This is what banking really is

I’m lying here in bed at 4am, just logged off. Thinking about the past year and all the blood, sweat, and tears. Thinking about how I’ve barely slept the past few weeks, been nonstop working. Thinking about how I’ve developed terrible anxiety where I can never go offline. Thinking about how I can’t sleep at night because I stare at a screen for 16+ hours a day and my brain is so fried that I can’t turn it off.

Thinking about how I’ve gained weight because I don’t have the time or energy to exercise. Thinking about how I’ve developed (but don’t want to admit it) an alcohol problem because the only way I can unload my stress is obliterating my mind till I can’t think anymore. Thinking that I am depressed and in a dark place but don’t have the mental capacity to go speak with someone. Thinking about the time with family I missed because I can’t use my vacation days.

Thinking about the time with friends I missed because I have to work all the time. Thinking about the clients who don’t give a shit and expect you to send them whatever they need at any time of the day while they go to bed at 10pm. Thinking about the senior bankers who expect you to turn comments at 4am while you’re on vacation for a pitch that never had a chance of going anywhere. Thinking about the utter lack of respect anyone has for the health or wellbeing of junior bankers.

Thinking that maybe my bonus will cheer me up a bit, then getting slapped in the face with a bonus 50% lower than last year’s bottom bucket. Thinking about barely saving anything living in NYC, my rent going up 20%, my retirement accounts down 25%. Thinking that “I’m lucky” and “I should be grateful.” Thinking about if any of this is worth it.

This is what banking really is.


Disagree, it does get better if you have a spine and learn to push back on stuff / offer alternatives that are more efficient, very much involves picking your battles, still going to have to work on some pointless and tedious stuff but you can get out of some it. I realize this is difficult for 1st year A&As as you are at the very bottom. You become slightly less of a commodity as you move up as long as you develop relationships with seniors, ideally ones that aren't hardos all the time and that you enjoy working with.

Also, learn to ask associates / VPs that you like working with / in a subvertical you like (if you are a generalist) if they need any help with staffings when you start to have capacity so you get staffed on their stuff rather then having the staffer put you on other assignments that may be worse. I can tell you that this materially improved my life as analyst since I would at least like the people I was working with in an area I enjoyed. They also seemed to have a better WLB than some other people but were just as successful. I could also go to them when I was jammed on other peoples work and sometimes they could get me out of it if I was working on important projects for them. I do this now for some of my good juniors who are stuck on some bad client accounts with a bad team. It benefits both of us, I get get good A&As who I often also like as people and they get better staffings and better WLB.

To be fair, there are times where everyones is getting crushed (2021 for pretty much everyone), but right now, there id signficantly less to do in terms of transactions so things are better for many right now. That said, things will get worse once senior layoffs start and people start to feel the pressure, but you can still mitagate the damage to yourself to some extent.


Why would the guess be Barclays it sounds like any major bank


Absoutely no group should be having you interrupt your vacation for a pitch, much less at 4am. If you have 1 more year until your buyside exit, I would just wait it out by doing the bare minimum (take sick days, slowplay pitches that you said you were to busy to handle, etc). If not, I would look at lateralling to a team with a less horrific culture. 


Thinking about the time where it’s completely your choice to tap out and find something else to do…there’s absolutely no shame in that, you’re sacrificing your physical health but even worse your mental health at this point


Sorry you're feeling that way. Definitely went through some of it. My question / advice for anyone going into banking is if they are thinking about it as a job or investment. If you are doing it for the analyst money, it is not worth it. At all. If your idea is let me do it, save some money, and then move and do something less stressful now that I have some pocket change, I don't think that's worth it. To me at least, the real purpose of the first few years of banking is an investment into your future career. The ability to put yourself in a position to have options. If you do well, you can be making $1m+ (probably still be working really hard), you can be on your way to that with less stress, you may be in a position to be making mid-to-high six figures with a much more predictable schedule, etc. 


All you pussies post anon so why not name your bank. The capital markets are all slow as hell, so why exactly are you working till 4am? Don’t lie, we all work in finance and know it’s not this bad. We’re not some chick at a bar or some kid in your frat your trying to impress. Fatty.

Smoke Frog

All you pussies post anon so why not name your bank. The capital markets are all slow as hell, so why exactly are you working till 4am? Don't lie, we all work in finance and know it's not this bad. We're not some chick at a bar or some kid in your frat your trying to impress. Fatty.

Not the guy who originally posted this but I (and many others in my European team) are currently easily sitting past 2/3am. MDs are pitching everything and everywhere to save their year, hence we are still getting worked to the bone… it’s crazy. Will reevaluate once bonus hits 


you’re 35 calling a 24 year old a fatty and you wonder why nobody likes you on this forum. You are the real life embodiment of “how do you do fellow kids”


When you convert your internship to a real job then we can talk.

And I always laugh when some teen says “why everyone on the forum hates you”, like dude I will never meet any of you ever. Why would I care a teen thinks I’m mean.

Grow the f*ck up.


Bad take. I would argue that super slow deal time can be longer hours versus having a few live deals since MDs throw sh*t against the wall in hopes of getting something done. If there a few revenue generating deals out there, as long as they're getting done the MDs probably aren't focused on pitching

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I've said this on other IB threads but I think worth repeating. The ultimate irony to me is that IB MDs are supposed to be in the sales game (that's what they do), and, based on this post, they have such little sales acumen it's laughable. Real sales gurus don't throw up all over clients or throw a shit ton of stuff against the wall to see what sticks. They actually build relationships, learn to understand real client issues (not try to force square pegs in round holes), and provide real solutions that are truly in the client's best interest. In other words, they create value for the client and are compensated well for doing so. It's about being able to control the sales process vs. being controlled by it. It's about being able to respectfully push back because you know it's not in the clients best interest for you to show them 20 different scenarios. It's about getting to the bottom of what actually needs to be done and doing that, not that plus 100 other things that literally don't matter AT ALL ( all the minutia in the 20 pages of footnotes). 

I've sat in on and presented many board room decks and the ones that truly stood out as meaningful were just background to a conversation. No massive data dump that few understand or even care about. There is a total misunderstanding of the sales process in IB. And, unfortunately because of that, it creates these insane exercises that lead to nowhere at the expense of all the analysts / associates time and life. Very sad. Hopefully there are some MDs out there that "get it" and have their teams directed at far more purposeful / useful activities. You don't here much about that. Please, learn how to professionally sell and stop the race down the meaningless rabbit hole!


It wasnt until I switched to the buy side that I realized just how much all investment banks are the same. We met with five different banks to run a SS carve out and the materials were indistinguishable from one another. Same tone, talking points, arguments, approach, EVERYTHING. Rain maker MDs obviously dont fit into this bucket but it seems like 8/10 MDs are just old / burnt out bankers who have zero creativity or ability to sell. The rain makers take note of this and establish long-term relationships (see Byron Trott pre-BDT Capital), but the lion's share of MDs are weak sauce. 


I don't. However RX is far more complex than typical IB and it requires working with legal, RX consultants, creditors, etc. Likely a lot more involved because it is a lot more involved. I would think distressed companies aren't open to just hearing pitch after pitch but are very concerned about the future of their existence and are looking for real services. Not a bunch of smoke.


Yea but you can tell your friends you work at Goldman and also shit on other banks on WSO that have less deal flow and hours. So in my opinion you're winning in life


Can’t explain to you how much this post means to me. To see it in words from someone else make me feel better. I haven’t been able to express it myself but feel this exact way in this exact situation. Praying that I feel a little jolt of happiness with the bonus.

Cheick Diakite

I’ll create my own thread, but in the meantime - I relate to everything you said. I’ve lost control over every aspect of my life and after being a control freak all my life it’s driving me crazy that I cannot hit the gym when i want to, I can barely eat healthy because I am constantly stressed out and use food as a coping mechanism, I can’t sleep properly because I work until 3-4 and then have to be up by 7:30 for a stupid catch up call. hell i am so disoriented and stressed at all times that I started to forget things, like paying my credit card on time or congratulate my mom with her birthday - i’ve always been a very responsible individual but this job is making me overwhelmed to a point my brain doesn’t process anything properly. i always wake up with a headache from being sleep deprived for weeks / months, I can’t plan any activity that is longer than 1-2 hours, even on the weekends because i know i will be bothered and i will be stressing over finding wifi and fixing something with my laptop on my knees. i took a week off once in the last year and i was bothered throughout. at this point, this job is costing me more in mental / physical health damage as well as actual $$$ (i am at a point where i am afraid to take the subway because being offline for 15 minutes can result in my VP yelling at me in all caps!!!!) than it can ever compensate. idk why i’m doing it. i am good with savings but lately i noticed that i’ve been drinking more than usual and being less responsible with money as a result of burning out at work and literally doing anything to save myself from the existential dread this job gave me. sorry for not making you feel better but at least know that we are all going through it


I’m a VP and have been at a couple shops including one with fairly heavy deal flow and was understaffed, translation, sweaty. This job requires long hours at times but what you’re describing is downright toxic, I’d look to lateral asap, especially if they’re also screwing you on comp. There are plenty of shops and groups where people are respectful towards juniors even if they’re working them hard.

if you truly think you have anxiety or depression talk to a mental health professional asap. Your company’s mental health line is actually not a bad place to start (I say this as someone who is actually very distrusting of employers and hr). Or your general practitioner can refer you to someone. Blow off whatever project to get help asap, tell your associate or VP you need to see the doctor because you do.

hope this helps. Pm me if you want. We’re also looking for analysts btw.


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