Are there some of you who do really well in IB? (Mentally, etc...)

Just wondering if and how you guys do that. I am convinced that there is a way to make it through IB without aging 10x faster than other people.

I think this also applies to any work environment which is demanding. Good tips anyone ?

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Comments (18)

Apr 6, 2021 - 3:45pm

Short answer no.  At some level your body can only handle so much stress and you will eventually pay a price for that.  On the other hand there are people that are better at handling stress and thus are probably better suited to work in IB.  

Apr 6, 2021 - 4:51pm

is public finance laxed compared to other parts of CIB?

Mohammed m

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 6, 2021 - 7:51pm

Yeah this is exactly it. I'm pretty good at just not giving a shit, meanwhile I have a close friend who is constantly super stressed and anxious from the job. He is way better at the job than I am too, but it definitely mentally affects him more. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 6, 2021 - 11:44pm

Mind elaborating on not giving a shit? Feel like that's my mindset as well but would be great to hear your thoughts

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 6, 2021 - 6:12pm

I hate the hours when shit hits the fan, but I'm really passionate about my coverage area and I see myself in this particular vertical, whether banking or industry, for the rest of my career, so I enjoy that aspect of my work. That definitely helps me stay sane and motivated, and overall do quite well. 

Zero chance I would last in this job if I didn't find my coverage area interesting; would be torture.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 6, 2021 - 6:35pm

I've been wondering the same thing.

I think it's important constantly remind yourself that you have to put your own health as priority #1, and set clear boundaries for what you are and are not willing to accept. If you know your body can't handle xx hours, then push back when your body tells you  you need to stop. If that means you get bottom bucket vs top bucket, then so be it. I would imagine it's quite hard to get fired in these current times unless you really are negligent. 

Also follow the basic stuff religiously and never go more than a day without doing all of these things - once is ok, but twice is a dangerous slope. 

- meditate at the beginning/end of each day and in small 5 minute sessions as you have time throughout the day

- eat well, workout, sleep as much as possible

- keep in constant communication with people you care about 

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Apr 6, 2021 - 7:48pm

What are you gonna do in 30 mins at the gym anyway? Just get a Tonal or something at your home and work out a little before you get to work. There's no point in getting an Equinox subscription for junior folks - you're never gonna get super fit (again) for a very long time

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 8, 2021 - 1:07am

Yeah, I fared pretty well/ better than 99% of analysts because I had a reason for doing the job and didn't hate the work, but no one really loves it. Here is why:

1) The job at virtually all levels requires an extreme amount of hours making work life balance undesirable at any level. Whereas some careers you eventually differentiate based on expertise and can work less, in banking the senior level is largely defined by hustling to bring in business or hustling to appeal to clients. This largely is a function of hours/ hustle. At the junior level, you can't really out think other analysts you mainly have to just complete deliverables that need to get done, which again requires a great deal of hours/ hustle. In order to like this job, you need to be comfortable eliminating hobbies and time with friends and family, which many people aren't.

2) The job has high stakes with large amounts of money on the client side which can bring out the worst in people. Additionally, because banks make such large fees many feel they must earn that fee and demand service worthy of that fee--i.e. getting called on weekends, going the extra mile etc. In order to like this job, you need to be comfortable with the client service aspect of the business where "the customer is always right". This is frustrating and something many people don't enjoy.

3) The high paying nature of the job draws in some mercurial personalities, which tend to not play well with others. Even excellent culture shops have a few landmines that make the industry tough to work in. At every level, there are assholes who are sharp elbowed and who make others around them unhappy. In order to like this job, you need to be comfortable working around people who don't treat others with respect/ who often times are very disrespectful.

The person who fares well is someone who really loves to be in the middle of transactions and who loves a specific industry, while also not being bothered by the client service nature of the job and extreme hours. Frankly, I think the sort of person that fits this profile is someone who is willing to sacrifice relationships with family, friends, and virtually all other aspects of life for the experience of doing deals and the action of being in the middle of things. Sadly, I think this eventually catches up to many individuals as at a point in their career they eventually desire to slow down i.e. retirement, and they realize they have sacrificed relationships for deal making and fees, which don't seem that important in the grand scheme of things. I think ultimately the way to be happy in this job is to recognize what you want from the job and determining your price for walking. Most people don't do this, if you do, you can be very happy.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 8, 2021 - 10:14am

How did you guys avoid gaining weight? I'm not comfortable working out/stepping away for an hour yet and was planning to walk to the office to get steps in but wfh ruined that. Any tips to stop stress eating?

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