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12/4/14

Mod Note: Throwback Thursday: this post originally went up 4/25/12

Like a majority of people who are on this website, I used to come on here and write bullshit about a life partly my own, partly fantasy. I'm now going to uncloak the anonymous man and tell you my story.

My name is Stephen Ridley. I graduated from a top tier British University with a First Class Honours Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 2010 and went straight into IBD at a top tier European Investment Bank, after interning there in 2009. I worked in the top team (on a revenue basis) for 16 months, before quitting in October 2011. I want to tell you about that experience, and about what has happened since then, about how I left the green to chase my dream. This will be blunt and honest. I do not mean to offend, quite the opposite, I hope to inspire! Again, this isn't an attack on those who choose to be bankers, it's just me sharing my experience together with the lessons I've learnt, and hopefully it speaks to a few people. If you look at the picture above you'll see a picture of what I do now. It's a little different from where I was 6 months ago!

Banking is fucking brutal

I knew this after my internship, but I didn't care. I wanted money. I wanted respect. I wanted to be a somebody in the eyes of myself and others. But most of all, I wanted money. Why? Because money is freedom. Money means I can wear what I want, live where I want, go where I want, eat what I want, be who I want. Money would make me happy. Right? Well... not exactly I'm afraid. In fact, money didn't seem to make any of the bankers happy. Not one person in the roughly 200 I got to know in banking were happy. Yet all earned multiples of the national average salary.

The reality of banking is this. Like everyone there, I worked my ass to the bone, working mind numbingly boring work. My life was emails, excel, powerpoint, meetings, endless drafts and markups about shit I couldn't give less of a fuck about, edits, drafts, edits, drafts, edits, send to printers, pick up, courier, meetings, more work, multitasking, boredom, boredom, tired, boredom, avoiding the staffer on a friday, more work, depression, tired, tired, tired, fucking miserable. 15 hour days were a minimum, 16-17 were normal, 20+ were frequent and once or twice a month there would be the dreaded all nighter. I worked around 2 out of every 4 weekends in some form. I was never free, I always had my blackberry with me, and thus I could never truly dettach myself from the job. These are the objective facts, contrary to what any 'baller' wants to tell you. The only models were excel models, the only bottles were coca cola, which I drank a lot of to stay awake.

Though I managed to maintain relationships with certain friends (testament to how good these friends were), I never was really 'there' and never really relaxed to enjoy their company, I was either pre-occupied, exhausted, or too self-centred to really have a 2 way conversation. I was constantly tired, constantly stressed, and I had this constant reoccurring thought. The thought went like this. I'm not happy. These are my golden years, my 20s, the years I want to look back on and talk about with fondness and pride. I should be making interesting stories, having the time of my life whilst I have no dependents. I'm richer than I've ever been, yet I'm not as happy as I was backpacking around South America on a shoestring. This is bullshit.

The work isn't interesting

That placed me in the 95% majority. Your not golfing with CEOs, talking about strategy, then driving your lambo home at 3.30pm to have sex with your hot girlfriend. No, your sat at your computer, haven't spent more than 5 minutes in the sun in weeks, your out of shape, bad skin, tired, overworked, and your facing yet another office dinner before calling yourself a cab somewhere between 1am and 5am to take your lonely ass to your empty bed. In those rare moments you do get out your tie to go talk to a client, you're not having a nice interesting chat with an interesting person, you talking finance to some other depressed office drone in some corporate office, who either pretends to give a shit or, more often than not, doesn't pretend. Of course, every now and then, I did meet that rare breed who got their kicks from debt-restructuring or endless levels of back-solved pseudoscientific analysis, but this only depressed me as it reminded me how little I cared about this nonsense, and thus made me further question why I was spending every waking moment - and half the ones I should have been asleep - devoted to it.

You're never going to get as rich as the superstars you admire on the TV and watch in films

Even though I got paid well, I wasn't going out buying a different coloured helicopters every weekend, rolling in designer threads, splashing PS30k on a night out and holidaying every other week in some exotic location whenever I can be bothered to charter my private jet. You'll be above average, but still pretty average. Sure, you can buy an macbook air without really thinking about it, and you can take taxis instead of the bus. But that's it. I was amazed how modestly people lived in banking given all the hype that surrounds it. They were just sad middle class bland people, with unexciting lives, and unexciting prospects. A bunch of nerds who got caught up in a cage made of money and dreams and greed, and never got out. There had to be more to life than this.

Eventually, I thought fuck this

I got to the point where I wasn't buying myself nice things anymore because doing so only reinforced my dependency on a job which I hated, a job which was taking over every aspect of my shortening life. I had worked hard at university to have a good life, a happy life, a 'successful' life. And I wasn't finding it in IBD. And nobody above me was either. Even the 'baller' MDs were really just miserable, uninteresting, and often pathetic old farts. I didn't want to be them. I wanted to be a colourful, shinny person with love in my heart. Someone with passion, happiness, laughter lines, someone who has taken life by the horns and lived on the edge, taken risks, had love and loss and seen the world.

I made my plan to leave in baby steps

First I started interviewing at other city jobs - everything from hedge fund analyst to private equity analyst to inter dealer broker to insurance to wealth management to sales to trading and even equity research. These all looked boring, these all involved wasting away the majority of my life at a desk. These all involved long working hours, even if a little better. None of these lit the fire I once had before being crushed by banking. So I looked at jobs in corporates, in their M&A team, their finance team. Again, I went to a few interviews, got offers, but it was just the same shit. I didn't want to be a drone in a suit and tie. Fuck that Stephen, fuck that!

Eventually I snapped

Despite being staffed up to my eye balls, I left the office at 7pm to prepare for an interview I had the next morning at 8.30am. The AD I was working with (5 years my senior) consequently had to work until 5am. The next morning, I wasn't at my desk at 8am as I should have been. I was at my interview. Just another mind numbing 'opportunity' to work in debt refinancing team at Tesco's head office. Fuck that. I'd had enough. There was nothing for me in any spectrum of finance. I'd had enough. I walked into work at 11am, and by 11.01, the AD had dragged me into a side room to rip me a new asshole (she'd got a little cranky after 90 minutes sleep and a lot of stress). She said that she was going to go and talk to our team head about this and stood up. I told her to sit her ass down, I'd do it for her. I walked over to his desk, and I respectfully told him I'd had enough. I thanked him for his time, he did the same, we shook hands, and I packed my shit together and sent my bye bye email around the team.

Within 20 minutes of quitting, I was out of the front door. Bye bye blackberry, bye bye security pass, bye bye banking. The sun has never shone so bright, the air has never tasted so sweet, I have never felt lighter, than that moment. I was free. I was free. I was so fucking free I could taste it!

Now, oddly, I chose this moment to go to a shopping centre (long story) with a friend. Upon walking around in a slight state of shock I saw a piano in a suit shop, and this was exactly what I needed. To play a little tune and unwind. I didn't even ask if I could play, I just went in and started playing. A man quickly came up to me, paid me a compliment and then asked me what I did. I responded 'I'm a musician' (why not?!). He asked how much? I said PS100 for 2 hours. He hired me 5 days a week. Just like that I'd become a musician, working around a ninth of the hours for about the same money.

Now I'm going to speed up the story a little. I quit this in a couple of weeks because I realised I didn't want to be a background musician in a shop, I wanted to be in the limelight. I wanted to entertain the world. I wanted to try and make it in music. I rolled a piano onto one of the busiest streets in London, and I started playing. Within 1 month I had 9 management contract offers and had started recording my first album. It's now been 6 months. I've travelled around the world, I've got an album on iTunes, named 'Butterfly In A Hurricane'. I've played to literally tens of thousands of people. I've felt all the love and beauty of the world. I've laughed until I've cried. I've enjoyed more female attention than I thought a guy with my face could get! This is the most alive I've ever felt.

I used to do something I hated all day everyday, I used to hate myself for doing that. I was bad company around people and nobody really liked me. Now I do something that I love, that makes me bubble with excitement daily. In return for doing the thing I love the most, people are made happy, people are overhwelmingly kind to me, people open their hearts to me, and I do the same to them. I roll my piano around the world sharing this love which grows inside in the soil of my happiness and fulfilment. I never ever thought I'd be this happy.

Okay, I can't afford the Prada suit right now, but I can't wait to wake up tomorrow, I've got a singing lesson in the morning and I'm meeting Coca Cola in the afternoon to talk about being in an advert for them. My future is unpredictable (which I love), but I know that it will be fine because I'm the one in control. I spent 23 years developing my brain, and now I'm using it.

I just wanted to reach out to all those people who are in banking and miserable but too scared to leave, I want to reach out to all the nerdy kids with the great CVs who want to go into banking, I want to reach out to everyone who has got this far reading and I'm telling you to take a leap and do something you love. You might not know what that is, but you sure as hell aren't going to find it sat unhappily at your desk trying to multitask all day long. You only progress by taking a leap of faith, not in God necessarily, but in yourself. Know that you have all the tools within you already. You can do and be whoever you want to be, and you deserve to be so much more than a tired suit in an office. Of course if that's where you get real happiness, then that's fantastic. I'm just saying that wasn't my experience, nor was it for the majority of those I met.

Life is short - you're young, you're old, you're dead. React to that knowledge. You have nothing to lose!

With all my love,
Stephen Ridley

In the interests of proof (and self promotion), here are the links to some YouTube videos and my Facebook/twitter.

www.facebook.com/stephenridley.official
https://twitter.com/ThisIsRidley
http://youtu.be/gEeu2oNS2uc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikMKtok0pm8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nnYgVPy7gA

Comments (296)

4/25/12

thanks for sharing your story Stephen

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

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4/25/12

Cool story bro

4/25/12
Rupert Pupkin:

Cool story bro

nicely done

4/25/12

This will be epic.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

4/25/12

interesting, thanks for sharing

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

4/25/12

At a loss for words, but this was epic in that it was well written and hit the spot. I guess I'll have to check out the album too.

4/25/12

I just read it again (well, I skimmed it the first time), and +1 for you man. I'm definitely checking out your pages to see what you got going on!

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

4/25/12

this thread is going to be interesting. front page this andy!

4/25/12
oldmansacks:

this thread is going to be interesting. front page this andy!

got it

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

4/25/12

How did you keep your piano skills sharp while working banking hours?

4/25/12
Aero:

How did you keep your piano skills sharp while working banking hours?

Oddly enough the bank I worked at had a grand piano in the foyer (just for show), and I would used to play that every day, even if just one song, before jumping in the taxi home!

4/25/12
anonymousman:
Aero:

How did you keep your piano skills sharp while working banking hours?

Oddly enough the bank I worked at had a grand piano in the foyer (just for show), and I would used to play that every day, even if just one song, before jumping in the taxi home!

Really enjoyed your story... by the looks of your playing, I assume you play by ear (don't read write/music)? Looks like you found a way to use some natural talent! Good luck with this endeavor, I'll check out your album.

4/25/12

Man, looking through this guys thread history you can see how banking basically wore him down progressively.

OP, best of luck to you. If I ever see you in concert I expect back stage VIP shiz and bishes, I'll say "WSO represent muddafucka!", and you'll tell security to let me through.

Aight? Respect.

4/25/12

Congrats. Wish you the best in your endeavors.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/25/12

Reminds me of the novel Bank by David Bleden. Awesome story dude! I'd say that banking was necessary for you though, you needed the misery to drive you and the money to make it all happen.

4/25/12
Mammon:

Reminds me of the novel Bank by David Bleden. Awesome story dude! I'd say that banking was necessary for you though, you needed the misery to drive you and the money to make it all happen.

I would not say that banking was necessary, but I'd say it taught me as much as it took from me in that period. But you are right, there is no drive as strong as misery!!

4/27/12
Mammon:

Reminds me of the novel Bank by David Bleden. Awesome story dude! I'd say that banking was necessary for you though, you needed the misery to drive you and the money to make it all happen.

This is a good point that is often overlooked. Our greatest realizations usually come from our times of greatest struggle

12/4/14

I would agree.

I think about it this way: lets say you got a banking offer but decided instead to pursue music. As you met the initial frustrations that I'm sure arise when trying to make money from music you could have had the constant nagging feeling that maybe you were foolish not to take the banking offers that your hard work in school had earned. You wouldn't have come to the hard earned realization that the realities of banking were not anything like the stereotype perpetuated by the media and would have instead been contrasting the hard facts of your reality against a fantasy world that could have seemed much more appealing. Now, you have two sets of real life experience to compare one another to and can make a much more informed decision about what you value in life!

But great story - gave me chills - and best of luck!!

4/25/12

Congrats man, I'm glad you found something to make you happy. Yea, if only my parents gave me the right genes to play professional sports I would totally not be going after the banking route.

4/25/12

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

4/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

please go

GJDM OP! Welcome to my world - I turned down my banking offer to work at a non0-tech startup

Best decision ever

4/25/12
formerBBbanker1254:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

please go

GJDM OP! Welcome to my world - I turned down my banking offer to work at a non0-tech startup

Best decision ever

Cool, why don't I go to a tech forum, tell people I hate tech jobs, and then when someone politely disputes that I'll ask them to leave the tech forum. That makes a lot of sense.

4/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

I think we are just different peas in different pods my man. I can only speak from my own experience, but I was adding no value to the world whatsoever. In banking, I was either making pitchbooks or making mostly fictional pseudoanalysis to fit the stories and answers that either the client or MD wanted. In music, I've connected to people, given and received love, and hopefully made quite a few people's days a little better. Hopefully I'll make quite a few more people's days a little better in the future. Best of luck to you man.

p.s. As an FYI, when you quit your job in IBD, you're out of the door as fast as possible, due to the confidential and sensitive nature of what your doing, but thanks for the snide insult.

4/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

I don't know about you, but I'd take a less efficient, even lower quality of life society over a society without pianists any day. I also know for a fact that most intenrs getting into Goldman, MS, etc.these days (even the two sophomores I know interning there this summer from Ivy league finance majors) really only say they banking interesting. When you get them one on one, it's almost obvious to them that "most people are in it for the money, but they love money enough for it to be worth it to them. Bravo, OP for pursuing your dreams. I've met very few people who actually find finance intellectually stimulating (mostly more mathematical people), and neither of them have finance internships this summer.

4/25/12
Warhead:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

I don't know about you, but I'd take a less efficient, even lower quality of life society over a society without pianists any day. I also know for a fact that most intenrs getting into Goldman, MS, etc.these days (even the two sophomores I know interning there this summer from Ivy league finance majors) really only say they banking interesting. When you get them one on one, it's almost obvious to them that "most people are in it for the money, but they love money enough for it to be worth it to them. Bravo, OP for pursuing your dreams. I've met very few people who actually find finance intellectually stimulating (mostly more mathematical people), and neither of them have finance internships this summer.

Well, "Bittersweet Symphony" is about the extent of my piano listening, as it is for the vast majority of the Western world. Just a matter of opinion, but I doubt the man on the street in our societies would accept a lower quality of life, but most people, even the people who work in finance, don't appreciate the fundamental importance of this business. It's little wonder that the industrial revolution emerged slightly after the founding of what is now considered modern banking.

I'd say John Law has had a far greater impact on this planet than Mozart (although this is not discounting the work of Mozart, simply comparing the relative impact).

4/26/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:
Warhead:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

I don't know about you, but I'd take a less efficient, even lower quality of life society over a society without pianists any day. I also know for a fact that most intenrs getting into Goldman, MS, etc.these days (even the two sophomores I know interning there this summer from Ivy league finance majors) really only say they banking interesting. When you get them one on one, it's almost obvious to them that "most people are in it for the money, but they love money enough for it to be worth it to them. Bravo, OP for pursuing your dreams. I've met very few people who actually find finance intellectually stimulating (mostly more mathematical people), and neither of them have finance internships this summer.

Well, "Bittersweet Symphony" is about the extent of my piano listening, as it is for the vast majority of the Western world. Just a matter of opinion, but I doubt the man on the street in our societies would accept a lower quality of life, but most people, even the people who work in finance, don't appreciate the fundamental importance of this business. It's little wonder that the industrial revolution emerged slightly after the founding of what is now considered modern banking.

I'd say John Law has had a far greater impact on this planet than Mozart (although this is not discounting the work of Mozart, simply comparing the relative impact).

Speak for yourself. "The vast majority of the Western World" has MANY people who truly appreciate a good pianist.

4/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

You are missing the point of this post. Don't fucking rain on his parade. I would pay WSO to dump King Kong shit on you if I could, nerd.

4/25/12
Cane0180:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is a great story, but I wouldn't sell short the "importance" of banking--I'd argue that the drones do a lot more important work than a pianist. After all, high finance is basically the blood that makes the organs [edit: no pun intended! haha] of society work. Pianists are just pianists.

I no longer work in high finance--I work in "branch level" finance--but I work devastating hours and what I do is really hard. The intellectual challenge keeps me interested and I'd argue that a lot of people genuinely find finance interesting--in fact, I'd argue that most people in this business find finance more interesting than piano.

In any event, to each his own. If you're not happy doing what you're doing then it makes no sense to continue doing it. I mean, when I quit a job I hated I gave 6 weeks notice, but it doesn't seem like your boss gave a damn anyway.

You are missing the point of this post. Don't fucking rain on his parade. I would pay WSO to dump King Kong shit on you if I could, nerd.

Doesn't your school have another football conference championship game to not be playing in, Cane?

4/25/12

Awesome story, congrats! Also I checked out the videos and you are really good in my opinion.

4/25/12

Cool, nobody disputes what I said--they just throw MS.

4/26/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Cool. I know the guy outside of Starbucks who plays his guitar thinks what I do isn't very important and what he does is. I can tangibly show the importance of my profession and he can show me the intangible benefits of his. I suppose neither is right or wrong.

thats funny; why compare 'anonymousman's music career to the guy outside starbucks? why not any other successful musician? Then the each-to-his own sentiment would sound less passive aggressive...

I dont think that the story was meant to say that in order to be happy you necessarily have to have less money (as the starbucks comparison implies), I think the point is, to put aside even the contribution one makes to humanity as a whole, that people falsely assume that 'money' and 'happiness' have a negative relationship. thats the myth i think is being dispelled here.

While its understood that when complaining about ib on a finance/business site, it shouldnt be a surprise to get a few rebuttals... he was addressing the people who are in it, and unhappy (not everyone els). that makes this the most appropriate place to raise the issue, in my opinion.

"Dont compromise yourself; you're all you've got" - Janis Joplin

4/25/12

so as a musician how many girls do u b... meet

4/25/12

IB4 Media

@JustinDDuBois
WSO Company Database | Job Board

4/25/12
Commuter:

IB4 Media

this.

Good to hear OP, I once fell prey to the BBC, but luckily I wasn't snatched

Whats the matter? Scared of my little red fuzzy anus? Don't be shy,let me show you the way, give me your hand and I will take you to paradise <3

Kind Regards,

ElmElm

4/25/12
Commuter:

IB4 Media

^ This

4/25/12
zeropower:
Commuter:

IB4 Media

^ This

haha, who will pick it up first?

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

4/25/12
AndyLouis:
zeropower:
Commuter:

IB4 Media

^ This

haha, who will pick it up first?

I have a few ideas 8)

@JustinDDuBois
WSO Company Database | Job Board

4/25/12

Best career story I've read on WSO.

Glad that you found the right shoe, you keep playing that piano like a junkie man!

4/25/12

OP you look like Tim Tebow in your picture

Best Response
4/25/12
anonymousman:

I wanted money. I wanted respect. I wanted to be a somebody in the eyes of myself and others.

You still do. This is why you're 'sharing' your story here. You want to read all of the 'good for you' replies and feel special. Now you've switched your focus from money to fame/attention.

Banking was just too hard for you. Good for you if you're happier and doing something you love, but the last bit was a little condescending. Most analysts don't need a knight in shining armor to help liberate them from the banks because we're "miserable but too scared to leave". Come on man.

4/25/12
SonnyCrockett:
anonymousman:

I wanted money. I wanted respect. I wanted to be a somebody in the eyes of myself and others.

You still do. This is why you're 'sharing' your story here. You want to read all of the 'good for you' replies and feel special. Now you've switched your focus from money to fame/attention.

Banking was just too hard for you. Good for you if you're happier and doing something you love, but the last bit was a little condescending. Most analysts don't need a knight in shining armor to help liberate them from the banks because we're "miserable but too scared to leave". Come on man.

Don't get me wrong, of course money and respect are important, most people (myself included) feel indignified without them. I'm just saying that I've come to understand the true nature and value of them, and before I placed (what I now see as) a ridiculously high value on them (I valued them more than fulfilment and happiness). And yeah, of course, I want to be 'a somebody'. But how I have come to define what 'being a somebody' is has radically changed and is much less vacuous now.

As for the 'you didn't have the stones' thing... Banking wasn't 'too hard' (I've been through worse and made it), but I didn't have anything to prove to anyone sticking myself to a life which brought me unhappiness.

And I certainly don't want to patronise or condescend, and I apologise if I have done. I just met a lot of miserable people when I was there, and I just wanted to extend the same push I've personally given them to other people in their situation.

As for my motivation to post this, it isn't for attention. Though I can readily admit that I like attention and don't shy from that, I just wanted to put something on here that offers a different point of view to the 'banking or die' baller baller shot caller posts on this website, and share the blunt realities from my experience, and yeah, hopefully inspire some other people who are maybe a bit lost to go on and hopefully find happiness!

4/25/12

Absolute amazing story! Thanks for sharing it with us, and congrats on your success! :) It takes a lot of courage to think outside the box and to follow your passion. Good luck with everything!

4/25/12

Moni:
Absolute amazing story! Thanks for sharing it with us, and congrats on your success! :) It takes a lot of courage to think outside the box and to follow your passion. Good luck with everything!
4/25/12

Awesome story, man. Glad you found your passion. You're an incredible musician also.

4/25/12

Anyone else ever wonder how these MDs actually STAYED in banking for that long? I don't mean this to be offensive but are these the guys that actually like banking as a long-term career or are they the guys who weren't able to exit somewhere and decided it was better financially just to stay until they make MD?

I hate victims who respect their executioners

4/25/12
BlackHat:

Anyone else ever wonder how these MDs actually STAYED in banking for that long? I don't mean this to be offensive but are these the guys that actually like banking as a long-term career or are they the guys who weren't able to exit somewhere and decided it was better financially just to stay until they make MD?

Running joke in our office - you know you're a failure when you become an MD.

4/25/12

love this...best of luck, stephen!

4/25/12

Need a drummer?

In all seriousness, congrats on the life change. Nice Black Keys cover.

4/25/12

Fantastic story. Wish I had something I was as passionate about as you.

4/25/12

I think i should pack my bags and head out to Vegas to the adult industry. I mean i'm endowed with a really giant member.

All kidding aside, this is a really inspiring story. People can hate on you and say that you have talent and they don't have it but it takes balls to go out and follow your passion. As that can be seen in your performances.. I'm actually going home in 2 months and will evaluate if i want to spend the rest of my life in the corporate world. I really miss goofing around and having a ball. Goof luck OP and don't forget WSO.

4/25/12

Great story and very inspiring, thanks for sharing. I admire you for ditching the security of a large paycheck to go chase your dream. I'm still a student, but am in a similar boat to you in the sense that my true passion is music. But at the same time I want financial security, so for that reason I'll be pursuing corporate jobs after I graduate. However I hope that one day I'll be rich enough to the point where I can just quit my job and make music full-time. This kind of reminds me of Peter Muller.

4/25/12

Inspiring story. I'm glad you had the courage to find something you love and leave the safety of you job. Thanks for sharing.

Best of luck!

4/25/12

Congratulations! Very glad you shared your story. Quite inspiring. There are a million paths to happiness in life and very few of them require a massive bank account.

CompBanker

4/25/12

Holy fuck. I am at a loss for words. What a fucking story. Best of luck, Stephen.

4/25/12

Congratulations, I am glad you found something that you are passionate about. Thank you for the interesting read. Great piano playing skills as well.

As someone who is still in uni and pursuing IBD, I can only hope that I don't share the same sentiments a couple of years down the line.

4/25/12

Nice. Stories like this really hit home as i am a recent grad with a completely unclear path ahead of me. I've been hammering away trying to break into IB but I always revert back to thinking like this. The problem is that I have no idea what I have a passion for. Like I hear so often "Just do what you're passionate about". I completely agree, but wat about those ppl who are yet to discover what they have a passion for? I can't chase my passions if I dont even know what they are. I feel like this is a lot of ppl's problem

GBS

4/25/12
GoldmanBallSachs:

Nice. Stories like this really hit home as i am a recent grad with a completely unclear path ahead of me. I've been hammering away trying to break into IB but I always revert back to thinking like this. The problem is that I have no idea what I have a passion for. Like I hear so often "Just do what you're passionate about". I completely agree, but wat about those ppl who are yet to discover what they have a passion for? I can't chase my passions if I dont even know what they are. I feel like this is a lot of ppl's problem

My advice would be to travel if at all possible. The more you move, the more you move. When you take yourself away from the daily routine (whatever that may be for you), you find yourself challenged whilst being exposed to new people who live completely alien ways of life to what you might have ever imagined, have different value systems, see different traits in you than perhaps your friends and family see in you. You'll learn a lot about yourself and moreover, it's a hell of a lot of fun and you'll blow your mind! You got nothing to lose bro, life is short. Your young, your old, your dead!

4/25/12
GoldmanBallSachs:

Nice. Stories like this really hit home as i am a recent grad with a completely unclear path ahead of me. I've been hammering away trying to break into IB but I always revert back to thinking like this. The problem is that I have no idea what I have a passion for. Like I hear so often "Just do what you're passionate about". I completely agree, but wat about those ppl who are yet to discover what they have a passion for? I can't chase my passions if I dont even know what they are. I feel like this is a lot of ppl's problem

I (and probably many others on here) understood how you feel, man.

Only thing we can do is to keep pushing.

4/28/12
GoldmanBallSachs:

Nice. Stories like this really hit home as i am a recent grad with a completely unclear path ahead of me. I've been hammering away trying to break into IB but I always revert back to thinking like this. The problem is that I have no idea what I have a passion for. Like I hear so often "Just do what you're passionate about". I completely agree, but wat about those ppl who are yet to discover what they have a passion for? I can't chase my passions if I dont even know what they are. I feel like this is a lot of ppl's problem

As a soon to be ex-banker (recovering investment banker) and someone with probably 20 years more of life experience than you, I believe that passions change over time. My passions in my early-mid 20's have absolutely changed by my early 40's. That is just part of life.

I can't help you determine what your passions are today. I'm sure you know - but you have to determine those on your own. From someone who has been there and done that and views life much differently now, success is what you make of it and it isn't about the size of your wallet.

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4/25/12

We've seen a lot of miserable musicians, too--Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and the list goes on. Joy isn't conditional, or at least it shouldn't be. If you're a miserable person, playing music isn't going to change that for anything more than the immediate future. Long-term joy isn't found in your work.

4/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

We've seen a lot of miserable musicians, too--Kirk Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and the list goes on. Joy isn't conditional, or at least it shouldn't be. If you're a miserable person, playing music isn't going to change that for anything more than the immediate future. Long-term joy isn't found in your work.

They were fucking crazy people outright though. But I agree with you, happiness is subjective. Could be writing, music, sports, teaching, etc.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

4/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

We've seen a lot of miserable musicians, too--Kirk Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and the list goes on. Joy isn't conditional, or at least it shouldn't be. If you're a miserable person, playing music isn't going to change that for anything more than the immediate future. Long-term joy isn't found in your work.

Long term joy IS found in your work!! (amongst other places). I'm not saying music is right for everyone, and maybe it was or wasn't right for them. I'm just saying that when you find something you do like, it's infectious, and all of a sudden you'll never 'work' another day in your life. Everything just feels like play. That might be writing, horse riding, being a rafting guide, being a politician, a lawyer, a doctor, a tennis player, a poet, whatever. But when you find what you love and find a way to make a living from it, it's a very lovely feeling. Of course, family, friends, travel, are all constituents (in my case at least) to happiness. But as you have to spend the majority of your life at work, it seems to me a completely ridiculous concept to do something which doesn't completely light a fire in your heart!

4/25/12
anonymousman:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

We've seen a lot of miserable musicians, too--Kirk Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and the list goes on. Joy isn't conditional, or at least it shouldn't be. If you're a miserable person, playing music isn't going to change that for anything more than the immediate future. Long-term joy isn't found in your work.

Long term joy IS found in your work!! (amongst other places). I'm not saying music is right for everyone, and maybe it was or wasn't right for them. I'm just saying that when you find something you do like, it's infectious, and all of a sudden you'll never 'work' another day in your life. Everything just feels like play. That might be writing, horse riding, being a rafting guide, being a politician, a lawyer, a doctor, a tennis player, a poet, whatever. But when you find what you love and find a way to make a living from it, it's a very lovely feeling. Of course, family, friends, travel, are all constituents (in my case at least) to happiness. But as you have to spend the majority of your life at work, it seems to me a completely ridiculous concept to do something which doesn't completely light a fire in your heart!

With all due respect, you threw the entire industry under the bus in your original post. Obviously you're clarifying your position now, but you made it out as if nobody likes their job in finance, which is a transparently false assertion. Other than politics there's nothing else on this planet that I'd rather do.

You also made it out as if your new gig--piano--is somehow of greater importance than finance, which is a matter of opinion, at the very least, and at the most outright un-true.

8/30/16

Right, banking makes the market, provides liquidity, it's important as a whole. But if you break it down to the individual level, your work is easily replaceable, nothing more than a cog in the machine, hyper efficient and durable though you may be. And to be honest, banking doesn't really create additional value on their own, but to be fair they enhance it.

Music though is an art and focuses on individuality. And if it's a good piece of music, it stays in the history. It is important in a much larger scale if you are able to see it. Steve made some music and I believe he will keep making more, and if one day he made a breakthrough, it will make a mark. In banking, nobody outside the small banking group cares what is the biggest deal you closed. The only way you'll make a mark in banking is when you fked up real good and made the whole system collapsed.

That said, I still want to be that shiny cog like most in this forum.

8/30/16
DeadFinanciersSociety:

Right, banking makes the market, provides liquidity, it's important as a whole. But if you break it down to the individual level, your work is easily replaceable, nothing more than a cog in the machine, hyper efficient and durable though you may be. And to be honest, banking doesn't really create additional value on their own, but to be fair they enhance it.Music though is an art and focuses on individuality. And if it's a good piece of music, it stays in the history. It is important in a much larger scale if you are able to see it. Steve made some music and I believe he will keep making more, and if one day he made a breakthrough, it will make a mark. In banking, nobody outside the small banking group cares what is the biggest deal you closed. The only way you'll make a mark in banking is when you fked up real good and made the whole system collapsed.That said, I still want to be that shiny cog like most in this forum.

I just fundamentally disagree with your position (and the position of many people in this now 4+ year old thread, which keeps getting resurrected). Maybe an analyst is easily replaceable (I actually don't agree with that AT ALL, but whatever...), but the movers and shakers aren't. Human history was radically and forever altered by modern banking--it resulted in the industrial revolution and contributed to the French revolution. Modern finance made a giant planet into a tiny neighborhood through what it's financed in the technology sector, for example. Modern finance revolutionized medicine, it brought us electricity, it finances our roads, bridges, dams, airports, schools, sewers and all of our other infrastructure. It finances Apple Itunes, which brings us the OP's music, for God's sake.

In almost every conceivable way, modern finance has had--and will continue to have--a much larger impact on human history than music, art, et al. What's more, the wealth generated by the industrial revolution and modern finance is what made artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh, KNOWN in the first place (as the wealthy classes pushed his stuff into the public eye; as the wealthy financed the art museums that hold the great collections). Art, music, etc. are important to humanity, but no one musician is any more important than any one "banker". If anything, the banker works in a kingmaker industry, the industry that is the gatekeeper to success in all the rest.

My original point--4 years ago--was simply that your work as an analyst in investment banking shouldn't be discounted if you truly understood the impact that the larger industry of finance has had on the world we live in.

4/25/12

I just bought your album.

4/25/12
Connor:

I just bought your album.

LOL.

right after you bought oil 101?

4/26/12

febreeze:
Connor:
I just bought your album.

LOL.

right after you bought oil 101?


Get some buff spikes and chill ur melon bro.


4/25/12

Damn dude, you're a baws. Your piano skills are sick. Bought your album for support!

4/25/12

Won't let me edit--met to write "Kurt Cobain" not Kirk.

Streetwannabe, the point is you can do finance and not be miserable. I've been there, done that--thought quitting my job that I hated would bring me joy/happiness. If you're an unhappy person that joy/happiness that you feel doing something else is temporary. Entirely temporary--and conditional. You don't have to do something that society deems worthy--writing, poetry, teaching, music--to be happy. There are all kinds of miserable musicians, poets, authors, and whale trainers.

4/25/12

I just re-read the post word by word, this is f-ing brilliant and inspirational, great story

I have never felt lighter, than that moment. I was free. I was free. I was so fucking free I could taste it!

i've been there, not to the level of you have because your suffering was greater than mine, but I am lucky enough to know the feeling.

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

5/22/12

Not impressed.

4/25/12

best of luck to you! thanks for sharing

4/25/12

+1 Great story, Steve. Like your style on the piano. Best of Luck!

4/25/12

Virginia Tech, I'm not sure what your problem is. I'm a guy who lives and breathes the markets, couldn't imagine doing anything else, but still would put the creation of culture as being much more important than finance. Even if that wasn't true, the ability of one man to have an impact is so much greater in cultural realms than in finance where we are all just cogs in a machine. More than anything, your bitter line of criticism juxtaposed against the OP's non-defensive and disarming responses make a compelling case that a life of culture is a happier one.

4/25/12
macro:

Virginia Tech, I'm not sure what your problem is. I'm a guy who lives and breathes the markets, couldn't imagine doing anything else, but still would put the creation of culture as being much more important than finance. Even if that wasn't true, the ability of one man to have an impact is so much greater in cultural realms than in finance where we are all just cogs in a machine. More than anything, your bitter line of criticism juxtaposed against the OP's non-defensive and disarming responses make a compelling case that a life of culture is a happier one.

If you didn't pick up on the OP's condescension toward the rest of us in the original post then I don't know what to say. The entire post was condescending. It honestly sounds like the college version of me who looked down on the people who were trying real hard in school. The difference is, ya know, I was a late teens/early 20s college student.

There's nothing at all "bitter" in my line of reasoning other than a point of view that differs with the majority of the people here. So sue me.

4/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:
macro:

Virginia Tech, I'm not sure what your problem is. I'm a guy who lives and breathes the markets, couldn't imagine doing anything else, but still would put the creation of culture as being much more important than finance. Even if that wasn't true, the ability of one man to have an impact is so much greater in cultural realms than in finance where we are all just cogs in a machine. More than anything, your bitter line of criticism juxtaposed against the OP's non-defensive and disarming responses make a compelling case that a life of culture is a happier one.

If you didn't pick up on the OP's condescension toward the rest of us in the original post then I don't know what to say. The entire post was condescending. It honestly sounds like the college version of me who looked down on the people who were trying real hard in school. The difference is, ya know, I was a late teens/early 20s college student.

There's nothing at all "bitter" in my line of reasoning other than a point of view that differs with the majority of the people here. So sue me.

Mr. virginia football enthusiast never misses a chance to come off like a thin-skinned, illiterate hayseed with anger issues.

and yeah, john law > mozart. LOL shower us with more of your wisdom, dumb-dumb

4/25/12

Macro - if I had a silver banana I'd give you one for that post

4/25/12

I absolutely agree with Stephen's advice above. During school, I had the change to go on an exchange program in an developing part of the world and it changed my whole perspective on life. Also it always helps to be open-minded. There's a world to see out there, but if you're stuck doing the same thing over and over again you may miss the opportunity to smell the roses.

4/25/12

which piano brands are the most prestigious?

4/25/12

That was fucking awesome.

I needed that...I need to get out now...

4/25/12

thanks for sharing your story, stephen!
I like your music. Just wondering, how did you start playing piano? Did you play classical music or a certain genre of music, or did you just start jamming? Anyway, good luck man!

4/25/12

John Law is one of the primary founders of modern finance. Mozart was an amazing composer. One guy laid one of the critical components of the foundation for modern western civilization, the other guy composed music that works really well with electronic synthesizers that make dance club music.

Ya know what's great about history? A little critical thought often results in the destruction of myths--and on a daily basis!

7/6/14

Virginia Tech 4ever:

John Law is one of the primary founders of modern finance. Mozart was an amazing composer. One guy laid one of the critical components of the foundation for modern western civilization, the other guy composed music that works really well with electronic synthesizers that make dance club music.

Ya know what's great about history? A little critical thought often results in the destruction of myths--and on a daily basis!

8/30/16

The contributions of both John Law and Mozart are immeasurable because they are pioneers and genius in their field, economics and musics.

But working for IB has virtually nothing to do with John Law, who is one of the best thinker and economist ever born. And now think about it, bankers doesn't really spend much time thinking about economic theory do they? So unless you are arguing for being an economist, who btw earns half as much as an IB analyst, I don't see how it relates to the original post.

4/25/12

you're just jealous because this guy is obviously happier and getting more poon than you

nyeah!

4/25/12
melvvvar:

you're just jealous because this guy is obviously happier and getting more poon than you

nyeah!

Like I said, it's one thing to be stoked about your chosen career path, but it's an entirely different thing than making generalized statements about the value of another man's chosen career path. The only path that is without value is the one marked by greed or entitlement. All honest work is honorable.

4/25/12

awwww someone getting butt-hurt

sniffles for you

4/25/12

VirginiaTech4ever has not posted one untrue statement, I love how everyone is congratulating this dude but most of the posters on here are not going to heed his advice. You still want to be in finance if you aren't already in it, that is why you are on this site. OP's reasoning for getting into finance (the money) failed from the get go, most experienced posters on this site will tell you not to go into IB if you are only in it for the money because you will be miserable, and you were, as expected. I appreciate music and musicians but I also know that is not the type of individual who should strive for IB in the first place.I fully support the "follow your dreams" sentiment in your post but it did come with a condescending under-tone, you essentially said no one could possibly consider banking an enjoyable occupation and criticized all who are going through the misery instead of being a hero and adventurer like yourself and following their dreams.

4/25/12
BigBucks:

VirginiaTech4ever has not posted one untrue statement, I love how everyone is congratulating this dude but most of the posters on here are not going to heed his advice. You still want to be in finance if you aren't already in it, that is why you are on this site. OP's reasoning for getting into finance (the money) failed from the get go, most experienced posters on this site will tell you not to go into IB if you are only in it for the money because you will be miserable, and you were, as expected. I appreciate music and musicians but I also know that is not the type of individual who should strive for IB in the first place.I fully support the "follow your dreams" sentiment in your post but it did come with a condescending under-tone, you essentially said no one could possibly consider banking an enjoyable occupation and criticized all who are going through the misery instead of being a hero and adventurer like yourself and following their dreams.

I think you hit the nail on the head--if you're a "liberal arts" type of person and are getting into finance for the money then you are setting yourself up for failure. I LOVE finance, for whatever or no reason at all--I'm just passionate about it. I wouldn't work the job for free, but I'm not intrinsically motivated by the money.

4/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:
BigBucks:

VirginiaTech4ever has not posted one untrue statement, I love how everyone is congratulating this dude but most of the posters on here are not going to heed his advice. You still want to be in finance if you aren't already in it, that is why you are on this site. OP's reasoning for getting into finance (the money) failed from the get go, most experienced posters on this site will tell you not to go into IB if you are only in it for the money because you will be miserable, and you were, as expected. I appreciate music and musicians but I also know that is not the type of individual who should strive for IB in the first place.I fully support the "follow your dreams" sentiment in your post but it did come with a condescending under-tone, you essentially said no one could possibly consider banking an enjoyable occupation and criticized all who are going through the misery instead of being a hero and adventurer like yourself and following their dreams.

I think you hit the nail on the head--if you're a "liberal arts" type of person and are getting into finance for the money then you are setting yourself up for failure. I LOVE finance, for whatever or no reason at all--I'm just passionate about it. I wouldn't work the job for free, but I'm not intrinsically motivated by the money.

I can't agree more with both of the above.
Through this post I can finally see people in their true colors:
1) College kids who don't know what they want and finance was their default choice
2) Disgruntled employees who are underpaid and secretly want to leave their jobs
3) Seasoned professionals who know that they got to take the goods with the bads. And in the end of the day, they still really enjoy what they are doing. They didn't come in for the money and they are not going to trade for it either.

P.S. For people especially students who don't want to be in Finance, why are you reading WSO? Don't you know that the site mostly talk about banking/ consulting?

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/25/12
BigBucks:

VirginiaTech4ever has not posted one untrue statement, I love how everyone is congratulating this dude but most of the posters on here are not going to heed his advice. You still want to be in finance if you aren't already in it, that is why you are on this site. OP's reasoning for getting into finance (the money) failed from the get go, most experienced posters on this site will tell you not to go into IB if you are only in it for the money because you will be miserable, and you were, as expected. I appreciate music and musicians but I also know that is not the type of individual who should strive for IB in the first place.I fully support the "follow your dreams" sentiment in your post but it did come with a condescending under-tone, you essentially said no one could possibly consider banking an enjoyable occupation and criticized all who are going through the misery instead of being a hero and adventurer like yourself and following their dreams.

mr. eternal virginia technology has trouble with basic logic. OP never said all people in finance are miserable and/or go into it for the wrong reasons. anyone reading at above the third grade level has figured that out. as the technological virginian usually does, he reads carelessly and reacts emotionally, resulting in his typical embarassing shit-show. this is a nice post and will be useful to some of the young monkeys in the bullpens, and virgintech should rightly be mocked and humiliated as the sneering dullard that he is.

4/25/12

I tip my hat to you. Had I not been obsessed with the markets, I may have wound up as a guitarist (dare I say rhythm) for a shitty metalcore band or the like. Glad you found your passion as an independent artist.

4/25/12

Firstly, OP - awesome.

Secondly, the OPs copping a little bit of flak for his condescending tone. Honestly, I think it was condescending if you're a stouch defendant of working in banking/Finance. The story hit home with me and I think a lot more precisely because at some level, we're in it because the job is prestigious, pays well and makes up appear to be ballers.

So if you love your banking gig, then just take this is a nice, light read. If, however, you're still trying to pursue the dream - this is one helluva post. Wish you a lot of luck, OP! At work so can't see the videos right now but will def do the needful when I reach home.

4/25/12

Life is indeed very short. Gotta live it up.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

4/25/12

Congratulations on escaping wage slavery! SB to you for the inspiring post.

Most people I know who are employees in finance are pretty miserable... In finance (as in most corporate jobs) you are mostly passive, a cog in the wheel with little autonomy or control over your life... Most finance/banking/investment types don't even have that much autonomy over their work!

The most fulfilled people I know are active. They have autonomy and decide what they want in life and pursue it, not just what kind of Audi or BMW they are going to buy. They also have control over their time, the only resource that matters. Very few of these people are in finance and the ones that are, are either people who have set up their own little firms or who are owners / principals of their companies, i.e. no longer wage slaves. The exception are the ones who aren't putting in ridiculously long hours and are using their their jobs simply as a means to fund their lifestyles during their free time (weekend trips, lots of hobbies & sport, side projects/interests, etc...)

The idea that a higher paying career is the route to happiness or fulfilment is rubbish... Freedom matters.

5/1/12
Relinquis:

Congratulations on escaping wage slavery! SB to you for the inspiring post.

Most people I know who are employees in finance are pretty miserable... In finance (as in most corporate jobs) you are mostly passive, a cog in the wheel with little autonomy or control over your life... Most finance/banking/investment types don't even have that much autonomy over their work!

The most fulfilled people I know are active. They have autonomy and decide what they want in life and pursue it, not just what kind of Audi or BMW they are going to buy. They also have control over their time, the only resource that matters. Very few of these people are in finance and the ones that are, are either people who have set up their own little firms or who are owners / principals of their companies, i.e. no longer wage slaves. The exception are the ones who aren't putting in ridiculously long hours and are using their their jobs simply as a means to fund their lifestyles during their free time (weekend trips, lots of hobbies & sport, side projects/interests, etc...)

The idea that a higher paying career is the route to happiness or fulfilment is rubbish... Freedom matters.

Second best post in this thread (after the original post by OP)

4/25/12

"Sneering dullard"? You're the same guy who in this thread used the term "butt hurt" and accuses me of being jealous for not getting as much "poon." Yeah, you've contributed a ton to this discussion. For a 12-year-old you're pretty sophisticated.

4/25/12

lol, butt-hurt, i know

4/25/12

So how many girls do you serenade on a weekly basis?

4/25/12

I think the takeaway here (aside from the usual dick measuring contest these counter-finance threads always incite) is that it's always best to follow your heart, pursue your passion. If money is your passion, you're doing it wrong. If prestige is your passion, you're doing it wrong. Find something that actually matters to you within your heart of hearts and throw yourself into it completely. You'll enjoy far more success doing something that you love, you won't care how many hours you devote to it, you'll be healthier mentally and physically, and you'll be a better person to be around.

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

4/26/12
APAE:

If money is your passion, you're doing it wrong. If prestige is your passion, you're doing it wrong. You won't care how many hours you devote to it.

If you're passion is finance and money and prestige and luxury then IB isn't a bad option, especially since your saying that the hours you work are irrelevant if you like the work.

"All things are difficult before they are easy"
- Thomas Fuller

4/25/12

Good job OP, great to hear!

I opted to not going into banking as well

Everyone that I know who is in it hates it a lot, so I took it as a hint :D

Whats the matter? Scared of my little red fuzzy anus? Don't be shy,let me show you the way, give me your hand and I will take you to paradise <3

Kind Regards,

ElmElm

4/26/12

Album bought Stephen.

Just want to say, every profession plays its roll in society.
Someone once said something along the lines of, "Art & Music have no worth, they produce nothing, they possess nothing, yet they inspire and make the world a better place".
Whether you're closing multi-million dollar deals or playing a guitar infront of 5 people outside a Starbucks, you're still contributing.
Each to his own.
x

"All things are difficult before they are easy"
- Thomas Fuller

4/26/12

Thanks for posting this story, Moral of this story is "Do what you love to do, Do what you believe in"......but its not easy for every one to find what they love to do....so tell me what you love to do.....now dont say sex

4/26/12

Thanks for posting this story, Moral of this story is "Do what you love to do, Do what you believe in"......but its not easy for every one to find what they love to do....so tell me what you love to do.....now dont say sex

4/26/12

They should make a WSO Poll about this...

Why do you want to work in IB/S&T/Constulting?

A) I have a passion for finance
B) Money
C) Bishes
D) Power & Prestige
E) All of the above

4/26/12

I did a PPE degree as well, what did you think of it?

4/26/12

Although I am happy for you, I don't know if this is what I needed to read before I begin FT this summer... lol

4/26/12

As a female I only have one thing to say to you: YUMMY!!!!!

My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil - JP Getty

4/26/12
Quarterlife:

As a female I only have one thing to say to you: YUMMY!!!!!

Feeling frisky, are we ? ;)

XOOXXOOXXX

4/26/12

So how would this story be if you hadn't been a talented pianist or hadn't just walked into a shop and gotten a job?

Just saying. There's a real chance that I'll be in the same position one day, or even during my internship this summer when I found out what IB is really about. Not a musician, no real idea what I want to do, but want to be rich, powerful, influential, etc. one day and make a huge impact on the world. Somehow I don't think I'll walk out of my IB internship or future job and stumble onto the next big thing after acting on a "fuck banking" impulse.

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected." - Jobs

5/21/12

This looks similar to when kids come on here posting their "thank you everyone, I just broke in with a FT offer" thread, which is really just a 'look at me, I'm in IB now' post. Are you really fulfilled when you need to come here to tell strangers who are better able appreciate your feats in life, or are you just that proud of yourself? Classic arrogant, proud banker's mentality,no modesty or humility.

Maybe OP is genuine and really wants to inspire, I'm sure he already has no problem getting credit for what he's doing and how he's changed his life -- its not like he needs to come here for that. Still, don't be surprised to get flamed for a little bit of condescension. A good read. Maybe if someone else wrote about OP the story would've resonated positively with everyone instead of only about 95%.

4/26/12

SIMPLY AMAZING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4/26/12

You look just like Tim Tebow in the OP.

With that said, I think the OP's post hits the nail on the head. I really enjoy finance but no matter how much you enjoy it, after 6 months or so, you get worn down. Period. Likewise, no matter how much you love singing and playing music, after 6 months of soul crushing tours from city to city on little to no sleep, it will wear you down. That's just the way life works b/c humans need variety and breaks. Not the same robotic work and hours. It really does crush your soul and I could totally see how that could happen in banking b/c of the relatively insane hours

4/26/12

Dude u fucking rock the piano

4/26/12

Amazing talent.

I Got a dollar and a dream...

4/26/12

In this thread, people get angry at someone achieving happiness outside of their paradigm of success. Thank you for the reminder that there are things outside of banking. Unfortunately, I look like linebacker with zero musical ability. Also, my idea of happiness/hobbies are smoking and lifting, reading books, and sex. None of those pay particularly well and would probably get arrested for doing any of them on a street corner.

4/26/12

Great story. I began to think that money is such a small portion of life and that I have to live based on a belief, a principle that is more than just money. Your story just confirmed my thought. Best of luck.

4/26/12

The reason this hit so close to home is because I've come to realize this is all bullshit.

I joined banking with the hopes of money and prestige, and 3 years later...it means nothing to me...I don't give a shit about the money...money really doesn't fucking buy happiness despite what I thought in college...the prestige? Honestly noone gives a fuck about IB...seriously...noone...

I come to work miserable as fuck but yet afraid to take a leap...needed this

Time is the most precious thing in the world and god help me if I look back at my 20s with regret

4/26/12

A lot of people in a lot of different professions are miserable and live monotonous unsatisfying lives. That's reality. You could also be dirt poor in India, it gets a lot worse than Wall Street. Not everyone can live their life traveling, taking it easy, and fulfilling themselves. If you have a job and a means to provide for yourself and a family, you are lucky.

4/26/12
SonnyCrockett:

You could also be dirt poor in India, it gets a lot worse than Wall Street. Not everyone can live their life traveling, taking it easy, and fulfilling themselves. If you have a job and a means to provide for yourself and a family, you are lucky.

So true, to have an IB job in this economy (especially in Europe) is very lucky, can't imagine throwing away like that.

OP,

Hope you have fun 'finding yourself', the rest of us "corporate drones" will continue to go to work to try and make a living.

Eat. Pray. Love. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjay5vgIwt4

4/26/12

Listening to your music and reading your story, it's clear that your departure from banking has freed your soul. I'm happy for you because of that!

4/26/12

That is an inspiring story OP! It takes ballz to go against the herd.

4/26/12

Thanks for this inspiring story. Did your experiences working in IB give you something more than negative feelings?

4/26/12

Incredible story anonymousman, and I think it's safe to say music is definitely your calling! When one is passionate about something, their excitement/work is infectious and damn did I feel it while I was watching your videos. I have to ask though, you didn't have any debt coming out of college did you?

While I have developed a strong passion for the capital markets and am now certain that a career within the financial services is right for me, I knew close to nothing about the world of finance when I chose it as my major back in high school. The only thing I knew then was if I was going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an education, it damn well better pay off. Sure money was enthralling to me, and still is, but I believe the reason for that spawns from the way society views us. In today's culture, there is immense pressure to succeed. And the way we are measured more times than not is by our income. Our greed is intrinsic with nature, and I think this is why we see so many students looking to break into banking... Not necessarily because they love the markets, but because they simply want to be respected.

The one thing I do know for certain though, is that success is irrelevant unless we have people in our lives to share it with. No matter how busy you get, it's important to keep your friends and family close. This story has definitely made me rethink/re-prioritize a few things and for that I am greatly appreciative. Thank you for the story OP, and keep spreading the good word!

4/26/12

Re-write this in somewhat 300page paperback edition, you got yourself a #1New York Times bestseller.

couldn't let go of my pair of aces...

4/26/12

Epic...bravo OP, bravo.

4/26/12

Happy for you OP,

Not to shit on this deluge of SB-awarding praise....

Many of those you look down on in monotonous BO-type processing roles are simply trying to feed their families on an honest wage. Life cannot always be about 'following your dreams' and whatnot. It's messy and sometimes we need to sacrifice excitement for security.

You obviously have the resources that allow you to sacrifice a steady pay check for a risky career in music. You have that OPTION. And so I see your inspiring career move as a product of an affluent background/environment as opposed to some perceived level of boldness and daring.

Not meaning to offend. Very happy for your success. Just saying...

oh and your album is great. Bought it. Wish you all the best in the future.

__________

4/26/12
SaucyBacon85:

Happy for you OP,

Not to shit on this deluge of SB-awarding praise....

Many of those you look down on in monotonous BO-type processing roles are simply trying to feed their families on an honest wage. Life cannot always be about 'following your dreams' and whatnot. It's messy and sometimes we need to sacrifice excitement for security.

You obviously have the resources that allow you to sacrifice a steady pay check for a risky career in music. You have that OPTION. And so I see your inspiring career move as a product of an affluent background/environment as opposed to some perceived level of boldness and daring.

Not meaning to offend. Very happy for your success. Just saying...

oh and your album is great. Bought it. Wish you all the best in the future.

^^^^^^THIS.

4/27/12
SaucyBacon85:

Happy for you OP,

Not to shit on this deluge of SB-awarding praise....

Many of those you look down on in monotonous BO-type processing roles are simply trying to feed their families on an honest wage. Life cannot always be about 'following your dreams' and whatnot. It's messy and sometimes we need to sacrifice excitement for security.

But what's the point of supporting (and living) a life you don't enjoy? Just to...be there?

4/27/12
Aero:
SaucyBacon85:

Happy for you OP,

Not to shit on this deluge of SB-awarding praise....

Many of those you look down on in monotonous BO-type processing roles are simply trying to feed their families on an honest wage. Life cannot always be about 'following your dreams' and whatnot. It's messy and sometimes we need to sacrifice excitement for security.

But what's the point of supporting (and living) a life you don't enjoy? Just to...be there?

I agree with Aero, and whilst I can't speak for the family men, as I don't understand their position, this isn't a choice between broke and money. There is a big spectrum in between. I've dealt with the most common question I've been PM'd here... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/life-after-i...

4/26/12

Congratulations on your new-found success, OP. While your message is good, I do agree with some of the previous posters that you come off as a bit condescending. Just because you're happy in your new career doesn't mean you should "extend your push" to people here. You post should be neutral, for people to read on judge on their own, but it sounds more like a promotion of how shitty banking is vs. how amazingly awesome your music career is. To be fair, I think that many people on this forum understand that they won't be in banking forever and they're doing it as a means to an end. And some people probably honestly do like banking. Also, with a note to some of the other posts, a debate regarding what banking/music contributes to society is moot. They both contribute to the society in different ways.

OP, you're lucky to have found success so quickly. At one point in my life I was seriously considering spending the rest of my life as a musician; I've studied at Manhattan School of Music and have personally done a lot of freelance work. I've met a shitload of people in the music industry; and it's extremely rare that someone finds success like you did. Props to you for doing so; I really admire that. But 95% of the musicians that I've met, even so they are so amazingly talented, understand that being a musician is a job and has its pros and cons just like everything else. Yes, they may be following their passions, but they are not ecstatically happy about their lives. They understand that there's a distinct payoff for following their chosen path and not everything's going to be daisies and roses. Many musicians have very real worries about keeping their jobs and having enough money to go around.

In my case, I'm not in IB but I don't mind working in finance. I like investing and trading; and working in finance gives me the resources to pursue things on the side that in no way would I have been able to afford as a musician. And I'm fine with this compromise.

It's the rare lucky person who gets to follow their exact passion without many barriers in their path and lead a successful life doing exactly what they want to do. Perhaps you're one of them. But for the rest of us, things don't work out as perfectly as you make your life after banking seem. Most people don't suddenly end up with 9 management contracts after quitting their job playing on the street. (An interesting side-note: I knew a musician who played on the streets like you did. She did this for a LONG time, shedding a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in the process, probably more than anyone ever would in banking, until she finally caught a break.)

Most people have to make trade-off's - that's just the nature of things.

Again: I'm not shitting on OP's success - in fact, quite the opposite. Huge props to you for ending up where you are. But in reality, that kind of transition is very rare.

4/26/12

Just to reply to a few people's comments...

You don't have to know what you want to do, you don't have to have it all figured out already. People in IBD, in my experience, tend to be unusually risk averse, therefore before quitting (or starting) they want to be able to do some mathematical calculation of happiness in banking = x + y + z, happiness in something else = A + B + C, they want it assured, they want the plan tight and nailed down. I was the same, before the extremity of the situation I was in pushed that mentality out of me. I'm advocating a different way of approaching life, and that's based on the knowledge you can do anything.

You can do anything, no matter how ridiculous it might sound to you now. If you spent even half the hours you spent getting into banking working in anything else you could achieve success in that thing. You've already done it many times in your life, you learnt to walk, talk, you made friends, you got various CV enhancing things under your belt, you can do something else!

So what else? A lot of people said they don't know what their passion is. Genuinely, neither did I, but I knew that I could do 'something'! I've developed my musical ability ten fold since I left banking and made piano my food, drink and sleep. If you don't know which direction you want to take that's okay, just have faith you'll find out, then pack your bags and travel. You will blow your mind meeting the most weird and wonderful people living a lifestyle against totally alien values and logic to you; the more you move, the more you move. Then you'll find your place.

To those who talk like ' I gotta support my family, pay the bills etc. '. This isn't a choice between having money and poverty. You don't 'need' the amount of money you think you do, and you aren't as poor as you fear when you step out of the box of your comfort zone. This is fear talking louder than reason, and like I said and keep saying, it takes faith in yourself. You CAN do ANYTHING.

To those happy in banking; I obviously need to adjust this to sound less condescending, because that's not the intention. I'm addressing you as the intelligent people you are, I'm not shitting on you, I'm just telling my story and the lesson I've learned. Banking helped me find my perspective of the nature of a lot of things; money, prestige, success, material, love, happiness, passion, satisfaction etc. I came to realise that it offered significantly less than what I felt it promised, and took significantly more. I'm sure that there are empassioned happy bankers, but experience tells me that this is a very very rare breed.

The point I'm trying to hammer home is anybody can do this, whatever the 'this' is for you, and perhaps I'm ramming that point too hard. I just really really believe it.

When you make a decision with all your passion - this is who I am, this is where I want to be - the world will get out of your way, and you'll discover real happiness! That's all I wanted to share.

All my love, sincerely,
Stephen

4/26/12
4/26/12
4/26/12

Clutch thread bro. I wonder... how many of us are reading this on a computer at a soul-crushing job we hate?. I know I am. After reading this I'm tempted to head to my boss' desk, throw my ID card on it, whip it out, and crip walk out the front door. You have my admiration, good sir.

4/26/12

Just wanted to say, I've been on WSO for years, and stories like this is what keeps me coming back. This was one of the best ones yet.

Definitely an inspirational story, and one that made me think deeply about my own life.

Thanks so much for sharing, and for the reminder of what life is all about.

4/26/12

If you are smart (which you seem like you are) you will use the ex banker thing at every corner.

4/26/12
HFFBALLfan123:

If you are smart (which you seem like you are) you will use the ex banker thing at every corner.

Was about to say the same thing. The world is filled with renegade bankers who moved to other fields, yet would always bring up the ex-banker factor.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/26/12

Absolutely awesome read. Really enjoyed it. Good for you for growing a pair, taking a risk and leaving. That's awesome!

Are you touring in the NYC area anytime soon?

4/26/12

Luv this. Happy happy.

4/26/12

OP, great story.

Unfortunately, I am a pussy that hasn't found my "muse" or "passion" yet and I see finance as the best alternative until I make that discovery. To many people, it seems like a means to an end (I don't want to be a lifer).

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

4/26/12

awesome story. i'm still shooting for banking though because i care about money and prestige alot and want to go back to my high school reunion and see how much of a loser everyone else is. maybe i will "wake up" after a few months of banking.

4/26/12

Extremely interesting TED talk regarding work-life balance by Nigel Marsh. If your life is completely dominated by work, check this out.

"There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like."
http://www.ted.com/talks/nigel_marsh_how_to_make_w...

4/26/12

What I took from this was that you should be yourself. Don't try to fit someone else's model of what "successful" is, do your own thing. You shouldn't go into finance just to be cool or rich, but at the same time you shouldn't quit your job to become a musician to be cool or rich, either. Do what you WANT to do. Also, this makes me want to stay the fuck away from corporate finance at all costs.

The way I look at things, I can always go into finance and quit later. I can always quit. However, 15 years from now, I don't want to be sitting around thinking to myself "What if I did pursue my goal of becoming a trader? Where would I be today? Would I have liked it?" There's really no reason for me not to try it out. Worst case scenario, I quit and find another career. Maybe as a journalist running around the front lines of whatever middle eastern country is being overthrown. Maybe I'd start my own medical marijuana collective. Who knows.

4/27/12

Happy for you OP.
You are obviously drunk with happiness, so your words are slurring a bit and some are taking offense to it. Dont mind them. Keep searching for the things that bring happiness to your life.

Anyone with an objective perspective can agree with OP that the majority of the IB analysts are miserable. This is regardless of one's reasons for working in IB. The pain does not discriminate. In the end, if you do not have a bigger goal or vision for yourself in finance, then you'll leave the grind. If you are willing to ride out the pain, then you are in the right place.
Still painful tho, but you'll stay, and you'll be proud that you stayed.

4/27/12

OP, congrats on finding your passion! +1 for the inspiring story. I start FT in the Fall and if I don't fucking love my job I'm going to leave. I really like this idea. I love financials so I think I'll be ok, but I've never worked FT so I suppose I don't really know.

Virginia Tech. your posts are very transparent... there is no condescension in the OP's post, you're just reading it that way for whatever reason. This is something you should look into. Maybe you do love finance, but you clearly take the happiness of others personally - why?

4/27/12

Stephen, you are awesome.

I hope to be writing my own story in the not-too-distant future.

Next time I am on iTunes, I will get your album.

Go East, Young Man

4/27/12

i

4/27/12

Im thinking book deal... lol

4/27/12

Excellent! I'am so happy for you Ridley.

You are an extremely talented individual. For one you got into banking and then had the presence of mind to realize that it wasn't for you and then you accomplished the even more difficult task of following your dream and making it work?

Just curious, how did you get the piano onto Camden street?

4/27/12

Good read! I'm happy for you for finding your true passion, and for the banker who's actually interested in finance that will hopefully take your spot on wall street.

4/27/12

Haha, wow. According to my stats I've been on WSO (since it was ibankingoasis) for 5 years, 3 weeks. That's 263 weeks. In this thread alone I've gotten 40 monkey shits to 8 sliver bananas. That's literally 25% of all monkey shits I've received in 263 weeks--in a single thread!

I would say the people have spoken!

4/27/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Haha, wow. According to my stats I've been on WSO (since it was ibankingoasis) for 5 years, 3 weeks. That's 263 weeks. In this thread alone I've gotten 40 monkey shits to 8 sliver bananas. That's literally 25% of all monkey shits I've received in 263 weeks--in a single thread!

I would say the people have spoken!

You lack people skills ....if you behave like this whole your life, I highly doubt that you can be a sucessful leader or even a manager .....again...these are just my view..How many frnds u have :P

4/27/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Haha, wow. According to my stats I've been on WSO (since it was ibankingoasis) for 5 years, 3 weeks. That's 263 weeks. In this thread alone I've gotten 40 monkey shits to 8 sliver bananas. That's literally 25% of all monkey shits I've received in 263 weeks--in a single thread!

I would say the people have spoken!

:)..no offence

4/27/12

Just bought your album...you know, to help a brother out.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/27/12

Wow man, this was an amazing post. I'm in IBD right now and went down this journey on my own as well. In 2 months, i'm ending my career in finance to start my own business (something I have always wanted to do). Your article made me that much more excited. 2 months left!

4/29/12
SJRATH:

Wow man, this was an amazing post. I'm in IBD right now and went down this journey on my own as well. In 2 months, i'm ending my career in finance to start my own business (something I have always wanted to do). Your article made me that much more excited. 2 months left!

I am planning to move from Geophysics to ER...After working 5 years in oil and gas company ..i thought ER is better ..Am i wrong

4/27/12

You have swung from one extreme to the other.

4/27/12

Awesome story! Can't say there's anything I'd really rather do for a career than what I'm aiming at right now but it's good to remember that there's no such thing as a set path.

4/27/12

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/unhappiness

I do not disagree with the premise of your post, but it sounds like you knew investment banking wasn't right for you before you even took the offer. You just did anyways. Next time follow your instincts, and you will end up where you are meant to end up.

4/27/12

Vtech quit hatin on this bro for keepin it real. i may just sign him 2 my label who no's, op PM if interested

4/27/12

Awesome break, man. Congratulations on finding your niche. Indeed, you are very lucky to have been discovered in the way you did, as I have friends who have been at it for a while and are still having a hard time getting the deal.

Those that are still trying to find themselves will find that they'll find themselves through meeting others. It takes time, and it isn't something that can be forced. :)

QUOTE:
My advice would be to travel if at all possible. The more you move, the more you move. When you take yourself away from the daily routine (whatever that may be for you), you find yourself challenged whilst being exposed to new people who live completely alien ways of life to what you might have ever imagined, have different value systems, see different traits in you than perhaps your friends and family see in you. You'll learn a lot about yourself and moreover, it's a hell of a lot of fun and you'll blow your mind! You got nothing to lose bro, life is short. Your young, your old, your dead!

I believe there are two schools of thought on this. You can travel within your means while staying true to long term goals (nice savings, nice house/car, early retirement, etc.), or you can travel and party 'til your broke and deal with it later. I guess it depends on whether you want to live 'in the now' or live for a shot at a steady future.

4/27/12

Ok, let me make a few comments. In some way I relate to LSO's satiric article about a young analyst who left banking because he had "enough" of it. The reality is, just like in every other office job, it can be very dull / boring to many people. At least in Banking you manage to get, it seems, a very fair share of your surplus value (Marx).

You could have been in some other services firm, maybe not work as many hours, but have a cunt of a boss, who'd be pretty happy to show you the exit door, had you asked "why my bonus is so low after what I've done here?". It happens every day.

No, Banking is not a sacred profession. Since we live in Capitalism, having distinctly higher pay than most other professions (even senior positions) at your early/mid 20s, means there is a trade-off. Nobody pays good money just because he feels like it, certainly not an entire sector.

Additionally, if you show a bit of extra eagerness/motivation to the right people you might get to experience and do things much more interesting than just doing grunt work and pulling another all nighter. For instance, imagine a 25y.o. analyst at Lazard Freres having the opportunity to attend the negotiations meetings of Greek Debt restructuring vs mega-banks and with Prime Ministres and whatnot (Lazard is the financial advisor of Greece). It's certainly a very unique experience.

Nevertheless, I whole-heartily congratulate you for your decision. 100% honest here. People need to risk a bit more and try to do what they like. It makes our societies, even our economies, better, I believe. Moreover, for the same reason banking attracted you (money), it has absorbed way too many scientists, political scientists and so on and so forth which indirectly harms other sectors. It's better that banking starts to attract people who actually want to be bankers, not one-stop-shoppers.

Colourful TV, colourless Life.

4/27/12

So I was wondering did your modeling skills help you with your piano skills? Wonder what other exit ops are available for the dexterous fingers that you develop.

4/27/12

Fantastic story! Really remarkable.

4/28/12

Amazing story Steve.

I got a related story which I will share in bullet points. It starts with music, ends with music, but goes through finance as well. It also ends well. It's about a good friend:
- Ivy league student during junior year, summer of 2009. No internship. Plays the piano during an alumni reunion. An alum asks what he'll do for the summer: No plans. Within 48h he's working at a big investment bank.
- June 2010. Graduates. No job. Goes to a bar with some friends. A conversation with a connection lands him an internship in the world's largest hedge fund. Internship is over; he gets an immediate full-time offer, but turns in down to go to LA on a one-way ticket with a suitcase and nothing else, no connections. He is now an agent for some of the biggest music stars you can hear on the radio.

4/28/12

So what happened to the OP's latest thread? The one in which he copied his response to someone's PM.

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

4/28/12
FlakieBear:

So what happened to the OP's latest thread? The one in which he copied his response to someone's PM.

He deleted it. He can't stand people not approving him after he started bashing people who work in finance. Cached copy is still there. Internet is an evil thing: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cac...

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/29/12
Human:
FlakieBear:

So what happened to the OP's latest thread? The one in which he copied his response to someone's PM.

He deleted it. He can't stand people not approving him after he started bashing people who work in finance.

Greg Smith should retract his NYT Oped. If you like at Stephen's WSO profile, you will see that he created 5 "threads" with the following titles:

Stephen Ridley playing in Bologna
Stephen Ridley journal entry new
Stephen Ridley plays at a school new
Stephen Ridley Piano Musician in Bologna new
Stephen Ridley rose on piano

No one responded to them. I am guessing that he figured out that no one cared too much about "Stephen Ridley playing" so he started his life-preaching threads to create controversies and sell his album on iTunes. ^ I echoe the dude who said that "Ridley's Life after IB" it is a misleading title.

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

4/29/12
FlakieBear:
Human:
FlakieBear:

So what happened to the OP's latest thread? The one in which he copied his response to someone's PM.

He deleted it. He can't stand people not approving him after he started bashing people who work in finance.

Greg Smith should retract his NYT Oped. If you like at Stephen's WSO profile, you will see that he created 5 "threads" with the following titles:

Stephen Ridley playing in Bologna
Stephen Ridley journal entry new
Stephen Ridley plays at a school new
Stephen Ridley Piano Musician in Bologna new
Stephen Ridley rose on piano

No one responded to them. I am guessing that he figured out that no one cared too much about "Stephen Ridley playing" so he started his life-preaching threads to create controversies and sell his album on iTunes. ^ I echoe the dude who said that "Ridley's Life after IB" it is a misleading title.

Haha, there is ALWAYS a couple of folks who try to make the OP sound evil on these things! Those 'threads' are all pictures which have been used in this post and the part 2 post (a couple of which consequently retracted due to messy dimensions). They're titled with my name so that if the pictures go on to be used for anything else there is a better chance that they still get credited back to me! I put up the Q&A post because I was getting lots of PMs/comments/emails with the same question, I took down the Q&A post because it seemed to be causing far more upset and confusion than benefit and clarity, so I've gone back to PMing those people with further questions.

Also, as I have to keep stressing, this post isn't here with the intention of offending. I've not come on here to banker bash, though equally I've not come on here to pander to the banker's approval. As said in the introduction, I've come on here to share my experience bluntly and honestly (for those students considering banking), and hopefully inspire those unhappy or dissatisfied with banking (those like me - what I found to be a distinct majority) to follow their hearts and let them know that they can do *anything* no matter how ridiculous, even push a piano onto the street. I'm also not attacking 'money' per se, I'm saying that the price I was expected to pay for money *in banking* was a trade-off which did not make sense to me. Thus in this article I'm proposing, to those who feel the same, to trade-off the fruits of banking to do something you love; this is a trade-off which does make sense to me. The first trade off left me bitterly unhappy, the second highly contented.

Finally, I'm very happy (and pleasantly surprised) to hear that a couple of people have bought my album from iTunes - I very much appreciate the support!! - but this was not my motivation and nor do I think that it undermines the validity of the philosophy I came here to espouse.

Finally finally (mean it this time lol), I'd also just like to say a BIG thank you to those who have come out in support in the comments/PMs/messages. To be honest, it's been more than I expected, and it's been humbling to get to know some of your own stories and hear your journeys. I really glad to hear that some of you have taken something from it. And I'll happily keep PMing anybody who wants to chat things over, ask questions etc.

All my love
Stephen

4/29/12
anonymousman:
FlakieBear:
Human:
FlakieBear:

So what happened to the OP's latest thread? The one in which he copied his response to someone's PM.

He deleted it. He can't stand people not approving him after he started bashing people who work in finance.

Greg Smith should retract his NYT Oped. If you like at Stephen's WSO profile, you will see that he created 5 "threads" with the following titles:

Stephen Ridley playing in Bologna
Stephen Ridley journal entry new
Stephen Ridley plays at a school new
Stephen Ridley Piano Musician in Bologna new
Stephen Ridley rose on piano

No one responded to them. I am guessing that he figured out that no one cared too much about "Stephen Ridley playing" so he started his life-preaching threads to create controversies and sell his album on iTunes. ^ I echoe the dude who said that "Ridley's Life after IB" it is a misleading title.

Haha, there is ALWAYS a couple of folks who try to make the OP sound evil on these things!
Stephen

Ger over yourself, no one is trying to make you look evil. These were just some observations that were based on facts.

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

4/29/12

Hey Stephen, how did u break into the top IBD group? What networking tactics did you use?
Oh and the guy playing the piano is pretty good, u know him?

4/29/12

Great story dude! I think it's most important and fulfilling to be enjoying what you are doing on a daily basis. If nothing else, you are living as a happier person each day.

All the best!

4/29/12

Such a misleading topic title.

I come in here expecting what life is like 2-3 years after banking, as in someone who's moved onto bigger things in Finance, but what I read is some 1 year old analyst ridiculing the entire industry.

4/29/12

Stephen,

I was so happy to read your blog. It was as if I was seeing my life in fast forward. I quit my job two weeks ago after five years in investment banking. It began as an internship, analyst, associate, lost my job, regot it at the same place different team and then quit.

I have some of the very SAME feelings as you about life and the experiences in the days, weeks, months and moments that led to my decision and the final conversations I had with my team members.

Life is too short. Live to the fullest and do what you love and enjoy what you do. I am happier than I have ever been even though I have NO idea what I want to do and neither am I a skilled musician. It is still a beautiful life.

Thank you for sharing Stephen.

4/29/12

WTF? When did banker's suddenly turn into such pussies?!

Stephen,

Don't apologise for ridiculing finance or offending people because of your own career / life choices... I'm surprised that people on WSO don't have a thicker skin about this stuff. Maybe they have too much of their self-worth wrapped up in their jobs / titles. Maybe this will change after they spend a few years in the industry and mature a little.

In real life (i.e. non-WSO) people in finance ridicule finance all the time. Even MDs / Partners in IBD & PE.

4/29/12

Everyone is looking for something different. If you're excited to try ER, give it a go. Worst case scenario, you quit (or get fired).

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

4/29/12

Hey guys, let's all become musicians for the women. Then we can quit because it didn't pay anything, and go on a musician forum to say that music is for homeless hippies.

4/29/12

csb

5/1/12

You should always be happy. You can work hard and be happy. I worked hard and sacrificed all though high school and college, and I was happy. I'm now almost done with my first year as an analyst at a BB, but I'm not happy anymore--for the first time in my life. I'll be leaving as soon as I get my first-year bonus. It's that simple. If it doesn't feel right, than it isn't. Only 3 more months until freedom...

5/1/12

Good post on this from an industry veteran,
http://epicureandealmaker.blogspot.com/2012/04/can...

5/2/12
MiddleofNowhere:

Good post on this from an industry veteran,
http://epicureandealmaker.blogspot.com/2012/04/can...

I am not sure if this post make me feel negative about my decision to move from Geophysics to Finance......I make 90k$ at 28 with 9 to 5 job...weekends I go for hiking...I am not afraid to work hard but I dont think finance is that bad.....I love how energy market changes, how I get more opportunity to make money for myself and others.....Any way My CFA level one is in december.....lets see where i am going after that

5/1/12

Not to be a negative nancy, but I think one of the main reasons this was posted on WSO is to sell albums.

Looks like it's working, too.

5/2/12

It was fantastic being here to read this post. Thanks a lot for sharing.

5/2/12

People are hating on the OP just to reassure themselves they made the right decision by going in finance. People who enjoy their profession don't bash others when they leave.

5/2/12
go.with.the.flow:

People are hating on the OP just to reassure themselves they made the right decision by going in finance. People who enjoy their profession don't bash others when they leave.

Agree..but may be people are bashing because they think its not as bad as its shown..and they love what they do

5/2/12

I'm a junior in college and I read through your entire post. Now I'm even more nervous to enter the work force... I'm not even entirely sure what I want to do when I grow up. I just want to make a modest living but at the same time have a lot of spare time to spend building a family, developing friendships, and traveling the world.

Being mega-rich would also be nice, but if there's anything I've learned in the past couple of years it's that - you can almost certainly never get rich working for someone else (unless you're lucky enough to become a CEO - in which case you've most likely already sacrificed everything I mentioned earlier). If I'm going to become wealthy it'll be in one of several ways:

-making my own company, and striking big
-somehow miraculously making it in Hollywood
-winning the lottery
-investing early in a successful company

Your post basically highlights what pretty much anyone working any sort of non-interesting job (not just in banking) realizes and eventually is forced to face - the thing is that none of us like to admit it because of all the hard work we put into high school to get into a good college - put a lot of hard work in there as well only to make it to the work force...

Anyways, I'm ranting now. I saved your post in a notepad file, and stored it in a folder on my hard drive... I just have a feeling that I'll be reading over it in a couple of years for inspiration.

Good luck with your music career!

Money may buy the husk of things but not the kernel. It brings you food but not appetite, medicine buy not health, acquaintances but not friends, servants but not faithfulness, days of joy, but not peace or happiness.

-Henrik Ibsen

5/4/12
SevenFootPelicans:

I'm a junior in college and I read through your entire post. Now I'm even more nervous to enter the work force... I'm not even entirely sure what I want to do when I grow up. I just want to make a modest living but at the same time have a lot of spare time to spend building a family, developing friendships, and traveling the world.

Being mega-rich would also be nice, but if there's anything I've learned in the past couple of years it's that - you can almost certainly never get rich working for someone else (unless you're lucky enough to become a CEO - in which case you've most likely already sacrificed everything I mentioned earlier). If I'm going to become wealthy it'll be in one of several ways:

-making my own company, and striking big
-somehow miraculously making it in Hollywood
-winning the lottery
-investing early in a successful company

Your post basically highlights what pretty much anyone working any sort of non-interesting job (not just in banking) realizes and eventually is forced to face - the thing is that none of us like to admit it because of all the hard work we put into high school to get into a good college - put a lot of hard work in there as well only to make it to the work force...

Anyways, I'm ranting now. I saved your post in a notepad file, and stored it in a folder on my hard drive... I just have a feeling that I'll be reading over it in a couple of years for inspiration.

Good luck with your music career!

This was my exact mentality before going into banking. Didn't know what I wanted to do. Didn't have a business idea to start a business. Nothing looked appealing. But looking back, I was only considering a narrow selection of options - those being the hardest to get into city jobs, generally well paid, quite prestigious. Like you say, you've worked hard through your life and you think that's the whole point of that work, not to go for one of these things, not be 'a somebody' or rich or whatever, that would be a waste of it all, right?

After 16 months in the game, I decided to call it quits and wipe the slate clean. I'd got my CV taken care of, that safety net was there, now it was time to go and find something intrinsically satisfying, irrespective of whether or not I was under or over qualified. I came to realise that happiness is the only fruit worth devoting your time to harvesting; it seems to be the fruit that makes life worth living.

I really urge you, whilst your young and curious, to explore, go beyond what is rational. Let go and see where the winds of your passions take you. This isn't throwing away your education, it's putting the brain that you worked hard to develop to good use! Your using all the skills you've amassed to date to try and make a better life for yourself.

Really happy you got something from it, best of luck on the journey buddy!
Stephen

5/4/12

Thank you for sharing this. :)

5/4/12

Stephen,

I hope you realise that you're the exact definition of a 'lucky bastard.' :) You play real good and can sing really well and just so happened to meet the right person at the right time and place. I have some friends who did exactly what you're advising and land up simply older, further away from their goals and sometimes with a lot of debt carried on from that journey.

Unless one's passions line up with a pretty rewarding career path (like yours...and you got lucky), people can either spend a whole bunch of times chasing rainbows and hoping to find a pot of gold or work and save to eventually build that pot of gold themselves. One of my biggest societal pet-peeves is that most people are taught from an early age that the surest way to financial and societal success is by becoming a doctor, lawyer or businessman. From what I've seen, rarely is it taught that there are many financially rewarding jobs that are "less glamorous" than the mainstream careers. (It takes a LONG time for most people in said professions to see the nice side, but it's hard to see that part in TV shows.) Entry-level pay for workers in the DPW or MTA here in NYC are a little under what some ibankers make starting out, for example. There are a good number of people in both departments who are making $$$ (especially the contractors!).

5/4/12
mrcrassic:

Stephen,

I hope you realise that you're the exact definition of a 'lucky bastard.' :) You play real good and can sing really well and just so happened to meet the right person at the right time and place. I have some friends who did exactly what you're advising and land up simply older, further away from their goals and sometimes with a lot of debt carried on from that journey.

Unless one's passions line up with a pretty rewarding career path (like yours...and you got lucky), people can either spend a whole bunch of times chasing rainbows and hoping to find a pot of gold or work and save to eventually build that pot of gold themselves. One of my biggest societal pet-peeves is that most people are taught from an early age that the surest way to financial and societal success is by becoming a doctor, lawyer or businessman. From what I've seen, rarely is it taught that there are many financially rewarding jobs that are "less glamorous" than the mainstream careers. (It takes a LONG time for most people in said professions to see the nice side, but it's hard to see that part in TV shows.) Entry-level pay for workers in the DPW or MTA here in NYC are a little under what some ibankers make starting out, for example. There are a good number of people in both departments who are making $$$ (especially the contractors!).

Love the out of the box thinking bro! Contrary to what you said, I actually think bankers, doctors, lawyers, 'high achievers' are the most likely to succeed in out of the box living. The unsatisfied city slicks I used to work with had all the ingredients, just channelled in the wrong direction - fantastic work ethic, ambition, energy, business acumen, appreciation (coming from a little experience of doing something unfulfilling), and the experience not to be wondering 'what if'. That said, I haven't really met any ex city peeps along my path yet, for all the artists and actors and musicians etc I've met, they all seemed to know they wanted to do it at 15 and have been formally studying their craft since childhood. Truthfully, that intimidates me, but I'm using that intimidation to motivate me, as best I can!

5/4/12

Gosh, :)....I think my motive of going in banking is to understand finance......I already know technicality of oil and gas industry........

5/4/12

Why are people even answering this muppet? Pretty boy who couldn't handle the long hours, left soon and now thinks is a finance guru, seriously people!

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.

5/5/12

This thread made today's Abnormal Returns btw.

5/5/12

Im a rising freshman... this post scares the crap out of me.
It's been my dream to go into finance. I guess I won't know how it really is for me in finance until I explore it.

5/5/12

i watched the first video and i LoL'd cuz i just imaged u making the same movements with your head/body/hands but doing alt+e+s+v's and vlookups at work hahaha

5/5/12

Congratulations man ... I work at PE shop and love it. I wish I knew how to play the piano like that, believe me. But I just have one question, how is making PS100 for 2 hours "about the same money"? Good luck with the piano thing.

YOU SAID
"I responded 'I'm a musician' (why not?!). He asked how much? I said PS100 for 2 hours. He hired me 5 days a week. Just like that I'd become a musician, working around a ninth of the hours for about the same money."

5/7/12
BananaBoy:

Congratulations man ... I work at PE shop and love it. I wish I knew how to play the piano like that, believe me. But I just have one question, how is making PS100 for 2 hours "about the same money"? Good luck with the piano thing.

YOU SAID
"I responded 'I'm a musician' (why not?!). He asked how much? I said PS100 for 2 hours. He hired me 5 days a week. Just like that I'd become a musician, working around a ninth of the hours for about the same money."

Dodging taxes most likely

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