I want to do IB but I have a fear of big towers

Hello everyone, I wanted to bring up a genuine concern of mine. I really want to go into Investment Banking, but I am very afraid of big towers. I know they are well-built and such, but I am still scared that if I am on a higher floor in an NYC office the building could tip over, or if I was on a lower floor it could collapse on top of me. I really want to do IB as the work interests me, but working in a big tower scares me and I think I wouldn't be able to focus if I worked in an NYC or Chicago or LA bank. Please provide advice as to what I should do. Could I ask a bank to let me do remote work? Or could I work from a nearby coffee shop and only go to the building when needed? Please give advice. Thank you so much (No this isn't a troll post I think I have batophobia)

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Here’s the thing, champ. Sometimes people need to hear the hard truth.

There’s no two ways around this. OP has a choice: get over this fear using tried and tested techniques (therapy, counselling etc), or continue to live with a crippling phobia that will ruin their professional aspirations.

I’m sorry. There’s no way you can negotiate working from home or having company sponsored Xanax because you’re scared of office buildings. You simply won’t be hired.

But hey, thanks intern…. What do you suggest they do?

No this is not something you can get accommodation for, those alternatives are too disruptive (IB is just not something you can really do remotely). Look up building codes and building safety - I understand having a phobia, but NYC is INSANELY strict on buildings and your tower won't tip over. Maybe look into therapy and find someone who can help you through this.

Another consideration here, most banks are not on the 70th floor or anything. Think between 10th-20th floor at most places. Not sure if this is any better but you won't be literally in the sky here

Hey man I know where you’re coming from. I’m scared of heights too and when first visiting some offices I would get afraid being close to the windows

If it makes you feel better, you don’t get to sit close to a window unless you have an office, bullpens (where analysts and associates sit) are normally in the middle of the floor away from windows 

I’ve kinda overcome my fear of heights to a degree. However, if you take me to the top of a skyscraper in nyc then ill still stay as far from the windows as possible 

Almost as bad as that Houston rockets player who was in the NBA but couldn't play away games due to flight fear. My advice is work on getting over this fear. Bruce Wayne got over his fear of bats, David Goggins got over his fear of water, and you too my friend will get over your fear of buildings. Look up immersion therapy. 

What are the odds? Higher the floor, lower your odds? And by how much

Living / working in higher floors just overall elevates your risk profile in general, FWIW. More likely to pass from emergency health situations (cardiac arrest, falls, etc.) as the travel time adds a few minutes to emergency response. 

Work in capital markets, you'll be on the bottom floors anyway

OP, I can relate as I developed anxiety around heights and tight spaces after a traumatic life experience. It's not something to feel bad about, but you should face the fear instead of letting it limit your career opportunities.

Exposure therapy helps a lot and can get you to a point where your body no longer goes into fight-or-flight mode. If you're going to this office everyday, I can guarantee you that eventually, you'll forget you ever had this fear in the first place. Download and read a book called DARE - it basically changed my life. 

Keep in mind that even if your office is on a low floor, it isn’t uncommon for people in client facing roles to visit clients in their offices. Client meetings are the last time you want to be having a panic attack. I don’t share the condition so I’m hesitant to say “you just need to get over it,” but I do think trying to overcome the fear is a better solution than spending your entire career avoiding high-rise towers.

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The answer you don't want to hear but need to hear: go to therapy. I'm seriously not saying this to be a dick so don't take it as such. You don't want to hold yourself back from huge opportunities in life because of a phobia.

I'm not saying you need to "get over it" on your own since might be easier said than done or you would have done it by now already, so find a therapist in your area who works with phobias.

Had a fear of flying a couple of years back after a scary flight. Got a job in a different city and almost turned it down because I was afraid to fly there.

Went to therapy and did some breathing/meditating work and it helped a lot. 

Just gotta push yourself a bit. And it gets easier once you realize your fear is not all that rational...

join a bank in the bay area? a lot of companies run their tech groups out of 2/3 story tall buildings in palo alto. menlo park and palo alto, where many of the groups are based, have 50 foot height limits on most if not all buildings afaik. i can't really think of another city where banks aren't in large towers.

or go to europe, most of the banks in zurich are like 6-8 stories at max, and most likely you'll be working on 2/3

As much as every comment here is focused on how you can make some provision to follow through (therapy etc), none of it addresses the crux of your issue. Getting into IB really isn’t your biggest problem here, and ofc as mentioned before you could always move somewhere like London/Frankfurt/Paris and completely negate this. The issue here is there seems to be a much more serious underlying issue you need to address, and MUCH more importantly, need to separate from your vision of your career. Health comes first… often forgotten in our industry unfortunately. Take some time to think about what you actually need. All love x

I would say the opposite in that therapy as recommended above is tackling the crux of the issue and putting health first

Oh yes…. Buildings tipping over are a big concern in Manhattan. I suggest taking a hang glider in the first day just to show how prepared you are.

  1. When asked your greatest weakness during the interview you asked to be remote, respond “towers”

I don’t think it’ll be a worry to you. There are plenty of things more worrisome than a building as an investment banking analyst

If you let fear dictate your life you might as well give in to the fear of going for a interview or the intimidation of working for a large firm with seasoned IB. The best changes in our lives happen when we overcome fear. Think of it as an opportunity to force & commit yourself to put this fear to rest once & for all. It won’t come every day so go ahead & grab this opportunity!! Let’s not forget that you can always change jobs if you can’t get over it after 3-6 months. You know you can do it or you wouldn’t bother posting it here! Reading up on statistics of how many buildings do or don’t topple or collapse will only grow your fear. So stop feeding it, let it starve till dies & never gets up again. Think of it as your enemy which has held you back all your life, time to finish him for good!

Good Luck!

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