rounds before getting the job.

18 months in, I left Deloitte and went to a smaller consulting firm to work in the sales strategy and training space, working on broader projects outside of just technology implementations. 

Within eight months, I found myself back at Deloitte. This time, I took on a role within the change-management space handling sales strategy and training. 

This is my calling because it combines my experiences. At Thomson Reuters, I was essentially in a training-oriented role. After gaining more software experience with CRM, I was able to combine my skills and make my own little niche. I’ve been back at Deloitte six months and can say that I’m here to stay.