Tricks to work less in IB

Curious to hear efficient ways of doing things faster in banking or sneaky things you do in order to appear busy and avoid staffings. Pls discuss

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Comments (30)

Most Helpful
  • Senior Consultant in Consulting
Mar 24, 2021 - 7:42am

Applies to all fields:

  • Initially reply to non-urgent emails with something like "will take a look later, currently swamped" and then reply after 1-2 hours with "apologies, have been very busy right until now"
  • If you're given a task in the morning and they tell you the deadline is EoD, send it EoD even if you finish sooner. Set yourself a reminder or put a time delay on the email. If you get something done in half the time people will give you double the work. Don't fall for that trap.
  • Models and slides will often be the same. Find previous deliverables and just make minor adjustments to content (I think this is standard but a lot of interns/analysts mess this up and waste time building things over again)
  • [A bit riskier] in the era of WFH people often have plumbers, electricians, food deliveries etc coming to their house. If you need a break, say you have to step away for reasons X, Y and Z and chill for a bit. Do not overuse this one and only when you really need a break.
  • Block off time in your calendar with tasks e.g., "finish Model X" and mark it as busy with people only being able to view it as busy/free. This way your calendar appears jam-packed even if most of it is tasks. Not a massive life hack, but something to help minimise people putting useless call at all hours in your calendar.
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 24, 2021 - 12:35pm

From a business point of view, you are hired for your output. Why would companies want to keep people who adopt these tactics over people who try to get as much finished as possible?

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 24, 2021 - 3:19pm

From a business point of view, you are hired for your output. Why would companies want to keep people who adopt these tactics over people who try to get as much finished as possible?

Why would you give a shit what the company wants you bootlicking dweeb? "Think of the poor megacorp! Rich people out there are making a penny or two less because you aren't maximizing efficiency!"

Pure house slave mentality 

Mar 24, 2021 - 3:44pm

Because juniors will burnout within 12 months (about the right amount of time it takes for analysts/associates to get a handle on the job and become useful to the seniors above them) and then you're saddled with a brand new hire that you've got to retrain/hand-hold until they can work independently + you've got to dilligence the ever living fuck out of their math pages (or moreso than you would with an experienced analyst with no burnout problems and pose way lower bust risk on model output pages).

Hear me now, children, for my occupation is of much import. For 82 years I have been an oil man, a ‘baron’ some have called me. Now what does an oil baron do? The answer - crush your enemies! Grind their bones into dirt! Make them regret that they were ever born! Oil is not for the weak - it is the Earth’s milk, and only the strong may suckle at Mother’s teat!

Mar 24, 2021 - 1:52pm

Bookmark

What’s past is past and can’t be undone. It has led to the circumstances we now face. All we can do is recognize our circumstances for what they are and make the best decisions we can, “given the givens."  - Howard Marks

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 24, 2021 - 2:33pm

Actually the calendar block thing is also a good way to keep to do lists when you're swamped, since it appears on your inbox so you have it in front of your eyes all the time 

Mar 24, 2021 - 2:51pm

The point on previous deliverables is spot on. Do not waste your time creating a perfect format on a new spreadsheet or powerpoint, use the previous deliverable and tailor it to the needs of the deck. However, in relation to the second point,I would take this with a pinch of salt. It is fantastic if you can send a deliverable hours before the deadline, but this is a Catch 22 as you will be 'rewarded' with more work. For example, if your deliverable is 8pm and you finish at 4pm, send it at around 7, that way you allow for further comments and it shows you work efficiently.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 24, 2021 - 9:37am

When it comes to IB there is no more important skill than proper time management, hone your time management skills. First thing I do everyday is lay out my tasks for the day and break down the bigger tasks into smaller manageable chunks to make them seem less daunting; granted your to-do list will probably change throughout the day but this way you are organized and can shuffle tasks as needed . Also, if you are stuck and spinning your wheels when creating slides for a CIM, pitch, etc. just move on and come back to it, 9 times out of 10 if you try to force inspiration you'll end up creating garbage and have to redo it anyway. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 24, 2021 - 1:19pm

anything factset/bbg/market data related that you're even slightly unsure about, just f1f1 on bbg or use factset help, 99.999% of the time (esp for factset) if you ask them for formulas etc they'll just build them for you

Mar 24, 2021 - 3:48pm

+SB for the Factset bit. You can effectively use them to outsource data digs (that you can save down and use as templates in the future), and they'll turn it around/kick it back to you in a few hours. 

Hear me now, children, for my occupation is of much import. For 82 years I have been an oil man, a ‘baron’ some have called me. Now what does an oil baron do? The answer - crush your enemies! Grind their bones into dirt! Make them regret that they were ever born! Oil is not for the weak - it is the Earth’s milk, and only the strong may suckle at Mother’s teat!

Mar 24, 2021 - 9:55pm

Under promise, over deliver.  Kind of the idea driving all of the above.

Get busy living
  • 2
Mar 24, 2021 - 10:06pm

Reading these tips, it's clear that I've been banking incorrectly. I always work on requests as soon as they come in and send out as soon as I'm done. I also do not spend enough time going through old decks to see what could be leveraged. Whoever said they'll just keep piling it on is on point - it has gotten to the point where I don't even have time to eat during the day and I'm still getting new staffings. Any tips on how to reset expectations now that I've fucked everything up?

Mar 25, 2021 - 3:15am

Try and automate your tasks with multiple tools available. One example is TombstoneHub it automates the updating of TombStones and gives you formatted slides in minutes. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 25, 2021 - 4:06am

Does your firm pay for the subscription? Also, do you have any other external services that you use?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 31, 2021 - 5:12pm

I would say though it's not only about working less.. but also about getting in the right deals at the right time.. getting the proper positioning in order to avoid bullshit coverage and focus on actionable opportunities in your target area - then you'll be in a position to tell your staffer - I can't take this pitch, already on those 3/4 deals that have near term deadlines 

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