The Investment Banking Lifestyle
Investment banking is a lucrative job but it also requires a lot of work. You must have strong financial skills to perform this demanding job.
Many people are drawn to this career because of the lifestyle it offers. However, you need to be sure if this is the right fit for you.
1. High Salary
Investment banking is one of the most lucrative careers in the world, with many professionals earning six-figure salaries. However, the investment banking lifestyle comes with a lot of pros and cons.
First, the high salary is a major selling point for people looking to get into this career. The pay and bonuses are extremely luring, motivating people to stay in the industry and to work hard.
Another big draw is the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills, including accounting, finance, risk management, and networking and people skills. These skills will prove beneficial in other careers and can lead to a better pay off as you move up the ladder.
Aside from this, investment banking pays well, with bonuses and commissions often being paid at an even higher rate than base salary. This is because it’s a highly competitive industry that deals with high-risk assets and has to remain on top of changing markets.
The pay also varies depending on the type of bank you work for, with bulge bracket firms offering the highest compensation. Other firms, referred to as boutiques, offer less but focus on smaller, more localized markets.
Regardless of the type of bank you work for, the hours you’ll need to spend at work will be long and demanding. Usually, you’ll be required to work 80-100 hours per week, which includes holidays and weekends.
This can be a deal breaker for some people, especially those who have no interest in the finance world. It’s also very stressful and can cause a lot of health problems. Moreover, sexism is a constant threat for women working in this industry. This can be a serious problem for some women, and it can have an impact on their relationships with colleagues as well.
2. Free Meals
When you work in a large office, you can expect to be offered plenty of free food. It started at investment banks and law firms in the 1980s and 1990s, as a way to encourage young people to stick around for longer periods of time.
The practice is still alive at financial firms today, and is a sign that they are recognizing the importance of employees’ physical health. But free food is only part of a package that includes things like business-class flights, luxurious hotels and tons of social events.
Some firms have even gone so far as to start subsidizing employee meals through a meal delivery service. New York-based Sharebite, for example, has a large client base of tech firms and financial institutions, and is subsidizing employee meals for more than 90% of its clients.
Goldman, for instance, offers up to $30 in a stipend each day for out-of-hours dinners. That’s up from $25 two months ago, after employees complained that they were being nickel-and-dimed by the cost of dinner at local chains like Chipotle.
A lot of junior staffers have the responsibility to coordinate the ordering and payment of the stipends, including paying for delivery, and making sure that everyone is on the same page. This is important because it helps to avoid confusion over how much you are spending on food.
The idea of free meals is to help people stay alert and focus on their job. In an era when companies are battling to get their employees back on their feet, they are looking for ways to make that easier. That includes revamping cafeterias or signing up for software platforms that streamline orders, says Ajay Rao, CEO of Sharebite.
3. Free Travel
One of the perks of working in the finance industry is the free travel available to most employees. This is particularly true for those with a senior executive level job, or those who have spent a significant amount of time in a large foreign office. In addition to the myriad of flights to and from your destination of choice, you’ll likely have access to free public transport and a wide variety of private bus and ferry services. To get the most out of your free travel options, you should probably consider a multi-modal plan.
If you’re in the market for a new job, it might be time to give the investment banking ole a shot. For many young bankers, it’s a career move that will pay dividends for years to come.
4. Social Events
One of the best things about an investment banking lifestyle is that it can provide you with a lot of fun. This can include going to exotic locations, splurging on fine foods and wine, and attending social events. However, it also can be a bit more challenging to plan a social life during a busy schedule, as you’re often traveling frequently and dealing with unpredictable work hours.
In this field, the perks are usually more than worth the sacrifices. For example, if you work for a big bank, you can enjoy first class travel and have access to the most luxurious hotels. The same can be said of restaurants and bars, as well.
The social events that occur during an investment banking lifestyle can be great or a complete waste of time, depending on your attitude and the culture of your workplace. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t enjoy hanging out with people, then this job might not be for you.
Some individuals may decide to quit their careers because they find the hours of investment banking to be a little too harsh. This can be a valid concern, as many people report feeling stressed or unhappy.
There are also a few people who have quit their jobs because of the negative impact that it can have on their health. But it is important to note that many of these studies are based on small sample sizes, so the results don’t always apply to all bankers.
If you are serious about a career in investment banking, it’s essential to understand the downsides of this job and what they can mean for your personal life. It’s also important to consider whether this is the right career for you in the first place.
5. Long Hours
As an investment banker, you can expect to work long hours. This is particularly true for your first couple of years, when you’ll be focusing mainly on learning the ropes and getting familiar with your new role.
The fact that you have to be available at all times, on the phone and in the office, can take a huge mental and physical toll. It also reduces your productivity and performance, as you’ll be constantly being rushed to get tasks completed or respond to calls from clients.
There are many people who have made it into this career because of the perks and high salary, but for most of them, working 60-80 hours a week is just not worth it. You’ll need to have a real interest in the financial world and be able to manage the stress that comes with it to make it through.
However, if you aren’t able to deal with the grueling hours that come with an investment banking lifestyle, it may be better to think about another career path. It is possible to become an investment banker by putting in the hard work, but you have to understand that it will be a very long and arduous road before you reach your desired level of success.
You’ll need to be ready for the all-nighters and extremely late nights, as deals happen at all times of the day and night – sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.
If you have a family or want to enjoy a good life, this can be a major drawback to an investment banking lifestyle. Fortunately, these issues aren’t going to last forever, as the 2021 Goldman Sachs Working Conditions Survey suggests that banks may slowly be shifting towards slightly healthier work environments and a better balance between work and life.
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