People on WSO are way too rigid when they look at careers, especially when looking at experiened roles.
No, there is no period after a year of being an associate where dozens of headhunters contact you about buy-side openings.
But there are constantly new jobs opening up whether it's corporate development, PE, Asset Management, or anything really. Good associates can get interviews for any of them.
Life is about who you know.
Andrew Friedman (President of baseball operations for the Dodgers) jumped from PE to MLB FO because he happened to meet the guy who was about to purchase the team. It's ridiculous when people say you can't go to PE from upper level banking, because it happens plenty to people who are in the right place at the right time.
I speak with Corporate Devleopment people all the time at major corporations and there are plenty of former bankers, but also lots of company engineers and even accountants. Yet people on this site say the latter of those two jobs have zero exit opportunities either.
This (points above).
How I Buy Stocks At Huge Discounts with Put Options
Emphasis on "who you know"