Any Others Dealing With Competitiveness Among Associates / Cut Throat Office Culture?

Hi All - Posting from a throwaway account for anonymity, but wanted to get everyone's thoughts on a relatively new phenomenon I've started experiencing since beginning my role on the buy-side.

My background:

A bit of background on me - traditional path to private equity via a target school and a two year banking stint. Over the summer, I started at a larger upper middle market buyout shop (think 3bn - 10bn fund size). I'll save any AMA-type discussion for another thread as to not derail the conversation I'm hoping to get into here.

Maybe I've been lucky or maybe I've been ignorant, but up until starting my new role I had never really encountered any sort of cut throat culture or deconstructive competition. Naturally, my degree program in college was competitive, but not in an underhanded way. Similar with my banking stint - the culture was pretty collaborative and open despite people looking out for themselves when the rubber hit the road, which is, again, to be expected.

Since starting my new role, however, I've had some trouble getting used to what seems like deliberate attempts by other associates in my group to throw each other under the bus, take credit for work they didn't do, and shovel work they aren't interested in doing to someone else in a relatively transparent fashion (transparent to me, at least).

A few more specific situational examples below to give a better sense of what I'm referring to. (Note: A1, A2, and A3 are just shorthand and are not meant to indicate the seniority of the associates I'm referring to.)

1) Taking credit for my work / throwing me under the bus

Working on a summary with another associate (A1). I build the model and make the output. Prior to meeting with the VP and Principal, A1 comes in my cube and asks to go over the drivers and my rationale for the assumptions I've chosen, so I explain my thought process. Upon meeting with the VP and Principal, A1 takes over the conversation (usually speaking over me as I attempt to participate) and says things like "I was thinking [verbatim what I told them] when I put this assumption in" and "I had read [a research report I referenced to A1], so I thought this assumption made sense." When the VP asks why we used a certain growth rate because it seemed too high/low, A1 turns to me and says "Ya, why DID you use that growth rate? That doesn't really make sense". Punchline here is taking my original work and research, packaging it as their own, and throwing me under the bus for the questions.

2) Co-worker doing half the work claiming it as their own

Working on a company profile with another associate (A2). We both pull together a few slides, which take approximately the same amount of time. A2 tells me to send them my slides so they can consolidate and we can review together. Instead of sending back the consolidated pack, they send out to the broader team referencing only themselves as the author ("I compiled this", "I read the attached reports", "I completed [x] calls with industry experts"). Punchline here is A2 doing half the work and claiming the whole package as their own.

3) Co-worker shovels work off to me

About every week A3 comes to my cube to chat, coming across as extremely friendly and just wanting to catch up. The conversation is about 1/3 pleasantries and 2/3 A3 trying to keep tabs on what I'm working on and what my capacity is. About 1/3 of the way into the conversation A3 always asks "so what were you up to this weekend", and if the answer is anything other than "I was here in my cube all weekend" A3 responds with "Oh so it sounds like you have some capacity. That's great because I am working on x, y, and z and it'd be great if you could take some if it". After that, A3 always asks what I'm working on and who is on the deal teams. After two instances of telling A3 about only one of my deals and getting staffed up on one of A3's old deals about 15 minutes after A3 left my cube, I've learned to just give a laundry list of every single project I'm working on as to avoid giving A3 the opportunity to use my workload against me. Punchline here is A3 transparently keeping tabs on my capacity and deal teams to shovel work off to me (or other associates who I don't reference as being on my deal team).

I'm not sure if I have done a good job articulating each scenario here without going into minute-by-minute recounts of the conversations, but in general I am seeing a lot of credit-grabbing and tab-keeping. This is an entirely new challenge I've never needed to deal with before so I am hoping the WSO community can share some pointers or some of their experience dealing with this type of associate culture.

Please let me know if I can give any more detail to paint a better picture. Not aiming to complain here - I'm genuinely looking for some guidance in navigating my new role.

Thank you all for the help!

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Comments (138)

Dec 18, 2017

This does not sound normal at all, PE is banking 2.0 esp. at a big fund (which yours seems to be) so there is a usually ton of camaraderie between the associates in a "we're all in this together" kind of way. Also most PE firms are 1 associate per deal team so I'm surprised that you have another associate on your team often (even at the megafunds), is the goal that because you are new you are learning from them at first and then they will transition the project to you?

Seems like the firm hired some bad apples you need to protect yourself here - find 1-2 VP or senior associate level hires who can vouch for you and see how they feel about those associates - you'll be surprised, good mid-level professionals can tell if an associate is backstabbing/playing politics pretty easily and it reflects extremely poorly on the associate, not positively.

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Dec 18, 2017

Thanks for the note. Ya, initially it seemed like the other associates had that banking "we're in it together" mentality, but as I've spent more time here the underlying culture has made itself more apparent. I've gotten close with a few of the senior associates and will definitely bring the topic up at the right time.

As you mentioned, I do get the sense that the credit-grabbing is pretty transparent and comes off poorly with the senior folks. My goal has been to not play the game and just focus on myself - so far I think this has been a good strategy, though I'm still working on better ways to "defend" myself from being put in those situations in the first place. I also worry sometimes if not playing the game when everyone else is playing the game puts me at a disadvantage. I would like to think the answer is "no", but that remains to be seen.

As for the two associate staffing: For run-of-the-mill deals that come in from bankers, it's usually a single associate until we start running at something, at which point another associate is staffed. We also do a lot of broader sector research and look at companies we dig up through that work. In those cases the teams doing the research consist of two associates from the get go just because of how wide-reaching and unstructured the work is.

Dec 22, 2017

I know how tempting it can be to play the game, but don't. Trust that what's obvious to you is also obvious to your more senior colleagues. In the end the other associates will have built up zero trust within the team. I'm not saying that a-holes never win, but generally in my experience this kind of stuff catches up with people.

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Dec 18, 2017

Sounds terrible - based on first-hand info at 1 funds and second-hand info from 5 other funds I've never heard of anything like this. Most gripes people have are with process and their managers. I would keep my head down, try to develop relationship w. senior assoc's and broach the subject. If endemic to the firm or if they have no idea what you're talking about, jump ship asap.

Secondly, it's not uncommon to staff 2 associates on a deal (but generally only late stage from my experience), where one can focus on model and financing and the other on market diligence.

Dec 18, 2017

Thank you for the reply and advice. As I mentioned in another reply I am getting pretty close with some senior associates who seem relatively normal, so I will definitely be bringing this up with them. I have a feeling it is just a few folks who act like this and isn't a group- or firm-wide phenomenon.

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Dec 18, 2017

If you have an issue with someone's behavior, communicate it to them and work towards resolution.

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Dec 18, 2017

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not sure addressing the issue head on is appropriate at this point in time given how much people seem to try to disguise their cut throat advances. By addressing it head on, I would effectively be calling someone out which seems pretty aggressive to me.

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Dec 18, 2017

Just call them out. Next time they take credit, intervene and let them know your contribution. You literally have nothing to lose. The associates have zero power (contrary to what they think).

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Dec 21, 2017

Ya I see what you're saying. If that really is the game, then calling them out in front of the senior folks won't seem strange at all. If it comes off poorly and someone says something, then it's the perfect opportunity to a) tell them to back off (if the associate approaches me) or b) explain what is going on (if a senior guy approaches me).

Best Response
Dec 21, 2017

Right. We've all been in that scenario. Associates can't really assign you work. If you don't have time then just express that. Next time the dude tells you "looks like you have availability" say, "actually I'm at full capacity and can't take on anything else in the short-term. I'll let you know if anything changes." Next time a dude asks you, during a meeting, "not sure why YOU did that," just respond with, in a very calm way, "well I'm not sure why you're punting this input to me. We sat down on multiple occasions and in detail discussed the inputs and assumptions put into my model. We've also discussed the research that I put together." Then turn to the VP and say "we can look into it and we'll send you a revised version shortly after this meeting."

You can choose how to handle it but again, realize that associates aren't your bosses. Put them in their place so that they don't fuck with you again.

    • 43
Dec 21, 2017

Great advice - thank you

Dec 21, 2017

Not in PE but this is great advice on how to handle politicking co-workers in general.

+1 SB for you.

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Dec 21, 2017

Well said, this is exactly how I handle these situations and works ten times out of ten. When you call them out in front of the VP, they are hence forth terrified of doing it again in fear of looking like an absolute ass.

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Dec 19, 2017

Lmao I would head-kick A1 the little cunt

I dealt with this nonsense during my SA stint and made clear to my analyst class when i went full-time (at another bank) that any cutthroat nonsense would be dealt with mercilessly

We're all little flower girls now operating as a cohesive roman phalanx. Sometimes it's better to address all problems before the plane leaves the runway

Confrontation would generate an underlying awkwardness to the workplace -- I'd reciprocate the gesture and once they get the message they might lower their spears

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Dec 21, 2017
ostrich:

Lmao I would head-kick A1 the little cunt

Lol - probably best solution in the thread so far

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Dec 22, 2017
ostrich:

Lmao I would head-kick A1 the little cunt

I dealt with this nonsense during my SA stint and made clear to my analyst class when i went full-time (at another bank) that any cutthroat nonsense would be dealt with mercilessly

We're all little flower girls now operating as a cohesive roman phalanx. Sometimes it's better to address all problems before the plane leaves the runway

Confrontation would generate an underlying awkwardness to the workplace -- I'd reciprocate the gesture and once they get the message they might lower their spears

Btw, Romans did not use phalanxes. They did use the hoplite formation very early in history, then moved the the manipular legionary and eventually the cohort.

Rome is notable for being the power that beat the Macedonian phalanx used by successor kingdoms.

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Dec 19, 2017

lol PE is full of fuccboi tools but this is pretty unreal. why are you telling the other associate what you're working on? i've run into that situation a few times in previous firms and always give really boring dry cringeworthy answers to the point that after a few attempts nobody cares to ask me anything (e.g. "oh you know this and thatttttt just living the dream baby")

    • 1
Dec 21, 2017

Thanks - This is a good point. I've been trying to balance being an absolute dick and replying with super vague answers with being polite and trying to have some nice conversation. I figured since I'm still relatively new I didn't want to totally shut down my relationships with the other associates in case I need to ask questions or work with them on projects. However, I think there is probably a happy medium where I can just give a nonsense answer without coming across as obviously secretive.

Dec 22, 2017

This associates' behavior is why you'll get further than them and they will come to here to post why they're not getting that VP position they've worked so "hard" to get

    • 2
Dec 21, 2017

You're the guy from office space who can't defend yourself. Tell them sheikh y baby will fk your ass and make you humble.

    • 2
Dec 21, 2017

[delete]

Dec 21, 2017

Esuric gave probably the best and most level headed/reasonable response you're going to get from anyone regards to how to handle it while taking the high road. And before I go on, this is exactly how you should probably handle this. However, I'll indulge the would be saboteurs and sadistic side by giving you an alternative option in the event that the diplomatic route fails (somewhat tongue in cheek but the below are doable out of great necessity):

A1) Depending on if this would be warranted/feasible based on team structure, if you wanted to be really maniacal, you could ask the VP to talk about the model/assumptions beforehand and get his brief feedback prior to the formal meeting - then make special notes of any negative criticism. Save the negative feedback, then work the negative feedback into your logic/explanation you give to the other associate. Then when he goes off trying to explain it, he will basically be reiterating everything that the VP hated about your original information. The dude won't be able to tattle on you because if he did, he would admit that he was taking the credit/didn't do his own homework, and he will end up looking like a dumbfuck. Or if you don't feel like being that manipulative, just email him a summarized version of what you discussed, then BCC the VP. If he goes on with the charade, he will obviously out himself.

A2) Put incorrect numbers in the presentation slides you send to this person the next time. In the email, say that you think it's close but you want to review one more time before he sends. Concurrently with sending this out, draft an email saying that you found a mistake in the report, but turn off your outlook so that when you send this it gets stuck in your outbox, then cancel the send. If he sends out the report while taking credit, then you can correct the mistakes and resend to the group, and just say that you caught some errors and wanted to make sure everyone had the most up to date info. If he balks or complains to your superiors, you can just say you tried to send him an email but it didn't send, and you have a back-up record of that. Either way, he looks like an asshole at worst or incompetent at best.

A3) Next time this person comes to your cube, and every time going forward, keep track of how much time they spend talking to you. At the end of a month of sample if this doesn't stop, go to your staffer and say that you're worried about A3 because they've spent about x amount of time at your desk and don't know if they have enough to work on. Again, if this douchebag confronts you, you can just feign ignorance and say you wanted to make sure they weren't bored because they had so much free time to come over and chat with you/your team.

Happy holidays!

    • 16
Dec 22, 2017

This was awesome. #1 seems the most realistic / accessible - may be worth trying to scheme a little if it stays bad / gets worse, or if I develop any particularly strong negative feelings towards anyone

Dec 21, 2017

This sounds absolutely awful. I think what you're experiencing is basically a form of 'workplace bullying'. And there are three main ways to deal with any kind of bully: avoid them, confront them, or tattle to the authorities

Dec 22, 2017

Wow, this thread is so enlightening to me. I thought this kind of behavior was totally normal and I had to put up or shut up. It is encouraged/demonstrated by senior management at my firm. Nice to know it isn't the norm. I'm gonna start looking for a new job now. Thanks, guys!

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Dec 22, 2017

Is this a beta male forum

Pardon my French, but everyone is complaining here about NOT being a man !

Smile ! Get up ! Get moving !

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Dec 22, 2017

mature or not, i am always of the view force needs to be dealt with opposing force when it comes to shit like this. as someone else said, its better to deal with it before the plane takes off

sink this mother fucker's fishing boat asap

Dec 22, 2017

Stop being a puss and Man the f*** up

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Dec 23, 2017

1) Your experience is atypical and not a function of being in PE (I was at two diff PE funds and never experienced this). I don't think what you described however is an IBD or PE or another finance subsector problem, it's a company specific problem.

2) The good news is all this throwing-under-the-bus shit is usually done by those who are themselves incompetent and thus insecure of their own abilities. Your VPs have most likely spent more time than you in the workforce and they're too sharp/savvy to not easily catch this (even if they seem to be ignoring it on the surface)

3) The even better news is SMARTS ultimately always prevail, and the only thing that matters is the passage of time for others to recognize them in someone eventually. Your VPs/MDs/Partners don't just have your deal's datapoint to evaluate your associate colleagues. People are always having conversations in hallways, meetings, lunch etc and each associate typically gets to work with several different people. So there's multiple ways to make a solid impression or conversely ruin it if you're not up to snuff

4) While the manipulation ideas above were hilarious, I suggest it's better not to invest your energy and time trying to figure all that out and try and play mind games. Never a good use of time. If you're better than them, it ll shine thru in your individual work

5) It sounds like you're all still relatively new here. See what happens in the next 12-18 months as associates naturally get more jaded on the job. This will likely automatically stop.

4)

    • 4
Dec 23, 2017

A Psychologist by training, put brain, sports, behavioral and biophysiological sciences to work with competitive clients to enable them to work at top levels- individually and collectively. I play the role of "Wendy"--the Psychiatrist in Billions who sees dynamics between and within people and offers the Gretzky assist to enable them to hurdle their obstacles. Clients span industries from sports to Capitol Hill, finance to manufacturing.
Here is what science tells us--as soon as you put two people in a room, there is a natural defensive response--we release a stronger drip of the natural chemical cocktail that readies us for fight/flight/freeze-in-fright modes. When we 'perceive threat'--and threat like beauty is in the eyes and brain of the beholder--we release a stronger version of this natural cocktail. At deluge strength, this cocktail ramps up our hearts, tightens our backsides and heads. We then call those seeming to threaten us 'pains in the lower backside' or accuse them of giving us headaches. It also leads us to hurl people under buses, to flee and claim credit for others' contributions, to hurl barbed words and daggered looks that could kill. Brain scan technology alerts us that this same cocktail dousing body and brain also shuts down the front part of the brain, the most highly evolved part of the brain that enables higher level thinking and enables us to collaborate, consider ideas that differ from our own, and to entertain and implement strategic change.

And all of this is, oddly, natural. It's a holdover from days when we were furrier and other creatures or plants that looked or smelled novel or different could be a threat- to our lives. So we stomped them out (as we do with novel ideas) and we killed them to ensure the survival of our selves and offspring and ensure out contributions to the gene pool. You are seeing human nature at its most basic--and worst--with people who perceive threat versus contribution in you--and others.

What you can do? Maintain your standards and keep your heart beating (a ramped up heart means a shut down frontal brain) to keep your smarts about you. Constructively comment to people when they have taken credit or done bus hurling. Let them know you saw it and that it's not your way of operating.

Then...Assess whether these norms are rewarded as behaviors that ensure success in your culture. If this culture is one where operating out of perceived threat and competition versus collaboration is the norm, you might want to start shopping for a culture where such mindsets and behaviors are not standard fare or rewarded. Good news is--those that choose to operate with frontal brains engaged will gain short-term wins and stay in it for the long run. It's the key to peak performance in sports, business, politics, and life!

"An assist is as good as a goal." - Wayne Gretzky

    • 4
Dec 23, 2017

You've been reading too many bs books. Only someone extremely insecure would see a junior analyst as a threat to ones own survival. Also in this day and age no one in america view the loss of a job as a as a threat to their survival.

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Dec 23, 2017

Axiom #1

If someone doesn't like you they won't like anything you do.

I.e the ppl who don't like Floyd mayweather . it doesn't matter who beats , how good he is or how many accomplishments he makes. The people who don't like him will still find reasons for why he sucks.

Befriend your boss and you can do no wrong. Not only will you not have to worry about the peons but your boss will actually defend you and question others when they try to throw you under the bus.

Dec 26, 2017
duey_dun_did_it_again:

Axiom #1

If someone doesn't like you they won't like anything you do.

I.e the ppl who don't like Floyd mayweather . it doesn't matter who beats , how good he is or how many accomplishments he makes. The people who don't like him will still find reasons for why he sucks.

Befriend your boss and you can do no wrong. Not only will you not have to worry about the peons but your boss will actually defend you and question others when they try to throw you under the bus.

This.

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Jan 30, 2018

Didn't mean to give a turd mobile button. Agree

Aerfally1:

Axiom #1

If someone doesn't like you they won't like anything you do.

I.e the ppl who don't like Floyd mayweather . it doesn't matter who beats , how good he is or how many accomplishments he makes. The people who don't like him will still find reasons for why he sucks.

This.

Dec 25, 2017

I dont know how to say this politely but based on the fact patterns I am wondering if you are seen as a doormat by people where they can just steam roll you over. The first time encountering this unusual behavior I probably would just dismiss it and be taken aback but after awhile here's what I would do in each scenario:

A1) Take charge of this meeting. Why are you letting him outshine you? As soon as he cuts you off say "Excuse me, I wasn't finished speaking." It's almost impossible from him to continue interrupting you as he now looks like an ass. Be the leader in this meeting. You set it up, you should have the agenda etc.

A2) A little more difficult because it's not real time. I would email him saying "Hey - can you call out my contributions when you send? Want to make sure they know I'm helping" If this is habitual behavior, then take ownership over sending out.

A3) Why would you let someone your own level give you work?

Take ownership / leadership over your work.

Dec 26, 2017

1) This is very easy to see through from a senior-level, and will become more apparent over time so I wouldn't sweat it too much. I would hesitate to complain to anyone else about this, since it sounds so blatant. If I were the VP (or any competent VP for that matter), I'd immediately have asked A1 directly on the question since it sounded like they knew all the work anyway...

2) This one is tougher to handle. If this is a person you work with on a regular basis, you could either a) confront them on it or b) next time this situation arises insist that you send out the materials and give credit to each of you (should be obvious to A2 that you're calling them on it. I'd vote for b) followed by a) if they do it again.

3) You should be able to hide behind the staffer on this. The point of the staffer is to serve as an intermediary so that these awkward conversations don't occur. An associate should not be pawning off work to another associate. Next time A3 comes by and starts asking if you can take any work, just say you're at capacity, and if they push you on it, mention that it sounded like the staffer had you queued up for something near and you'll need to check with them (or something to that effect). Rely on your staffer.

    • 2
Dec 26, 2017

People are trying to test your boundaries, so you need to be direct and set them.

For #1, good advice has been given, it basically boils down to not letting this guy walk all over you. You don't need to talk over him, just wait until he's done and then you should be able to talk more in detail to answer whatever questions the seniors have if it's something that you did.

For #2, I'd bring it up to him and next time we work on something together... guess who's not sending out the email to the team?

The third is actually pretty easy - simply deny and the key is this: DO NOT JUSTIFY. The simplest response is just "Sorry too busy to talk." If he says it'd be great if you took on some of his work, just say "Sorry, can't. Gotta get back to work, let's catch up later" then don't. You can also just call him out on his shit - "Stop keeping tabs on me and my work. If you're overstaffed, go talk to the staffer."

The main thing is that if you don't stick up for yourself, no one will. So don't be a doormat.

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Dec 28, 2017

Was in a smiliar situation a 4 years ago. I have a consulting background (MBB) 2 years before going to a firm that was terrible. From target UG, top tier MSF. Military prior to UG.

Little background. Left consulting due to travel and wanted to do a part time MBA told the PE shop I was going to that I was already accepted and committed to doing my MBA and that it was weekends. They said it would not be a problem since it was a weekend program. There were numerous red flags prior to joining and joining

1 - prior to my first day I asked about work attire as consulting is normally business casual. During my interviews everyone was in slacks and a button down. I was told prior to my first day numerous times attire was business casual and I showed up my first day and got a lecture from two idiot associates about how we all need to be in suits and ties. I let them know that a VP and a MD told me business casual after that I was labeled as a back talker with a bad attitude.

2 - first day one of those associates goes off at lunch about how he put in his two weeks and how much the firm sucks. Huge red flag but this same associate made my life miserable for 6 months

3 - I had class my third weekend at the firm. I sent numerous emails stating I had class those weekends. I am in class and during my lunch break I have 20 missed calls from my office from both associates asking where I was. They even went to apartment to look for me. Huge red flag! Keep in mind we had no actual work to do that weekend these associates liked to pretend that they did work at the office on weeks aka "grinding" as they put it. In reality they goofed off and watched sports.

At this point I started passively looking for a new job.

4 - my first day one of our large investors sons whose right out of a bottom 300 school is there showing up for his first day. The guy was one of the dumbest people I have met. Nobody knew he was coming. Huge red flag.

5 - fast forward to my 3 month mark and the partner who hired me pulls me into his office and berates me about how I am a problem child at this firm and that some associate said I messed up on "xy&z" and some VP I never talked to said I messed up on a bunch of models and that I had a bad attitude.

I had never spoken to this VP at all. I state my case and he said I better watch my back because he has his sites on me and he will fire me the first chance he gets.

At this point I call the recruiter who got me this job and tell him what's going on. He said "dang not another one. You are the 4th guy I've placed at this firm that has this happen" at this post i start actively interviewing

6 - the final red flag the same partner who called me into his office starts harassing me and calling me at night after 10 pm telling me I better be running models all night and earning my keep or he will fire me.

Giant red flag at this point I completely check out. The two associates who I had problems with where clearly politicking against men behind my back but to my face they were incredibly nice. I realized this fast.

7 - After 6 months i landed an offer through OCR through my MBA program and put in my two weeks. Didn't really care and do not put this firm on my resume.

Had an exit interview and it was weird. All the problems of the firm that were omnipresent before I joined were blamed on me and I was told the firm will run so much smoother without me. I left immediately after that and didn't even stay the whole two weeks.

8 what's happened to those coworkers?

One of the associates who was a complete prick got fired a year later went to another firm and got fired after 6 months for being a total douche. He's currently at another firm we are in a JV with and about to get fired again. He recently called and asked me if I would refer him to my firm since we are hiring.

The VP who said I had a bad attitude left went to another firm and got fired after a few months.

The partner who was a complete douche emailed me a dozen times after I left and I never responded. Mainly asking for favors. I ran into him once and didn't give him the time of day but he suggested we grab coffee and catch up. After that I got a bunch of texts and never responded. Not really interested in having coffee with a complete POS.

9 - where am I now?

I'm at a mega fund and a VP now. Completed my MBA and CFA. I look at those 6 months of hell of constant harassment and individuals with low morales as a stepping stone. Eventually they will leave and go to a new firm and get what they have coming to them. My advice is move on and do not take their phone calls or emails. It's too small of an industry to be a prick because I get asked all the time what I think of their firm by LPs.

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Dec 28, 2017

I had a problem similar to this early on in my career. I ended up beating his ass all over the office. I got fired :(

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Jan 22, 2018

What goes around comes around. Some guys just need an ass kicking. Honestly probably should have beat their asses up and down the office.

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Feb 1, 2018

This sounds pretty terrible. Hope it gets better for you.

  •  Feb 1, 2018

In what group did you work?

Feb 1, 2018

It's fair to say that office politics is an ever-present in i-banking. US or European banks are no different. I remember being a bright-eyed graduate coming into a supposedly "meritocratic" (their words, not mine) US bank and was shocked at the level of office politics. I've now moved to an equally "meritocratic" European bank and it's even worse!!

Be prepared for it, and learn to embrace it.

Feb 1, 2018

Office politics are proportional to two things:

1) The size of the business. The smaller the outfit, the more focused everyone is on building the firm and taking care of very diverse responsibilities; the larger it is, the more everyone wants to cover their butt.

2) The profitability of the business. The very worst places in terms of politics are schools and the federal government. This is because people don't have anything better to think about. In this respect you'd expect banks to be lower in political BS, but their size and rigid management structure probably negates this.

Feb 1, 2018

office politics are existent at all major ibanks

Feb 1, 2018

agreed

Feb 1, 2018

yep

Feb 1, 2018

decently political

Feb 1, 2018

The idea that hard work is rewarded with career advancement is bullshit. I'm a bit idealistic...so that was a hard lesson for me to learn at first. But you just have to accept that office politics exist and you have to position yourself to play accordingly.

Feb 1, 2018

yup, its all about who can bullshit better while coming off as sincere

Feb 1, 2018

My old firm was heavy on internal politics. Unfortunately, I was the first to go because I didn't get involved in it when the firm cut headcounts.

Be very careful.

Enjoy being employed.

Feb 1, 2018

So did you get the VP promotion? If so, why do you refer to him as "my VP" still? If you're on the same level with him then act as if. It's your resource that you brought in, so act like you earned the title (which is sounds like you did) and just kick ass like a boss.

Feb 1, 2018

First off, you remind me of me.... A very serious post followed by something about banging an analyst. That's awesome.

I think you should approach the VP and discuss things. If he was family, you would just punch him in the face and this would be over. In this case you need to stomp this out. He has no real issue with you and the conversation will show that. I do believe you should have talked with him first before going to the CEO, but that's the past. Talk it out and I'm sure it'll be fine.

Feb 1, 2018
barboon:

I figure the best way to get back at him is to produce, produce, produce.

This is a really GOOD idea. Success is the best revenge.

barboon:

Also I want to bang the new analyst just because she is smoking and smells really good; how do I go about doing that?

This is a really BAD idea. You want to end up on dealbreaker bro?

Unfortunately, this isn't "politics", it's a brutal fucking power struggle and you need as many people on your side as possible. If you don't go to VP, realize that this is just the beginning of how bad this fucker is going to screw you over. If you DO go to VP, realize that this asshole is going to be a thorn in your side, so you're eventually going to have to bust some skulls and make an example out of him: don't feel bad, he deserves it and there's probably a bunch of people that don't like the prick.

First things first: get your CEO on your side IMMEDIATELY. Second, you have to make sure this guy can't fuck you over: be absolutely ruthless and silent about isolating him from any way of hurting you. Then go on the charm offensive with the rest of the company and really mean it: you need to minimize drama so you can focus, work hard, and get paid more!!!

WHATEVER YOU DO, leave the chick alone. The biggest faggot in the world is the guy who uses his fucking title to coerce sex and if you haven't noticed, women are plenty willing to ruin a dude that tries to take advantage of a situation. If you have no concience or self control, imagine her brother coming to shank you, or your name in one of the articles that gets posted here for all of us to laugh at.

If you make yourself available and she warms up to you, great, otherwise go out and earn it like a man.

Good luck, happy hunting, and keep us posted

    • 1
Feb 1, 2018

This! If only i couldve seen this sooner ugh!

Feb 1, 2018

My CEO will be in on Tuesday. From what my director and I spoke about he will make a decision on what to do on Tuesday; they were talking about making me the direct relationship manager and "if" and "when" the deal closes I will get the official title. I never thought IBD would be this way but I guess it is. The best advice I can give is to always be a humble person when you are out and about in the city because you never know who you are going to meet.
I'm not going to bang the girl.

Feb 1, 2018

keep in mind that promoting you to that position under the current circumstances may also mean losing the other VP, and the CEO has to make the decision that's best for his bottom line, not the one that is "Fair" to you.
Reach out to the other VP and be like "i'm so excited to continue working with you in the new capacity, we make such a great team". If he really hates your guts, he will get hysterical and make himself look like a dumbass, and if you don't get the promotion, he will at least be calm that you weren't planning to f him over in a better position, and thus won't try to f you over while you are in his power.

More is good, all is better

Feb 1, 2018
Feb 1, 2018

A few months into my current job:

VERY long story short, my boss got caught with some due diligance negligence and improper record keeping and tried to pin it on me during the middle of a FINRA audit. I just did what I was told, so I didn't even know what was what. The MD quickly figured out what went wrong where and went to bat for me, and I helped fix all the errors (some going back YEARS before I worked there). The boss was fired, our group went on to have its best year ever, and I got pulled out of a BO role into the sales group itself. Now, there's talk of me being promoted in the new year..so now I'm scrambling to get all my licenses. If they promote me, cool, if not, no big deal...I had only planned to stay for a few years and bounce out. I do know this: I'll be getting a hell of a recomendation letter for bschool!

I walk away with two things to say:
* keep a record of EVERYTHING because when shit hits the fan you have to back it up.
* sometimes, the BO gets blamed for shit they didn't do, and if you're even in the position to do so: don't.

    • 1
Feb 1, 2018

My middle office gets roasted and toasted every week. Get your licenses they are your little wings after you only need to learn to fly.

Feb 1, 2018

That's a pretty recent post, any reason why you didn't just add on to that?

Feb 1, 2018
D M:

That's a pretty recent post, any reason why you didn't just add on to that?

Probably wasn't looking to highjack my thread.

Feb 1, 2018
barboon:
D M:

That's a pretty recent post, any reason why you didn't just add on to that?

Probably wasn't looking to highjack my thread.

...because he's cool like that

Feb 1, 2018
Feb 1, 2018

bump

Feb 1, 2018

Don't be a douche.

Feb 1, 2018
SECfinance:

Don't be a douche.

Banking is not a battlefield. He is not your competitor. Trust me it is not worth the extra $~2 k after tax.

Feb 1, 2018
SECfinance:

Don't be a douche.

Feb 1, 2018

You could always kill him, threathen to kill his family, torture him and his family.....

Or

You could just do your job as you are told.

Feb 1, 2018

lol wtf are we back in 4th grade?

Feb 1, 2018
captainkoolaid:

lol wtf are we back in 4th grade?

no, but wouldnt you agree that there are those out there (20%?) that are hyper competitive type a douches who will do whatever it takes to "win". ie the guy who would poison the last man standing on survivor to finish in first

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Feb 1, 2018
AndyLouis:
captainkoolaid:

lol wtf are we back in 4th grade?

no, but wouldnt you agree that there are those out there (20%?) that are hyper competitive type a douches who will do whatever it takes to "win". ie the guy who would poison the last man standing on survivor to finish in first

If you have this attitude with your fellow analysts when you all pulling mind-numbing hours, you won't survive long. Everyone in banking is competitive to a certain extent, but it's more about survival once you get there...there is plenty to be competitive about, but personally I didn't really give a fuck, as long as I could try to cut my hour from 95 to 85hrs by helping out someone else instead fo letting them fail.

The bonds and friendships you build going through that are 100x worth the extra $ you MAY get from finishing "top-bucket" and him finishing "mid-bucket" because you let him flail a few times. Don't do his work, but if you have time and/or he needs some help building a pivot table, dont be a dick and just show him.

    • 2
Feb 1, 2018
WallStreetOasis.com:
AndyLouis:
captainkoolaid:

lol wtf are we back in 4th grade?

no, but wouldnt you agree that there are those out there (20%?) that are hyper competitive type a douches who will do whatever it takes to "win". ie the guy who would poison the last man standing on survivor to finish in first

If you have this attitude with your fellow analysts when you all pulling mind-numbing hours, you won't survive long. Everyone in banking is competitive to a certain extent, but it's more about survival once you get there...there is plenty to be competitive about, but personally I didn't really give a fuck, as long as I could try to cut my hour from 95 to 85hrs by helping out someone else instead fo letting them fail.

The bonds and friendships you build going through that are 100x worth the extra $ you MAY get from finishing "top-bucket" and him finishing "mid-bucket" because you let him flail a few times. Don't do his work, but if you have time and/or he needs some help building a pivot table, dont be a dick and just show him.

Couldn't agree more

Feb 1, 2018

If you scratch his back, he'll scratch yours.

Over the long run, it's only in your best interest to be a team player.

Feb 1, 2018

Not only this, but if the higher-ups find out you didn't do all that you could to help the company (by withholding information that could help a co-workers), you're fucked.

On the reverse, if you go out of your way to make sure to help him to you're best ability he will not forget that and since he's a 3rd year, you could potentially have a friend when he gets promoted. Any perhaps the higher-ups will take note.

Feb 1, 2018
TheEconomiist:

If you scratch his back, he'll scratch yours.

Over the long run, it's only in your best interest to be a team player.

This. I'd rather build a team of allies then be known as the douche in the group that no one will want to help when you inevitably find yourself in a dire situation.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

Feb 1, 2018

How can you be in this business and not learn the concept of "team player". Let me put it this way, he screws up, people are gonna blame you for not onboarding him properly (I mean, hello, he's the newbie consultant!!!). Plus, if he messes things up, you're likely gonna clean it up anyway. Be a great team member so that both of you can be productive and go to bed early!

My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil - JP Getty

Feb 1, 2018

No dude you bring up some great points... definitely stab him in the back. That's what this game is all about.

Feb 1, 2018
BlackHat:

No dude you bring up some great points... definitely stab him in the back. That's what this game is all about.

I enjoy sarcasm

Feb 1, 2018
BlackHat:

No dude you bring up some great points... definitely stab him in the back. That's what this game is all about.

Hahahaha

Do not be a douche to your fellow analysts. We will remember you for it. This also goes for 3rd year analysts being promoted to Associates. Do not give shit work to your fellow analysts just because you want to get out of the office at 8 PM. When we exit to PE, we will turn the tables on you.

I personally witnessed a 3rd year giving shit work to a fellow analyst just so he can go out and drink on a Wednesday. Guess what happened when he wanted to take a vacation? No one covered for him.

Feb 1, 2018

So now that I'm officially "the douche"...

It is not about "posion" or "stabbing someone in the back"; I just don't want others to get credit for my work!
And damn it, I just don't think that as a younger analyst I have to teach the older analyst, even of he's new too the field. I would have absolutely no problem if I were the senior or even the associate...

...but maybe I'm also taking that competition thing too seriously...

    • 2
Feb 1, 2018
TBarret:

So now that I'm officially "the douche"...

It is not about "posion" or "stabbing someone in the back"; I just don't want others to get credit for my work!
And damn it, I just don't think that as a younger analyst I have to teach the older analyst, even of he's new too the field. I would have absolutely no problem if I were the senior or even the associate...

...but maybe I'm also taking that competition thing too seriously...

Get used to being the smartest person in the room but also the youngest person in the room. You gotta eat shit for a little while before you can start dealing it out.

Feb 1, 2018
BlackHat:
TBarret:

So now that I'm officially "the douche"...

It is not about "posion" or "stabbing someone in the back"; I just don't want others to get credit for my work!
And damn it, I just don't think that as a younger analyst I have to teach the older analyst, even of he's new too the field. I would have absolutely no problem if I were the senior or even the associate...

...but maybe I'm also taking that competition thing too seriously...

Get used to being the smartest person in the room but also the youngest person in the room. You gotta eat shit for a little while before you can start dealing it out.

No dude you bring up some great points...definitely start dealing out shit as soon as you're able to. That's what this game is all about.

Feb 1, 2018
Going Concern:
BlackHat:
TBarret:

So now that I'm officially "the douche"...

It is not about "posion" or "stabbing someone in the back"; I just don't want others to get credit for my work!
And damn it, I just don't think that as a younger analyst I have to teach the older analyst, even of he's new too the field. I would have absolutely no problem if I were the senior or even the associate...

...but maybe I'm also taking that competition thing too seriously...

Get used to being the smartest person in the room but also the youngest person in the room. You gotta eat shit for a little while before you can start dealing it out.

No dude you bring up some great points...definitely start dealing out shit as soon as you're able to. That's what this game is all about.

Your trolls (or maybe they're serious?) are by far the dumbest, nonsensical, and pathetic trolls on this entire site. If you didn't have the logical abilities of a 13 year old split-brain patient on painkillers you'd probably have a chance, so maybe there's still hope though...

    • 1
Feb 1, 2018
BlackHat:
Going Concern:
BlackHat:
TBarret:

So now that I'm officially "the douche"...

It is not about "posion" or "stabbing someone in the back"; I just don't want others to get credit for my work!
And damn it, I just don't think that as a younger analyst I have to teach the older analyst, even of he's new too the field. I would have absolutely no problem if I were the senior or even the associate...

...but maybe I'm also taking that competition thing too seriously...

Get used to being the smartest person in the room but also the youngest person in the room. You gotta eat shit for a little while before you can start dealing it out.

No dude you bring up some great points...definitely start dealing out shit as soon as you're able to. That's what this game is all about.

Your trolls (or maybe they're serious?) are by far the dumbest, nonsensical, and pathetic trolls on this entire site. If you didn't have the logical abilities of a 13 year old split-brain patient on painkillers you'd probably have a chance, so maybe there's still hope though...

LOL! I'm sure you'd love some of my painkillers after all that rehab.

    • 1
Feb 1, 2018
TBarret:

So now that I'm officially "the douche"...

It is not about "posion" or "stabbing someone in the back"; I just don't want others to get credit for my work!
And damn it, I just don't think that as a younger analyst I have to teach the older analyst, even of he's new too the field. I would have absolutely no problem if I were the senior or even the associate...

...but maybe I'm also taking that competition thing too seriously...

The fact that you think your work product will be credited is hilarious. Building rapport for team work is much better than being the "know it all" asshole with enemies.

Feb 1, 2018

holy shit you must have been fun to be with in high school and college...

unless the guy doesn't show any appreciation for your help, you helping him out is only a good thing.

Feb 1, 2018

Thank you for your insights, I will think about it

    • 1
Feb 1, 2018
TBarret:

Thank you for your insights, I will think about it

Just to be perfectly clear, you will think about being a team player or stabbing him in the back???

Feb 1, 2018

@prudentinvestor
I will wait until he's asleep in his cube an then get out my japanese sword...of course the teamplayer path, Sir!

Thanx again for your help! Didn't think my thread would get that much attention from highly respected wallstreetoasis seniors!

    • 1
Feb 1, 2018

If you are nice to everyone, nobody has a reason to be a dick to you. Finance is a small world and you never know when relationships with someone will be crucial at some point in your future.

Feb 1, 2018

Even though I am not in IB I work on a team of about ten people in corporate development. I can tell you that being nice to your co workers, receptionists and HR folks can get you much further than what you can ever imagine. Do not try to be an ass to anyone in this world whether he may be big or small. You never know when being an ass to someone in the near future can comeback to bite you.

Feb 1, 2018

Take it easy and be a team player.
If not because it is on your DNA, just do it out of sheer self-interest.

1) This industry is based on networking. Good network is more valuable that any potential 1st year bonus markup
2) Today your skills have a value to him, perhaps tomorrow his skills/opinion/leverage are of value to you. It's good to have a precedent to approach him later on
3) Be wise, it's a better strategy to be recognised for your excellent work, which includes (or on top of it for) good on-boarding of (more senior) colleagues (point in year's end review). Word of the "dirty tricks" you suggest can radiply and widely spread within a team, watering down some goodwill you might have already built.
4) If he goes down, it can be pointed to your direction, or later make you spend more time correcting his mistakes.
5) Think of Nash, or even better about the standing spectator in the stadium (has a better sight, only until everyone else stands as well)

Take it as a good lesson, on how to survive in a team, where your input depends on the quality of the input from your colleague.

You like to think about it as in war, ok then think about it as going to the field and giving your buddy a knife made of wood for the fight. Most of the time you are fighting together, even though each competes for a medal.

    • 1
Feb 1, 2018

If you are really into this Machiavellian type stuff, go read some books by Robert Greene or even pick up a copy of the Prince itself. Take what is useful from it and throw the rest out. Use it as a means to leverage situations to your advantage, not to be a prick.

Feb 1, 2018

if you were on my team, and i caught you trying to dick over other people on the team, i'd personally chew you out...even if we were on the same level

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Feb 1, 2018

Throwing a coworker under the bus by not helping them out is really childish and under no circumstances could ever be seen as a net positive. The dude is (I hope) going to appreciate your help and get your back when you need it most. If not, motherfuck him behind his back at the bar with your friends who aren't in the business and move on with your life.

Feb 1, 2018

Of course you help the guy. This is the sort of thing that could give you the worst possible reputation if you dick him over. People have very long memories about things like this because it speaks to your character, not some noob mistake.

Once you realize your competition is outside your firm, not within it, you will be much better off from both an attitude and a career perspective.

Feb 1, 2018

I definitely wouldn't want to work with you.

Feb 1, 2018

Yea this guy sounds like he was a real prince in college

Feb 1, 2018

I believe this is a troll, but in case someone reading it is not, here are a couple of points.

  1. Analysts are not typically compared across class, especially at a BB.
  2. What if military servicemen had this guy's attitude? You'd likely get shot by your own crew in a desert for putting your team at risk by trying to be "better" than your competition, who really aren't your competition.
Feb 1, 2018

you be trolling shun.

Feb 1, 2018

Had a similar situation this summer with another intern. He didn't know how to model and didn't have much knowledge of accounting or any of the financial statements. Pretty sure the only reason he was hired was because he came from a prestigious school but didn't have a business program and he didn't do much studying on his own. Either way I helped him out and he had my back in the future.

Feb 1, 2018

If you want to be the best analyst in your class, then going out of your way to be proactive and help the new guy would probably help you accomplish that goal. Wouldn't hurt to casually mention to someone you had helped the kid out, but if anyone found out you purposefully went out of your way to NOT help the kid, then no one would think of you as the best analyst regardless of how good your work is. They would just think you are a fucking tool.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

Feb 1, 2018

be a worker among workers
and a friend among friends

Feb 1, 2018

Golden Rule.

PE is the new black.

Feb 1, 2018

Wow, how did you even get hired with that mentality?

When you started, you knew everything or somebody helped you? The answer is probably the second part of my question.

Just help the guy, he'll be grateful, you'll have a new friend and he'll be able to help you if one day you need his help.

Feb 1, 2018

banking is easy.

there is analysts. and there is everyone else.

its basically analysts vs everyone else. your fellow class will be your network.

fuck everyone else pretty much once your in banking beyond analyst you are clinically insane.

Feb 1, 2018
TBarret:

Good morning fellow monkeys,

what is your approach to handle competition between you and your coworkers...and not only that, but to be the best analyst in your group?

Do you manipulate, withholding information or some sort of strategic game?

For example, what bothers me is: We have a new third year analyst, I am a second year analyst and we have to work on a deal together. He's been a consultant, so he doesn't know shit about modeling. For one thing I have to show him some things for the sake of the deal, but I don't wan't to show him too much because that would be liking shooting myself in the foot (= helping a competitor).

Any suggestions?

Thanx

Sorry kid, you don't know anything about modeling either.

From an observer perspective, it is very obvious who is responsible for the shift from a competitive game to a cooperative game. Keep that in mind.

Do your deal. Be humble. Because even if you do come out on top of this, you're going to be shit on immediately.

Feb 1, 2018

If you can't work with people, your career is going nowhere. Like someone said: finance is a small world. Deflate your ego just a bit, mmkay?

Feb 1, 2018
TBarret:

Good morning fellow monkeys,

what is your approach to handle competition between you and your coworkers...and not only that, but to be the best analyst in your group?

Do you manipulate, withholding information or some sort of strategic game?

For example, what bothers me is: We have a new third year analyst, I am a second year analyst and we have to work on a deal together. He's been a consultant, so he doesn't know shit about modeling. For one thing I have to show him some things for the sake of the deal, but I don't wan't to show him too much because that would be liking shooting myself in the foot (= helping a competitor).

Any suggestions?

Thanx

I threw shit at this post for two reasons:

  1. I wanted to see if a user could have negative bananas (you can).
  2. You sound like a huge douche.
Feb 1, 2018

I've got a way better form of competition: put one of those fart machines under a douchey associate's chair and just activate that thing when the VP or MD comes by

Feb 1, 2018

To this day, it is just ridiculous to see the people holding analyst positions at BB. No matter how much you teach the guy, he'll never get everything you know. Because quite frankly, you can't teach the guy everything you know. It would just take too much time. So teach him what is necessary to get the job done.

If you're still in high school and want gold stars then don't teach him shit and do everything yourself.

Your boss will give you a better gold star if the analyst says, "I learned something from so and so."

It is not about the title that you have, it is about how much money that you have.

Feb 1, 2018
StrongMan:

To this day, it is just ridiculous to see the people holding analyst positions at BB. No matter how much you teach the guy, he'll never get everything you know. Because quite frankly, you can't teach the guy everything you know. It would just take too much time. So teach him what is necessary to get the job done.

If you're still in high school and want gold stars then don't teach him shit and do everything yourself.

Your boss will give you a better gold star if the analyst says, "I learned something from so and so."

Fuck gold stars, he'll give you a chunky bonus

Feb 1, 2018
snakeplissken:
StrongMan:

To this day, it is just ridiculous to see the people holding analyst positions at BB. No matter how much you teach the guy, he'll never get everything you know. Because quite frankly, you can't teach the guy everything you know. It would just take too much time. So teach him what is necessary to get the job done.

If you're still in high school and want gold stars then don't teach him shit and do everything yourself.

Your boss will give you a better gold star if the analyst says, "I learned something from so and so."

Fuck gold stars, he'll give you a chunky bonus

lol this is clearly how the bonus system works

Feb 1, 2018

In banking there is no need to be Machiavellian because there is literally no upside. Yes, you want to advocate for your self-interest, but frankly this doesn't take much. It's more for the sake of your sanity, that you manage your workload, etc. Because of this lack of competition, your analyst class should feel like your fellow soldiers in the trenches, your brothers-at-arms, cherish this while it lasts. I missed this a lot when I first moved over to the buyside. Especially at hedge funds, there will be few people your age, and competition is intense. Basically a survival-of-the-fittest type of situation, it is exhilarating but exhausting.

Feb 1, 2018

Learn everything you can about your role without this persons assistance. Of course you wont be able to learn everything but come up with very pointed questions that prove your competent enough to understand the framework. Being offended does nothing for you. Critical feedback can be wrapped in sugar or hidden in dung. It is still feedback. Forget how it was said and focus on what was said,

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

    • 2
Feb 1, 2018
Bayoumonkey:

Critical feedback can be wrapped in sugar or hidden in dung. It is still feedback. Forget how it was said and focus on what was said,

To add on, make sure you're getting feedback.

Feb 1, 2018

You're going to have to learn mostly on your own, unfortunately. I had a similar experience in my current role and the best way I learned was working backwards with a finished example (not sure that works in your case).

As for dealing with people like this, I have no useful advice considering I avoid confrontation like the plague. Maybe try talking to your manager about his attitude?

    • 1
Feb 1, 2018

Sounds like the associate is a sadist, actually.

You will have to become the masochist.

Feb 1, 2018

I feel for you. I worked with an unreasonable emotionally unstable associate for a little while. Keep your head up, pay stronger attention to details, and be thorough (always have a logical answer for every number, assumption, etc.).

Oh and always keep things in perspective. If it makes you feel better; I have a strong feeling mine was a clinical sociopath.

Feb 1, 2018

I don't mind if an associate is overly thorough as long as he's good. The best associates can be the hardest to work for. What you don't want is an associate who doesn't do his job and doesn't check numbers - worst case, the blame falls on both of you, best case, the seniors start to skip the associate in the process and come straight to you for the numbers (which is great in terms of responsibility and ownership, but somewhat nerve racking to not have an extra layer of culpability there).

Feb 1, 2018

Do you see lot of "credit-snatching" between associates and analysts, as in, if there's a job well done, the associate (or analyst) wants all the credit to himself/herself

Feb 1, 2018

Let me edit the title. Thx for pointing that out.

I wouldn't call my associate thorough. Hardworking? Definitely. Unwarranted sense of urgency for all tasks all the time? That's not even skimming the top of it. I've worked with associates that are reasonable with deadlines and expectations, and turns out that I end up working way more hours under them than any other associate. The difference is the way they manage me. There's a sense of accomplishment tied to working with them. And honestly, I don't mind working 10-15 more hours a week for those associates.

Credit-snatching isn't a issue here. It's more of a "do this and this and this while I review all the material that the client has given us and expect you to have done the same while finishing what you need to do and btw before you leave my office why didn't you add this into the draft, didn't you read the materials??"
I find that very frustrating. Zero time to digest information before having to deliver.

Feb 1, 2018
watch22:

Let me edit the title. Thx for pointing that out.

I wouldn't call my associate thorough. Hardworking? Definitely. Unwarranted sense of urgency for all tasks all the time? That's not even skimming the top of it. I've worked with associates that are reasonable with deadlines and expectations, and turns out that I end up working way more hours under them than any other associate. The difference is the way they manage me. There's a sense of accomplishment tied to working with them. And honestly, I don't mind working 10-15 more hours a week for those associates.

Credit-snatching isn't a issue here. It's more of a "do this and this and this while I review all the material that the client has given us and expect you to have done the same while finishing what you need to do and btw before you leave my office why didn't you add this into the draft, didn't you read the materials??"
I find that very frustrating. Zero time to digest information before having to deliver.

wow...i couldn't agree with you more. i'm glad i wasn't the only person that went through this type of experience, because i was worried i was taking crazy pills.

basically, when i was on the sell-side, i worked with one director that created an unwarranted and unecessary sense of urgency about tasks. basically, he either thought everything that was going on was consistently and critically important (which wasn't -- there's something called "prioritization"), or he'd harp on me presumably just to make sure i was on top of things. but the thing is, ambitious people don't need a "kick in the ass" to do a good job; in fact, micromanagement and creating a false sense of urgency just irritates us and makes us less interested in getting the job done, because it's patronizing and immature. plus, when my director turned virtually every task into a fire drill, it just wore people out and turned them off to doing anything. it's like the boy that cried wolf -- people will listen to you the first handful of times, but after a while it gets tiresome and people stop listening to you, even if what you have to say is truly important. anyone here have a similar experience with managers that constantly breathe down your neck?

i also think that attention to detail can sometimes be more of a vice than a virtue. i realize a lot of people say "attention to detail" is a silly weakness to mention in interviews, but i truly believe that it can be a weakness and a very huge one at that. for example, that same director that i worked with would want to look at everything in excruciating detail. whether it was a $6-8 billion merger or a product that could contribute at most $50 million to the top-line if approved by the FDA, he'd want to look at everything under a microscope. now, some of you might think that his diligence should be worthy of praise, but i truly believe that the reason he was so obsessive about details was because he had no sense of what was truly important to analyzing a company and what wasn't. his time management was truly abominable - his strategy appeared to be more like throwing darts blindly at the wall. i guess if you throw a million darts, eventually you'll probably hit the bull's eye, but that doesn't mean you have the slightest clue what you're doing. anyone else think that attention to detail can be seroiusly overrated (if in the wrong hands)?

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