Pages

  • Sharebar

Are you in a rut? Is it time to take life into your own hands? Are you ready take a time out to find yourself, and start over?
Are you 25?

It may be your quarter-life crisis knocking, say psychologists studying the phenomenon of 25-35-year-olds having a come-to-Jesus about where they're going in life after having barely left the starting gates. Given the ambitious list of life to-dos many not-yet-disillusioned people give themselves (build killer start-up, and nab the corner office, and travel the world, and have kids, and be faithful to childhood dreams), it's probably not too surprising that the phenomenon seems to be widespread among a certain class of people. Let's come right out and say that like affluenza, this is not likely to be a problem outside the wealthier parts of the world.

In a study presented at the British Psychological Society meeting this week, researchers distilled the five key phases of the quarter-life crisis (via New Scientist) from a survey of 50 volunteers who'd had them:

Phase 1 - A feeling of being trapped by your life choices. Feeling as though you are living your life on autopilot.
Phase 2 - A rising sense of "I've got to get out" and the feeling that you can change your life.
Phase 3 - Quitting the job or relationship or whatever else is making you feel trapped and embarking on a "time out" period where you try out new experiences to find out who you want to be.
Phase 4 - Rebuilding your life.
Phase 5 - Developing new commitments more attuned to your interests and aspirations.

Having a quarter-life crisis may be a good thing: 80% of the respondents said that the experience turned out to be positive. And having your crisis early might keep you from having one when you turn fifty, after the rift between what you always wanted to do (be a chef! Write a novel!) and what you wound up doing (tax law! Wealth management!) has grown far vaster, researchers suggest. More studies are certainly in order, even if we have to wait 25 years for a progress report.
Are you at risk for a quarter-life crisis? The researchers say that idealists who also want to achieve conventional success--marriage, children, corner office--seem to be the population most affected. So examine thyself. Is a crisis in order?

Source: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2011/0...

1 1

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation. Learn More.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from Finance Pros

Land More Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews. Learn More.

Comments (94)

  • WSOusername's picture

    totally goin through a quarter life crisis, not gonna lie. only difference is, as opposed to most monkeys saying "do i wanna keep doin this?" for me its "do i wanna keep trying to get started with this?" considering i cant find something. Like every1 else, i choose the road i did because of money, prestige, etc. However, unlike the older monkey who got everything he set out to get and realized it didnt make him nearly as happy as he had hoped, here i am already realizing it wont make me as happy as i will hope. Its all about finding something that truly makes you happy and the fact that in all these years i havent been able to is driving me fukin crazyyyyyy. im drunk btw, hopefully that made sense

    GBS

  • In reply to WSOusername
    RKoho's picture

    GoldmanBallSachs:
    totally goin through a quarter life crisis, not gonna lie. only difference is, as opposed to most monkeys saying "do i wanna keep doin this?" for me its "do i wanna keep trying to get started with this?" considering i cant find something. Like every1 else, i choose the road i did because of money, prestige, etc. However, unlike the older monkey who got everything he set out to get and realized it didnt make him nearly as happy as he had hoped, here i am already realizing it wont make me as happy as i will hope. Its all about finding something that truly makes you happy and the fact that in all these years i havent been able to is driving me fukin crazyyyyyy. im drunk btw, hopefully that made sense

    Same here. I'm having trouble getting started. Not sweating it though. I also have doubts that this career would make me happy but I feel it's too late for me to go back and become a physics major and become an astronomer.
    :P
    I'm hesitant about a career that has regular 60-80 hour weeks (I'm aiming for ER). I still have lots to think about. But I at least want to try it out for that part of me that is interested in investing. Just in case my plan B is to become a firefighter. It does have 24/48 hour shifts or whatever but hell, I think it's a pretty cool job and I get to stay in shape.

    Lots of credit to the people here that can put in those kind of hours and keep sane.

    Though I'm not 25 I do occasionally feel the quarter life crisis, I think it's more of a post college thing.

  • econ's picture

    Maybe Tyler Durden said it best:

    God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
  • 24837's picture

    It's not a crisis, it's just a time when you begin to realize what consequences choices you made earlier in life have.

  • econ's picture

    I'm not sure if I'm having a quarter life crisis, but I'm definitely having something similar. In the past year or two, I've came to the realization that everything I thought I wanted, is not exactly what I really want. I used to think that I just wanted a job that pays decent (by my standards, which is probably lower than a lot of you aspiring BSDs) and is interesting/enjoyable. But lately I've been thinking that working in a cubicle for 30+ years would be such a waste of a life. Especially since most jobs are not that interesting/enjoyable, and having to be somewhere from 8:00am to 5:00pm every weekday kinda blows. I'm starting to think that I had it all wrong, and that working hard to get somewhere so anticlimactic was such a waste of my college years. I'm starting to think that some of the "deadbeats" I've known had it right; and that the kids who've moved abroad and experienced another culture are the smart ones -- they're the ones using their limited time on this earth to have some cool experiences and build a life worth living. Or the people who've followed their passion (whether it be sports, art, or poker), even when it meant being broke and hungry for awhile (sometimes a long while). At the end of the day, I guess I just want to work for myself and travel. It'd be nice to make decent money too, but I'm less concerned about that and more interested in finding a way to live life on my own terms.

  • In reply to WSOusername
    Boreed's picture

    GoldmanBallSachs:
    totally goin through a quarter life crisis, not gonna lie. only difference is, as opposed to most monkeys saying "do i wanna keep doin this?" for me its "do i wanna keep trying to get started with this?" considering i cant find something. Like every1 else, i choose the road i did because of money, prestige, etc. However, unlike the older monkey who got everything he set out to get and realized it didnt make him nearly as happy as he had hoped, here i am already realizing it wont make me as happy as i will hope. Its all about finding something that truly makes you happy and the fact that in all these years i havent been able to is driving me fukin crazyyyyyy. im drunk btw, hopefully that made sense

    Exactly how I feel. Here I am thinking, maybe I should just take a job in corp fin at a normal company, get a dog like I always wanted, find a girlfriend etc... it would surely make me happier.

    But I need to try going for the money and prestige at least.

  • HWF's picture
  • Walkerr's picture

    Man, im no where near graduating and I have this feeling already. I don't know if I want to go into banking or something else, business development or something. But yea, I still have my masters to do so I have time to decide

  • blastoise's picture

    holy shit are you guys fucking bitches, give me your man card

  • zeropower's picture

    Step1: work long hours in your cubicle job
    Step2: make bank up until having your A-HA moment and quitting to start your own shit
    Step3: ???????
    Step4: PROFIT

  • MoneyTalksMonkeysWalk's picture

    I've come across this myself and have realized the truth of something my dad has always said "Don't worry about the money, it will come," I now see this. I have the money now....(analyst money) but it is not giving me what I thought I wanted and will never.

    The MDs in my office aren't happy, they aren't depressed, but definitely look and speak as though they are defeated when we are one on one and not in a meeting or in front of everyone.

    I want something to look forward to everyday, not just Fri/Sat night.

    Finance is definitely the safest route. For taking the smallest risk, you get the smallest reward which comes in the form of good money but bad hours / work...not a great life. Take a big risk (start up, start your own, work in a field you are truly passionate about), you get the biggest reward - good money and good hours / work environment....good life.

  • In reply to econ
    FinancialNoviceII's picture

    econ:
    I'm not sure if I'm having a quarter life crisis, but I'm definitely having something similar. In the past year or two, I've came to the realization that everything I thought I wanted, is not exactly what I really want. I used to think that I just wanted a job that pays decent (by my standards, which is probably lower than a lot of you aspiring BSDs) and is interesting/enjoyable. But lately I've been thinking that working in a cubicle for 30+ years would be such a waste of a life. Especially since most jobs are not that interesting/enjoyable, and having to be somewhere from 8:00am to 5:00pm every weekday kinda blows. I'm starting to think that I had it all wrong, and that working hard to get somewhere so anticlimactic was such a waste of my college years. I'm starting to think that some of the "deadbeats" I've known had it right; and that the kids who've moved abroad and experienced another culture are the smart ones -- they're the ones using their limited time on this earth to have some cool experiences and build a life worth living. Or the people who've followed their passion (whether it be sports, art, or poker), even when it meant being broke and hungry for awhile (sometimes a long while). At the end of the day, I guess I just want to work for myself and travel. It'd be nice to make decent money too, but I'm less concerned about that and more interested in finding a way to live life on my own terms.

    Completely agree. When in college myself, I always found my good friends heading for a great summer abroad, while I was headed into the workforce. I suppose its kind of indoctrinated into you, go to college, work hard and make something of myself. But now, even the hiring managers look for some exciting experiences, ahead of your 4 year toil and hard work. I was lucky I caught onto that quickly. I always thought I wanted to be a laywer but 6 months in, I quit my associate gig. Since then I've worked in India, Israel, Germany, while travelling a little through Europe and South America. Its precisely one of the reasons I'm headed back to school. Those experiences cleared my head as to what I wanted to do and I'm so glad I turned my back on a office job to do what I want to do now. I turned 26 the other week and I still feel I have missed out on so many experiences (small but I've never been skiing in my life). I suppose the realization is the biggest step.

    And I can always revert back to being a lawyer at any time.

  • British's picture

    I'm the target age for this article and I often get these feelings. I have quite a few friends in social media or tech start-ups whose jobs sound fascinating, have great working hours and get perks galore. Their base salaries are also finance base. While I still believe that industry is in tech bubble 2.0, it sounds like an incredible scene to be a part of while it lasts. If I wasn't doing what I do now, I'd be doing that...

    That said, I think finance is definitely still the right track for me, for now. I make far more than both my parents combined ever earned and I get to live in another country. I see these years as an investment in the future - may as well work 80 hour weeks and work hard/play hard while I can before it's not possible anymore.

    A lot of my friends from college are still waiting tables and living at home and living on debt. Yeah their hours are fantastic, but they have no money to do anything in that time, except maybe a month travelling a year. Their CVs look terrible and their work ethic has been eroded.

  • BlackHat's picture

    Never had this feeling. Don't let other people convince you that you should be "doing more with your life." If you like what you're doing or think it's what makes the most sense for you then it's what you've decided is right at the moment. Everyone my age who I meet for the first time that isn't in finance somewhere always tries to get me to admit that I hate my job and I'm a slave to some evil greedy system that frankly doesn't exist. They just want to make themselves feel better about their menial existence at their online cat food delivery startup that grossed $16 last year because their grandma picked up a bag of Meow Mix.

    Maybe finance isn't what you were cut out for - sure that's the case quite often - but don't let anyone convince you that there's some greater need for all people to "explore themselves" and go out and find something that has whatever the hell "societal value" is. Your job is no different than their job, is no different than anyone else's. They're all just jobs. Quitting to become a starving artist is not going to make your life more fulfilling, as exciting as it sounds when you read some "I quit banking look at how happy I am" thread on this site.

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to BlackHat
    econ's picture

    FinancialNoviceII:
    I suppose its kind of indoctrinated into you, go to college, work hard and make something of myself.

    Yeah, I agree. I think a lot of people get the idea that if they work hard and go to college, a lot of other stuff will pan out. At the end of the day though, there's still a lot more to do, and following this path won't necessarily lead to happiness.

    BlackHat:
    Don't let other people convince you that you should be "doing more with your life."

    I totally agree with this. A lot of people think they need to be out there doing something altruistic and for the benefit of mankind. I say fuck that; do what makes you happy.

  • In reply to RKoho
    Impartial.Spectator's picture

    A few things:

    (1) Firstly, I don't think it's fair to fault people for questioning their decisions, it's normal and healthy. That being said, I think this type of soul searching is only good to a certain degree. If you're sitting there just thinking, rather than thinking while doing, you're never going to get anywhere, no matter how much soul searching you do. These crises are clearly a first-world problem. Once people are fed, have a roof over their heads, and feel relatively comfortable, they start contemplating things, often far more than they should.

    (2) If you do decide that something doesn't feel right, I would highly advise to never feel like you're trapped.
    It's sad to see the enormous amount of people in their early 20's who feel that their lives are over when they've barely even started.
    Whether it's your job, your girl, whatever--it's never too late to make a change--that's what's so great about living in America. Try things out, see what you like and don't like, and make changes as you go along--never let you're past decisions rule your future.
    Decide what you want and go for it--when you realize it's not all that you imagined it would be, don't feel like a failure for quitting, realize that you've become a better, stronger, wiser, person, and move on as such.
    Great post btw...calling it a crisis though seems a bit too pessimistic though for a process which people are engaged in throughout most of their lives to some degree or another.

    (3) I think it's unfair to continually blindly frame these issues as a dichotomy between [wealth, banking, prestige] and [poverty, creativity, happiness]. I'm not calling out anyone in particular for doing this, but I think it tends to obscure the healthy and productive conversations that can be had on these types of issues.

    "Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions."
    --Albert Einstein
    http://davincisdelta.wordpress.com/

  • In reply to MoneyTalksMonkeysWalk
    duffmt6's picture

    MoneyTalksMonkeysWalk:

    Finance is definitely the safest route. For taking the smallest risk, you get the smallest reward which comes in the form of good money but bad hours / work...not a great life. Take a big risk (start up, start your own, work in a field you are truly passionate about), you get the biggest reward - good money and good hours / work environment....good life.

    I agree with this to some extent, but on the other hand, there is no reason you can't entrepreneurial in finance. I work at a full service boutique bank started by a guy who started out as a fixed income trader. He was good at what he did, but eventually he said "fuck it, I can do so much more". He found some partners and went out and started a bank with PWM, i-banking, institutional s&t, commercial capital, and corporate advisory divisions. He has done pretty well for himself.

    Likewise, an alum from my school spent about 7 or 8 years in BB banks as a FIG banker. A few months ago, him and a buddy (also a mid level banker) went off and started their own IM firm.

    My point is that you can be entrepreneurial in pretty much any profession- it's just up to you to suck it up and take the risk.

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • In reply to duffmt6
    Impartial.Spectator's picture

    duffmt6:
    MoneyTalksMonkeysWalk:

    Finance is definitely the safest route. For taking the smallest risk, you get the smallest reward which comes in the form of good money but bad hours / work...not a great life. Take a big risk (start up, start your own, work in a field you are truly passionate about), you get the biggest reward - good money and good hours / work environment....good life.

    I agree with this to some extent, but on the other hand, there is no reason you can't entrepreneurial in finance. I work at a full service boutique bank started by a guy who started out as a fixed income trader. He was good at what he did, but eventually he said "fuck it, I can do so much more". He found some partners and went out and started a bank with PWM, i-banking, institutional s&t, commercial capital, and corporate advisory divisions. He has done pretty well for himself.

    Likewise, an alum from my school spent about 7 or 8 years in BB banks as a FIG banker. A few months ago, him and a buddy (also a mid level banker) went off and started their own IM firm.

    My point is that you can be entrepreneurial in pretty much any profession- it's just up to you to suck it up and take the risk.

    Great post. You can find happiness and creativity in almost any industry, you may just have to search for it a bit harder.

    "Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions."
    --Albert Einstein
    http://davincisdelta.wordpress.com/

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation. Learn More.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from Finance Pros

Land More Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews. Learn More.

  • Oxy-Gen's picture

    Great post.Certainly describes what i have been going through for the past 2 months.And i dont even live in the wealthier parts of the world, so i dont think this has to do with only the developed world.I believe this has more to do with finding true happiness in something one is doing.Happiness can only be found while doing something one is truly passionate about and that is the key.I dont know what i am passionate about and that is what bothers me.

    Daily, i get up in the morning and say " Fuck!! not again".I just want to quit,but then what?What do i do then?Travel?Yup i would love to explore new places, experience different cultures,learn new languages and meet people.Yes i would enjoy while i am doing this,but then you come back and start working again and then again get stuck up in this mess.Whats the solution to this paradox?

    It would be great if could start a company(Tried-->Failed) in a field i am interested in (?).Use the money to start a hedge fund( lolz,that is why we are on this site,right?) and in the meantime travel the world.Some dream!!

    Wow, what would i give to be an ignorant fool!!

  • go.with.the.flow's picture

    is it me or a person can never be truly happy in any predicament?

  • In reply to go.with.the.flow
    Impartial.Spectator's picture

    go.with.the.flow:
    is it me or a person can never be truly happy in any predicament?

    Good point, if I understand what you're saying correctly. It seems as if some people are never happy no matter the situation--and likewise there are some people who seem to be happy no matter what the circumstances.

    "Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions."
    --Albert Einstein
    http://davincisdelta.wordpress.com/

  • leveredarb's picture

    the whole go travel do awesome shit with your life etc. is a bit overblown.

    at the end of the day when you start work you eat shit, until you eat less shit and at some point you stop eating shit.

    going to travel, live on a beach etc. delays the eating shit part, but doesnt change the fact.

    just makes you older when you eat shit.

  • energyanalyst's picture

    Holy cow ! I don't understand any thing...I am quitting my career in oil and gas as Geophysicst at age of 28 with a pay of 90k$h wit 40 hours a week to get in ER for oil and gas...and people have all kind of negative feelings around here...

  • In reply to leveredarb
    FinancialNoviceII's picture

    leveredarb:
    the whole go travel do awesome shit with your life etc. is a bit overblown.

    at the end of the day when you start work you eat shit, until you eat less shit and at some point you stop eating shit.

    going to travel, live on a beach etc. delays the eating shit part, but doesnt change the fact.

    just makes you older when you eat shit.

    I dont think its simply a case of travelling. Its doing something you'll enjoy. Granted, I agree that when in a job you have to take a lot of shit. But even a small break to travel or doing something you enjoy gives you a fresher perspective on what it is you're currently doing. A simple vacation is different then actually travelling. You travel because you either love it or are getting away from something for a while.

    I do agree that your life decisions shouldn't be predicated on societal belief. If you love your job, who gives a shit whether its morally wrong (as people perceive bankers to be) or whatever. You draw the line as to whether you're OK with contributing to something that others may detest.

  • In reply to Impartial.Spectator
    FinancialNoviceII's picture

    Impartial.Spectator:
    go.with.the.flow:
    is it me or a person can never be truly happy in any predicament?

    Good point, if I understand what you're saying correctly. It seems as if some people are never happy no matter the situation--and likewise there are some people who seem to be happy no matter what the circumstances.

    I dont know. I know plenty of happy, content people. I think when life becomes more of a routine, thats when the problem arises.

  • In reply to go.with.the.flow
    Boreed's picture

    go.with.the.flow:
    is it me or a person can never be truly happy in any predicament?

    You're right. However, happiness is a made up thing. We're not meant to be happy, we're meant to survive. That's why we're "happiest" when we struggle, and that one rabbit we manage to kill to feed us for the day creates more happiness than any bonus size ever could because it lacks the existential after effects of the presence of abundance. Instead, you have to make sure you catch another rabbit the next day.

  • In reply to HWF
    wavemaker's picture

    HWF:
    Pussies...

    Analysts who enjoy investment banking are nerds. Now, there's nothing wrong with being a nerd if you are truly happy with it. When I say nerd, I mean someone who studies/works all the time (I don't mean it in a negative or condescending manner). These are the same nerds who only studied in high school and college. All you got to do is look around and you'll see. I'm an analyst at a BB and I see them everyday. Though, I tend to hang around more of the "back row" analyst crowd to try and balance it out. I'm somewhat nerdy--moreso than Joe Fratpack, but I've always tried to be balanced. Think about somebody in high school saying, "You're a pussy for not studying all the time"... haha. Ya, anybody who doesn't want to work 80-100 per week is a pussy... I work these hours and I hate it. I do it for the money; won't lie to you about it; won't lie to myself about it. Ya, I'm a pussy because I want to go drink with my friends, chase girls, work out and live life outside the bullpen...right. But, to each his own. Cheers

  • In reply to wavemaker
    energyanalyst's picture

    wavemaker:
    HWF:
    Pussies...

    Analysts who enjoy investment banking are nerds. Now, there's nothing wrong with being a nerd if you are truly happy with it. When I say nerd, I mean someone who studies/works all the time (I don't mean it in a negative or condescending manner). These are the same nerds who only studied in high school and college. All you got to do is look around and you'll see. I'm an analyst at a BB and I see them everyday. Though, I tend to hang around more of the "back row" analyst crowd to try and balance it out. I'm somewhat nerdy--moreso than Joe Fratpack, but I've always tried to be balanced. Think about somebody in high school saying, "You're a pussy for not studying all the time"... haha. Ya, anybody who doesn't want to work 80-100 per week is a pussy... I work these hours and I hate it. I do it for the money; won't lie to you about it; won't lie to myself about it. Ya, I'm a pussy because I want to go drink with my friends, chase girls, work out and live life outside the bullpen...right. But, to each his own. Cheers


    Phew...And, I was thinking my gf will leave me if i move to finance...

    Cheers

  • AndyLouis's picture

    ha i totally did all 5, much happier now though and glad I did it

  • tedrd.88's picture

    I went through this senior year of undergrad. It's crazy to think a quarter of your life is over, but you're still very young. I realized that I missed out a on a lot in my middle and high school years because I was so focused on the future. There's not much you can do about it, but enjoy the life you have now and savor it for what it is. You can never go back, but you can do your best to make the most out of every opportunity ahead of you. Yeah, it's cheesy. But it really helped me get through the rut. I was getting over the end of a 4-5 year long-term relationship that was my first love and my best friend dying at the end of my sophomore year. It's a tough time, and more challenges will come. Right now I'm dealing with how to juggle my own goals and commitments with the declining health of my parents, knowing I owe it to them to be there for them in their waning years. It's not fun, but that's growing up for you. Learning how to deal with things you never even dreamed about as child when your most difficult problems were figuring out how to watch tv shows that came on after your bed time. It's better to address it head on and adjust for the future... I doubt it gets any easier from here on out.

  • In reply to tedrd.88
    RKoho's picture

    tedrd.88:
    I went through this senior year of undergrad. It's crazy to think a quarter of your life is over, but you're still very young. I realized that I missed out a on a lot in my middle and high school years because I was so focused on the future. There's not much you can do about it, but enjoy the life you have now and savor it for what it is. You can never go back, but you can do your best to make the most out of every opportunity ahead of you. Yeah, it's cheesy. But it really helped me get through the rut. I was getting over the end of a 4-5 year long-term relationship that was my first love and my best friend dying at the end of my sophomore year. It's a tough time, and more challenges will come. Right now I'm dealing with how to juggle my own goals and commitments with the declining health of my parents, knowing I owe it to them to be there for them in their waning years. It's not fun, but that's growing up for you. Learning how to deal with things you never even dreamed about as child when your most difficult problems were figuring out how to watch tv shows that came on after your bed time. It's better to address it head on and adjust for the future... I doubt it gets any easier from here on out.

    Best post in this thread.

  • Gate_Crasher's picture

    Hahahahahahhaaha
    Sounds like a bunch of women on their periods.
    Man the Fuck Up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Since when men became so concerned about this Q-Life Crap ?!
    Whenever I feel down I go for a good Fcuking session and a Steak !

  • labanker's picture

    Several comments:

    (1) Everything has a trade-off. Yes those guys that traveled, screwed around, etc. in middle school / high school / college had a great time but being 30+ with zero cash or career prospects is a pretty scary abyss to be peering into. Not sure I'd switch shoes with those guys.

    (2) Traveling is just doing nothing in an expensive manner. Don't forget this when you put "traveling" in your list of life's grand accomplishments.

    (3) The best way of handling all these issues is to be "present" in everything you do. The more you do this, the happier you'll be, regardless of what you are doing.

    (4) An apt quote: "stressful thoughts reflect a conflict with reality. Stress happens when the mind resists what is." Think about it.

  • D M's picture

    It's not a crisis. It's called becoming an adult and realizing what you are doing is not actually what you want to do. Kinda going through this now, but I'm not seeing it as a crisis (to be fair I'm not doing much of anything useful at the moment). It's more of a "hmmm, I could do this, or I could do this".

    The people that call it a crisis are the ones who don't want to sacrifice a high(er) paycheck for what they really want to do.

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

  • In reply to wavemaker
    HWF's picture

    wavemaker:
    HWF:
    Pussies...

    Analysts who enjoy investment banking are nerds. Now, there's nothing wrong with being a nerd if you are truly happy with it. When I say nerd, I mean someone who studies/works all the time (I don't mean it in a negative or condescending manner). These are the same nerds who only studied in high school and college. All you got to do is look around and you'll see. I'm an analyst at a BB and I see them everyday. Though, I tend to hang around more of the "back row" analyst crowd to try and balance it out. I'm somewhat nerdy--moreso than Joe Fratpack, but I've always tried to be balanced. Think about somebody in high school saying, "You're a pussy for not studying all the time"... haha. Ya, anybody who doesn't want to work 80-100 per week is a pussy... I work these hours and I hate it. I do it for the money; won't lie to you about it; won't lie to myself about it. Ya, I'm a pussy because I want to go drink with my friends, chase girls, work out and live life outside the bullpen...right. But, to each his own. Cheers

    Never make fun of nerds, because one day they will be your boss.

  • In reply to labanker
    AVPGuerilla's picture

    labanker:

    (2) Traveling is just doing nothing in an expensive manner. Don't forget this when you put "traveling" in your list of life's grand accomplishments.

    This may be one of the dumbest things I have ever seen on this site. Sounds like you have never never traveled. If you haven't yet, try it sometime, you may change your views. Seeing the world, seeing other cultures - I don't see how you can call tha doing nothing in an expensive manner. Wait- your're from LA? That explains it.

    In any case- I can see why some folks get disillusioned with banking in their mid 20s. To those who say "bunch of pussies"- it'll probably happen to you at some point too, maybe in your 30s. It'll happen, though.

    Banking is an all-consuming job- it's more than a job... It's a lifestyle. If you don't have a family or something else going for you, I can see how it might suck after doing it for a few years. Life's gotta have a purpose other than just money, right? It does- and you recognizing that should just tell you that you are maturing.

    For me - my family is my purpose. That's why I do this. I also actually enjoy the commodity world...so that helps.my crisis will be when im 40 and buy a Lambo

    Step 1: Dream the Dream || Step 2: Live the Dream || Step 3: Rinse, repeat.

  • FinancialNoviceII's picture

    Agree with AVP. Personally, I would much rather get disillusioned with my job or industry in my 20s then in my 30s.

  • Amphipathic's picture

    I when I was young I used to hear this sort of talk and say "bunch of pussies, fuck work-life balance." Now I am in my late 20s, and when I see kids saying that sort of thing I smile. They will figure out soon enough, or I hope they will, for their own good.

  • In reply to AVPGuerilla
    labanker's picture

    AVPGuerilla:
    labanker:

    (2) Traveling is just doing nothing in an expensive manner. Don't forget this when you put "traveling" in your list of life's grand accomplishments.

    This may be one of the dumbest things I have ever seen on this site. Sounds like you have never never traveled. If you haven't yet, try it sometime, you may change your views. Seeing the world, seeing other cultures - I don't see how you can call tha doing nothing in an expensive manner. Wait- your're from LA? That explains it.
    I

    I have traveled and have nothing against it in its own right. On the contrary I think it can be a great time. I just think the concept of "traveling" is often over romanticized in these kinds of discussions and people need to view it for what is - a vacation, not some great achievement. You're not going to all of a sudden have cultural breakthroughs or life changing realizations because you asked for "another beer please" in broken Spanish before wandering back to your hotel in the tourist area to pass out. Yes, some people's trips can have very strong, lasting impacts on their lives but for most people it's just wandering from tourist trap to tourist trap before it's time to get on the plane back home.

  • In The Flesh's picture

    I honestly think this is pretty normal for most people. Everybody has doubts and questions themselves, especially if you've been raised the way our generation has (with promises, promises, and promises that evrything's gonna be fantastic). So much adjusting has to go on after leaving the undergrad bubble, and this is a function of that because at some point we're all forced to wake up.

    Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

  • In reply to labanker
    econ's picture

    labanker:
    I have traveled and have nothing against it in its own right. On the contrary I think it can be a great time. I just think the concept of "traveling" is often over romanticized in these kinds of discussions and people need to view it for what is - a vacation, not some great achievement. You're not going to all of a sudden have cultural breakthroughs or life changing realizations because you asked for "another beer please" in broken Spanish before wandering back to your hotel in the tourist area to pass out. Yes, some people's trips can have very strong, lasting impacts on their lives but for most people it's just wandering from tourist trap to tourist trap before it's time to get on the plane back home.

    Another option is to actually live somewhere for awhile, so you actually learn the language and culture, as well as experience the lifestyle. A couple of people that I know did this in Asia (one in Japan, the other in China), and it was a great experience for them. They both say it was one of the greatest experiences in their lives, if not the greatest.

  • In reply to duffmt6
    TDSWIM's picture

    duffmt6:
    MoneyTalksMonkeysWalk:

    Finance is definitely the safest route. For taking the smallest risk, you get the smallest reward which comes in the form of good money but bad hours / work...not a great life. Take a big risk (start up, start your own, work in a field you are truly passionate about), you get the biggest reward - good money and good hours / work environment....good life.

    I agree with this to some extent, but on the other hand, there is no reason you can't entrepreneurial in finance. I work at a full service boutique bank started by a guy who started out as a fixed income trader. He was good at what he did, but eventually he said "fuck it, I can do so much more". He found some partners and went out and started a bank with PWM, i-banking, institutional s&t, commercial capital, and corporate advisory divisions. He has done pretty well for himself.

    Likewise, an alum from my school spent about 7 or 8 years in BB banks as a FIG banker. A few months ago, him and a buddy (also a mid level banker) went off and started their own IM firm.

    My point is that you can be entrepreneurial in pretty much any profession- it's just up to you to suck it up and take the risk.

    An alum from my school did the exact same thing with a similar background in FIG. It's definitely encouraging, and it goes to show you that you don't have to think up the next FB to have the opportunity to run a start up someday.

  • In reply to Amphipathic
    D M's picture

    Amphipathic:
    I when I was young I used to hear this sort of talk and say "bunch of pussies, fuck work-life balance." Now I am in my late 20s, and when I see kids saying that sort of thing I smile. They will figure out soon enough, or I hope they will, for their own good.

    Yea, I used to involve myself in that kind of crap too. Now I realize I was a douche.

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

  • In reply to econ
    FlakieBear's picture

    econ:
    labanker:
    I have traveled and have nothing against it in its own right. On the contrary I think it can be a great time. I just think the concept of "traveling" is often over romanticized in these kinds of discussions and people need to view it for what is - a vacation, not some great achievement. You're not going to all of a sudden have cultural breakthroughs or life changing realizations because you asked for "another beer please" in broken Spanish before wandering back to your hotel in the tourist area to pass out. Yes, some people's trips can have very strong, lasting impacts on their lives but for most people it's just wandering from tourist trap to tourist trap before it's time to get on the plane back home.

    Another option is to actually live somewhere for awhile, so you actually learn the language and culture, as well as experience the lifestyle.

    When I say travel, this is how you do it. You don't just hop from trains to cities, then leave.

    The great experience happens when you settle down for at least six months somewhere, you learn the language and the culture.

    My current plan: Finish my two years
    Work for 1 year in E.G
    1 year in Angola
    6 months in Brazil
    6 months in Chile
    6 months in Cuba

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

  • OMS's picture

    fucking hipsters. how many fucking 'cultures' do you guys want to explore?

  • In reply to OMS
    FlakieBear's picture

    oldmansacks:
    fucking hipsters. how many fucking 'cultures' do you guys want to explore?

    LOL as for me, I am no hipster, I just love languages. In my previous post, I stated that I plan to WORK and live in these countries. So I won't be a"Tourist or a backpacker". If you look at the countries on my list, they all have one thing in common. They are either Hispanophones or Lusophones. I would like to live in these places not only to improve my language skills, but to also learn about the linguistic nuances and cultural differences.

    As a matter of fact, I almost didn't get a job because my boss thought that I would pack up and leave at any moment. I will eventually settle down. I am working on a business plan with some friends ( to be launched in 3 years)who gave me an ultimatum to settle down. LOL they advised me to travel as early as possible so that I can be back and ready for business in the next three/five years.

    I think that this whole "I am quitting banking, I am doubting my career path" is related to doing something you like. For me, it is languages, translations, so investing time and money into these will give me satisfaction. Plus, I can still do the while having a regular job.

    People need to stop looking for happiness into their job. Happiness is a state of mind. It depends on your outlook on life, people, friends, family, and your career. What they need is contentment. Are you satisfied/ content with what you have?

    Unfortunately, some of the folks on these board live to work instead of working to live. So anything that goes wrong with their job and any critics make the feel that it's the end of the world.

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

  • NewMountain's picture

    When I was young my family moved to an unknown place in the recently collapsed Soviet union for work reasons and it allowed me to see life in a different way. It was not travelling. It was a life removed from what I knew. Doing laundry by hand in a bathtub while at friend's apartments and those sorts of activities grounded me in a very positive way. This is valuable.

    Later on, I chose to stay and arbitraged a lifestyle with my unique skills to lead a life I could never afford to live in the states. I used it to lead an existence of debauchery. While all my peers in the US thought this was cool, I realized after a year it was unfulfilling. For all the people here that talk about wanting that lifestyle, you need to live it and work it out of your system. But in the end, you realize it is vacuous. Otherwise, you end up as the "life of the party" who has no family, savings, career or opportunities.

    Now, there are fewer twenty-something birthdays ahead than behind. A few weeks ago I asked the guy who cleans the plants why he was back so soon only to realize a week went by without me noticing. However, all the friends doing seemingly cool things - playing in touring bands, going abroad to surf or take pictures, etc. were taking jobs as substitute teachers, administrative assistants and handymen. Many of them are locked out of better opportunities without severe sacrifice and discipline most seem unwilling or unable to muster.

    My job is ok, it seems the biggest problem is perspective. You spend your day looking at outrageous amounts of money and are surrounded by superiors and clients doing much better than you. Your wants grow congruently with theirs but your salary lags behind. This cycle becomes all consuming. My earlier experience allows me to step back and think about the life I could have lived had I been born somewhere else. Instead of driving myself crazy about not living in a highrise, driving a lambo or having a designer wardrobe imported from Europe, I realize that things are alright. They really are. If you are good at the job and willing to stick it out your career will grow exponentially. Most people don't get signing bonuses, yearly bonuses beyond the median US salary and interesting work after a few years of grinding away.

    Bottom line is this: in finance, you trade your twenties toiling in spreadsheets , earning certifications and completing degrees for financial security and intellectual stimulation later in life. Many of the people this board seem to envy take all the gratification up front and either pay for it later or never recover. Some get lucky and avoid this cycle, most do not.

    This has been my observation anyway.

Pages