Joined the industry ~6 years ago into a technology program at a big bank but in 2 years moved into risk quant dev (prototyping, building and implementing market risk analytics, but still falls under technology). Also worked upon big data technologies - used them for storage and computing millions of analytics, providing almost real-time retrieval of analytics (spanning billions of points and multi-year data) for various use-cases for a mid-sized IB.
Firstly I was lured into initial job for lack of options (was on OPT post masters and couldn't afford long unemployment in search of better options) and failure to convert some good desk quant interviews that I managed to get but then grudgingly (& unconsciously) stayed committed to my work. Learned many things on the job like coding best practices, technology best practices, building production quality systems and processes etc., was always praised by colleagues and bosses for work quality and ethic, had 2 promotions in ~4 years (may be all this is inflated praised in bank IT divisions and I am left in a bubble after all?!).
All the while I had been assuming that I would naturally stumble upon some opportunity that takes me into or near trading desk - which allows me to apply all that I learned and put that knowledge to directly contribute to revenue generation.
I recently had an internal job opportunity for Equity desk quant role but was passed over for a freshly Math PhD from UCLA (no wonder I stood no chance in comparison). Tried to move into desk Risk Manager role but was passed on again for someone from operations (trying for the same internal role) because ops person is assumed to know the "business" better, though I know I can explain every single risk analytics used by this team better than the ops person - but I'd come to accept that it's not how these decisions work.
I spent ~2-3 weeks to refresh the text book concepts for the above roles (like pricing theory, numerical methods etc.) and was able to get back to interview levels but I was frankly struggling and questioning myself if this investment in time stands any chance against other applicants trying for these roles.
I can continue my current work sleepwalking through my life, but I already built a lot of self hatred for doing for ~6 years and I'm afraid I could become depressed and suicidal if I continue like this. I would like to move out because I always wanted to work and I am good at molding myself to solve complex problems and I enjoy doing that.
After all this do I stand any chance of realizing this or is it just a pipe dream of my life?