You'll spend 60% of your time sourcing new deals and due-diligencing them, while the remaining 40% will be on existing portfolio management. Portfolio management can include everything from re-assessing the strategy to managing executives to reporting on performance.
PE is great if you love wearing lots of hats and learning how to form high-conviction views and make decisions with limited data around different industries and businesses. You will improve your overall understanding of business, finance, operations and strategy. It's a merit-based role with clear, measurable feedback loops (e.g., # deals closed, portfolio company performance, fund returns etc.)
You'll need to go into PE expecting a high intensity during your day to do - both the pace and in the magnitude of your decisions, particularly during a deal. Whilst you will enjoy the successful decisions, you'll need to be prepared to wear the consequences of your worst decisions.
There are different types of PE funds and depending what you like, different ones will be right for you. For turnaround funds (think distressed businesses), you'll get your hands dirty in the business. Leveraged Buy Out (LBO) funds raise debt to fuel a mature business, meaning you'll bet on a business model, industry and management team. Growth Equity funds bet on organic growth.
You have 1) bonus - usually about 50% of your salary per year, and 2) carry - which is a % of what the fund returns to investors when it exits (or earlier in some cases). This usually vests over 3-6 years and can be worth a few hundred thousand per year. Note that not all firms offer carry to junior roles.
PE roles are highly merit-based with clear KPIs. This means if you do well, you can progress quickly. Being hands on with the business will also unlock paths to leadership roles within companies later.
PE roles will teach you to understand and improve many different types of businesses. You will be far more hands on than VC, meaning you can hone your skills as an operator and take them to a variety of consulting, banking, investing or leadership roles.
Ultimately you'll be seen as a decision maker - even early on in your career. You will be continuously connecting and even managing C-level executives and partner-level advisors who value your input and relationship by default.
PE roles can be intense during deal-closing periods, and when they're not there are often fires to put out in the portfolio.