When can you take vacation as an AN1?

My bank gives 2 weeks of PTO this year - curious when it would be acceptable to take it. 6 months in? Can we take the full 2 weeks at once (trip to South America for example), or is it better to spread out? How long do we need to notice the team?

Comments (37)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jul 26, 2022 - 12:53pm

Unless your bank has some mandated policy where you are required to take PTO.  I have seen a few banks require analyst to take a 4- day weekend or a week off.  

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jul 29, 2022 - 11:18am

F that - those vacation days are part of your compensation. If you let any expire / not roll to next year, then you are losing money. Take you vacation days. Who gives a shit what anyone thinks - you have to take care of and look out for yourself first.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 29, 2022 - 3:22pm

^ as someone that got sucked into mentality of not taking all my vacation my first year in IB…you should take every single day you are given. You will not get a bad review for taking vacation time appropriately and with advanced notice. If you do, you should find a new shop

Jul 26, 2022 - 12:03pm
gufmo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Need to feel out your group's traditional path and then figure out whether you want to adhere to it or not. Our "unwritten rule" was no vacation until you're a year in, then you can take a week. I don't think two weeks off at once will fly ever, but again up to your group.

I gather things have relaxed in IB a bit, so mileage will vary. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 26, 2022 - 12:45pm

Wow, two straight weeks off for a first year analyst? I know if I were a senior, I'd look a little sideways at that. I mean, yeah, take some time to recharge the batteries... but six months in, two weeks in South America while almost everyone else is grinding 'til 10 pm or midnight? Unless that's the norm, I'd say that's a little indulgent. Even if your  group isn't busy, I know that -- right or wrong -- I'd perceive that as a little entitled. 

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 26, 2022 - 1:06pm

Why does every prospect feel the need to chime in on threads like this

Jul 26, 2022 - 12:58pm
AngelOfMusic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That's the problem with too many young analysts coming in. Stop worrying about how things were done in the past or how it will look. Just split them up and tell your staffer much in advance. My first year I took 1 full week before x mas, it was totally worth it, another in the spring. You have to set lines and take that time to decompress and re group. Nothing wrong with going with the status quo but the industry will never change if every incoming first year is scared to take a week off after 6 months on the job. I'm a strong advocate for 2 full weeks off a year, and yes you can still rank top bucket

Jul 26, 2022 - 1:07pm
AnonymousMonkey130, what's your opinion? Comment below:

^ no one is going to care that much if you take two weeks and long weekends here and there as long as you A. Do good work when you are available B. Post teams early and space them out properly.

During my first year I took two one weekers (one around January and another in June), and a few personal days. My teams were cool with this and had no issues given that I didn't do it when a live deal was in full stream. People always told me that as a first year you shouldn't do this and that… like mentioned above don't worry about what people did in the past. You have vacation days for a reason, don't make this job more miserable that it can already be and use the time you "earned" to recharge.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Jul 27, 2022 - 9:18am

+1, this is the right advice. OP, just make sure you're not screwing over your teammates who are covering and it's all good. Helps to have a good rapport as someone who grinds and produces excellent quality work.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 26, 2022 - 1:18pm

4-5 months in is a good time. don't listen to hardos that don't take it until their first year ends and don't contribute to that culture. as long as you communicate in advance and do your best to coordinate on any of your active work streams before you leave you should be fine, i've never heard taking PTO this way being a problem / causing lower ranking. the grind never stops - this should not concern you - as an individual employee you are entitled to days off so take it

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 26, 2022 - 1:28pm

I used to work at a bank that gave 2 full weeks of protected vacation (as in fully unplugged, could choose to not bring phone with you) that you were encouraged to take (all analysts took them). You could take them 1 week at a time with minimum couple months between. Also 20 unprotected vacation days (i.e. you only have to do pressing live work). Pretty sure nobody took all 20, but I took ~5 my first year. 

Sweatshop otherwise but the vacation policy was awesome.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jul 27, 2022 - 11:36pm

I think it's worth noting that things are definitely changing. My bank went from being the typical style of not really taking vacation until the summer after 1 year, to mandating 2 separate week-long vacations (you get shut off the company network during this). And encouraging us to take the full allotment of days.

I happened to be in the last wave of the former, didn't take a single day until June. I think one analyst in my class took a week in spring, but that's about it. After the change, everyone loaded up on PTO. I took a week in summer then another week in winter, along with a bunch of weekends sporadically. I left this summer, so this past spring I aggressively took every last day. Our first years were definitely more liberal with vacation as well, with some taking weeks in fall/winter and almost all utilizing long weekends. Idk what anyone senior thought, but our analysts generally aren't super hardo, so we were all genuinely happy for each other getting time off.

IMO it really depends on your bank/group and there's no one answer anymore. Different banks are in different points in this shift, and some answers you're getting here might be outdated while others are ahead of the curve. I would consult the older analysts or your own class to see where everyone's head is at vs. anything you read on here.

Jul 29, 2022 - 11:26am
bluecollarfinanceguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

From my personal experience, it was easier for me to spread it out.

For example, taking multiple long weekends. Typically I would take off Thursday/Friday, have a nice 4 day weekend. This was pretty easy to manage and I wasn't "out of the loop" on any active work stream and could hop right in once I got back.

Another time as a first year I took a 5 day weekend. Same as above.

That was my playbook as an analyst and it worked well for me.

If your plan is to go A2A, I highly recommend at that point fully taking the additional A2A vacation time that is granted to you. I took a full 3 weeks off when I went A2A, left my phone and laptop at home, was 100% unplugged and traveled the whole time.

Just my 2 cents

Jul 29, 2022 - 3:37pm
mikeAL98, what's your opinion? Comment below:

2 weeks of PTO per year! LMAO 

I am at a BB in London and I have 25 days! God bless Europe!

PD: Don't be silly, and spend those days of PTO. As someone mentioned above, these are part of your compensation and honestly no one will give a f whether you spend them or not, as long as you give sufficient notice. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 29, 2022 - 3:46pm

What are you laughing at?

He makes $110k a year + aprox $70k of bonus while at current exchange you probably make around $75k base and 48% of your bonus will be wasted on taxes to finance the healthcare for people you don't know.  

God bless America!

Jul 30, 2022 - 12:43pm
ebitda-d, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jul 30, 2022 - 9:48pm

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