Bankers and Hookers: All Roads Lead to Rome
You didn't go to a target school like the others, but you networked really hard, and you did whatever it takes to get into the industry because, that's where the money is. Both Caesar Palace andplaces to work.
You grind hard when you are young, and you suck a lot of dicks because hey, there is no shortcut to success. You gotta pay your dues, but you somehow make yourself look pretty good in front of people. People think you are highly-accomplished. You are happy.
You are on-call almost 24/7 except when you are asleep. Sometimes unreasonable client requests come in, and you bent your knees eventually because your client owes you.
You receive a lot of comments about your work. You hate those comments, but pretend you love them and you perform.
You need to have great people skills to make a long-term career. In fact, you are an introvert and you didn't talk to more than 50 people in the last 4 years. You saw that colleague having drinks with the person in charge, and you started to change.
You do a lot of mind-numbing work (editing PPTs, j**king off random dudes' dicks). It's not very intellectually stimulating.
As you progress, you establish some solid relationships so they become your long-term clients. You can even have lunch or dinner with your clients outside work to strengthen that bond.
You likely will have both mental & physical health problems (you become fat, hair loss, jump off the roof, STDs, AIDS) and that's when you realize you need to take care of yourself.
You go through the motions at work, and soon you get feedback that your performance is not as strong. That will be reflected in your year-end bonus, or that fully paid vacation with Delon Dusk because he only does business with you. Dusk was your exclusive account to close.
You exit the industry after a standard 2-3 years after totally burnt out. People say you will get a lot of fancy exit opportunities (PE, HF, Corp Dev, Flight Attendant, Delon Dusk's No.4 mistress, Instagram influencer), but then you realize that might not be where you want to be.
Your friend has a solid, concrete plan when getting into the business: exit after 2 years and grind it out. S/he signed an offer with a client to become his bitch for the next 2-3 years, but your friend thought it was going to be heaven. Well, after all, your friend will get paid more and work less hours on the next job. Most importantly, your friend won't need to be on-call 24/7. Sometimes friend does need to work the full weekend though (live deal or a fully paid weekend romance).
You turn to 30 years old, maybe 32, and realize more than ever you want to start a family. You tried to brag about prestige --- worked at Goldman Sachs, CVP, or dated Delon Dusk --- but it turns out nobody really cares. Hell, those idiots don't know who Delon Dusk is or what "" stands for. How can you not know that? You whisper to yourself: ignorant shitheads who make $80K/year. I made bank in my first 3 years. I'm the winner.
Some people in the industry exit to a place that has a great work-life balance (corporate development at a chill tech firm working 45h/week or that nail salon where you paint nails 6h/day). The money is okay. People ask about where you used to work. You politely tell them it was a good learning experience. You made some good money, and you prefer not to talk about it right now. People show you a lot of respect and sympathy. They think you learned that low-key style from your last job (to not get caught).
Some other people decided to go the plausible yet mythical "fast track". They proved to their supervisor that they have done good work, and collected some top-notch client feedback ("your hands really do magic"; "I love your fee structure"; "I need to introduce you to my friends"). They are in mid-30s, make a lot of money, and don't have families. They fuck around and think they are superior because they go to the Hamptons for vacation and drive a Porsche. They do travel a lot, and only close deals that are considered high-quality.
Colleague reunion after 10 years. You talk to that person who stayed in the industry. You see that thinly veiled smug on that person's face, as that person started talking about that last meeting with Bonald Bump and how beautiful his private golf court is. Playing with Mr. Bump was also a pleasure. Hopefully they get to do business to make some money.
You listened patiently while remained totally silent the whole conversation. At the end of that party, you decided to stay in touch for old day's sake. You handed your ex-colleague a name card that solely writes "& Co-Founder, Melphabet", and an email address that in fact goes to your 5th assistant's inbox.
Your ex-colleague took over the name card, stared at it for 2.7 seconds, and said you should have dinner together next Saturday at the Dar'Good club. Your colleague has a diamond membership card there and cannot wait to show you how great that place is.
Life is good.