Friday, January 13, 2012

Being An Investment Banker

For those of you who think that investment banking is all jet-setting glamour, don't be naive. Here is an account of the life of an ex-investment banker (What life?):
"In the first year I would work from 9.30 am till 3am, every day. You keep telling yourself, this is going to get better. But it doesn't, not really. 
"Compared with my years in university I have learned so much more in the past two years, so much more. Then again, given my 18-hour work days, these were actually four years. Basically M&A teaches you to truly understand a company; to analyse it the way a doctor would with a human body. You build models of how the company operates, where it might improve in the future, and how. It's genuinely stimulating work.
Really, read through the whole article. Here is more:
"I used to be the kind of person who enjoys life, who gets up in the morning eager for another day. The past two years I found myself changing. I lost my interest in politics, in sports … I began to wonder: what's happening to me?
"My flatmate is in finance too. I've seen him coming home crying, from exhaustion, from something that happened to him. Why are we doing this to ourselves? My sense is that the majority of the people in finance have an urge to prove themselves. And banks offer a platform where they can do so. I feel there's a particular kind of insecurity to many bankers, a form of neediness and a deep desire to compensate. Love?
"Many people in banking try to project an image of perfection, and banks play to that, trying to make you look perfect and feel invulnerable. It's very easy to get hooked to that life, to become addicted to work and the money. I am sure it would have happened to me, had I done this work for too long.
"Imagine. 25 years old, and in my first year I made £45k plus a 70% bonus. So over 75k, one year out of university. That is quite something, let me tell you. But within six months you get used to it. I would spend £250 on a night out, and think nothing of it, spend £100 on dinner and genuinely think to myself: well, that was not too expensive.
"This was a lesson: it doesn't really matter how much you make, because your lifestyle and expectations move up with your income.
Source: The Guardian

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