We all know the type. We knew them in college, too. People that would pull all-nighters even though they had the highest GPA in the class, and then moan about the all-nighter they just survived. Those same people are now maybe your co-workers, and in the world of junior investment banking, there is a lot of moaning. But what does it mean and why do they do it?
Some would say that it is a badge of honor to complain about 100 hour work weeks and sleepless nights at the office, as if to imply that if you were to come in at nine and leave at five that you weren’t doing your job or pulling your weight in the firm. The truth is that yes, there are times where it is necessary to work late hours or even pull the occasional all-nighter at work. Investment banking is a high profile, high pressure industry and many people are attracted to that, which is fine – just don’t constantly whine about it. By the way, it is more the exception then the norm.
Some people are so caught up in their jobs because it ties in directly to their own self-worth. This is unhealthy. When your very identity relies on your performance at work, that is a problem. What happens if that job goes away? What else have you got in your life that creates meaning or contributes to your self-esteem? Yet, there are a lot of people that get into this business and make it central to everything else – social lives take a back seat, family life crumbles, relationships fail, yet they still insist on making their jobs harder than they need to be. This behavior very closely resembles addiction. Is there a twelve step program for investment bankers?Pity Parties
Long hours and high pressure jobs are everywhere. There are very few jobs that don’t involve deadlines of some sort. Yet, to a junior investment banker trying to make partner one day, they live, breathe and die by the demands of the workplace. Do they think that by spending the night at the office several nights a week without showering or eating something besides takeout is really going to earn them that big promotion in the sky? Well, it isn’t. From a Senior’s position, if a junior banker is working like an underfed dog the first thought that comes to their minds is why it takes that person so much more time to get the job done, which is just the opposite of impressive. It would be far more impressive to get those reports done quickly and accurately and still be able to make happy hour.
The better you are at your job, the less over-time you will spend in the office. Work hard for the eight to ten hours a day that you’re there, and then for God’s sake, get a LIFE.