wtf am I doing

anyone else feel like they have no idea what the heck is going on with their life directionally? I know this type of high finance is not the most healthy, but I have no idea what I want to pivot into that I might as well just stay.

Additionally, I have no idea what type of lifestyle I want to seek for myself. Pursing a career in high finance leads into a social circle of such wealthy and honestly pretty toxic community. While being rich seems nice and all, sometimes I just want simplicity and happiness. Still, the lifestyle still seems really tempting and i have no idea which direction to follow. How do I even begin to figure all this out?

Comments (23)

  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
Feb 27, 2022 - 10:30am

LSD and/or shrooms will show you the way

Mar 2, 2022 - 3:09am
IB A2 - Tech MA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've done so much so much since joining IB, with micro doses every morning

Cheick Diakite

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 27, 2022 - 1:17pm

Could you elaborate on how toxic this community is? I'm a college student and about to start my IB gig. Very curious.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 28, 2022 - 2:06am

focus exclusively on status / wealth. Ranking system makes everything a competition instead of collaboration. Constantly belittling people in the name of "jokes" calling people poor, fat, ugly ect. 

Mar 1, 2022 - 3:53pm, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Damn drop the name of the banks do you guys work for, genuinely can't believe people talk like that. At my firm everyone is literally stereotypically PC and I don't even think I've heard anyone swear before. Not saying I like it like that i'm just surprised there could be such a sharp contrast between firms.

edit: I just realised I'm black and I guess thats why everyone is squeaky clean around me

  • Intern in AM - Other
Mar 1, 2022 - 5:57pm

I can't help you on how to figure it out (I haven't either) but I share your feeling about people like this. These are the type of ppl that will also always talk shit behind everyone's back, the biggest pussies who look like they live in a bubble

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 3, 2022 - 2:37pm

Damn I was at Credit Suisse and this description matches my analyst class 100%. For those wondering: the analysts were constantly arguing who was richer, which people/banks made the most money, they were insulting people at MBB / Big 4, calling others "poor", "weak", "fat" and worse

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 1, 2022 - 3:26am

Whenever I feel lost, I ask myself what I want out of my life. I do not believe in reincarnation, afterlife or a higher order being, so this is my only chance to make some impact in this world. For you that could be making an impact in finance or just being wealthy. We all have different desires and level of expectations with ourselves, so you should consider asking yourself what would truly make you happy when you are lying on your deathbed and look back at what you have done. Hopefully that shows you some direction.

  • Intern in AM - Other
Mar 1, 2022 - 5:34pm

About the high finance culture: I once interviewed at this HF where they liked my application (several tasks to do before interview) and I got the interview (which apparently only <1% got). I have to say I didn't prepare properly for the interview (because of several reasons, but obviously could have done better), but everything was professional until I met with one of the Partners who looked down on me. He looked at me only twice and  loved talking about how intelligent and how great (risk-adjusted) returns they had. It felt like I was judged (I am pretty sure it was because of my background) and treated accordingly in less than 1 minute. At the end I asked some questions which he didn't expect and was shocked about me asking that (it wasn't a smart finance related question but it still made him think for some time).

I hope all these rich arrogant mfs lose everything.

  • Intern in AM - Other
Mar 2, 2022 - 5:08am

It was something like what do you like about x, and then it pivoted to how that has had a positive impact in "society" (not really, but you have to boost their egos). Don't get me wrong he still is a dickhead but I knew the only way to reverse the shit show was to try to get him to like me (which didn't work but he ended with a different opinion, slightly better, about me)

  • Associate 3 in IB - Cov
Mar 1, 2022 - 5:59pm

Improve some aspect of yourself that you don't like. That should make you feel better. 
But then try not to focus too much on yourself and your wants - help someone else, be a better friend, volunteer, something like that. For me, Christianity helps.

Mar 2, 2022 - 7:46am
falconeagle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey OP, really feel for you - not sure if it helps to say this, but as a single 32yr old guy in PE (previously IB) I feel exactly the same way as you ten years into my career!

As you say it's a really difficult one - first of all don't get me wrong, even despite the hours IB/PE is very well paid for the work we do, and I couldn't imagine what it must be like supporting a family on say $30k a year.

But having said that, I have to warn you - it doesn't get any easier to exit the lifestyle over time. I think I'm the same as/similar to you, in that I generally enjoy (or at least don't mind) the job day-to-day, and I'm making $250-300k a year - pretty good compared to most people? Well despite this I still wrest with anxiety and low-level depression (been on medication for a while) as well as the existential questions you raised.

So what do I mean by it doesn't get any easier? Well although you earn more and (hopefully) have a lot more saved over time, you also get used to having money. And I don't even mean driving a Lambo and "making it rain" in a club lol - but more just fundamental stuff like always having savings, never worrying about the cost of a meal out or supermarket shop (it's been years since I looked at prices properly in the supermarket), being able to go on expensive holidays at short notice and stay in 5-star hotels.

So imagine leaving all that behind? I think having experienced it and then going back to budgeting/living modestly would suck more than never having had it at all really (at least imho). Also like you, I want to do something meaningful with my life but have no idea what - also realistically no other industry is going to pay me anywhere near we much, and there are a lot worse/more boring jobs out there tbh.

Sorry that probably doesn't help you much lol (wish I did have the answers!) - but just know that you're definitely not alone in this existential angst. Maybe see a therapist as others have suggested? I've been meaning to try it out but haven't worked up the courage yet haha 

Mar 2, 2022 - 11:11am
throwaway909101, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Apr 3, 2022 - 12:47am
ValuePro, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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