Do you guys ever feel alone?

I try talking to my parents about investment banking and it just feels like I'm talking to a brick wall. Whether it's speaking about my dreams and ambitions, an interview coming up, I just feel like I don't know what to say because they don't really get it. And they always talk about themselves or whatever is on their mind. I have really close friends who work in IB and some who want to break in, so it's nice to chat with them, but I wish my folks understood. Especially since it's recruitment season soon and I'm a sophomore, the stress just piles on and I wish I could get advice from my parents rather than the internet. Feels really isolating.

Comments (26)

Most Helpful
Dec 22, 2018

That's why this site exists bro

RIP theaccountingmajor

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Dec 22, 2018

Second this, my mom's a secretary at a high school and my dad's a carpenter. My recruiting period was pretty much all internet and any getting advice from alumni or peers that did it. I know it probably feels frustrating, but I can relate nobody in my family really even has the slightest clue what M&A or market making is. Unfortunately resources can be different from person to person.

Dec 24, 2018

I think its common to think that people in IB have parents that are also in high finance etc, but in reality, the vast majority have parents that are in completely unrelated fields and are from middle class backgrounds.

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Dec 22, 2018

When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it.

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Dec 22, 2018

How old are you? My early 20s in real estate felt a lot like this, been a lot happier as I got older though.

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Dec 24, 2018
MonopolyMoney:

How old are you? My early 20s in real estate felt a lot like this

I feel the same way (I am in my early 20s). Another problem with RE is that everyone thinks I want to sell houses forever....

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Dec 24, 2018

I don't sell houses but pretty much everyone thinks I do, which is really funny. Most common response I get when I tell people that I sell and lease office buildings is, "Is this a good time to buy a new house?"

EDIT: OP, I think a lot of guys struggle in their early 20s because you're an adult, but not really treated as such. Just keep your head up and keep grinding, it gets a lot better.

Dec 24, 2018

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Dec 24, 2018

"It seems the more I try to connect with the world
I am feeling more alone than I ever have felt before
I wanna pick up the phone, ask my dad how to handle it
But what will happen when my dad's not there to answer it?"

In all seriousness though, it seems like what you are really asking for is for someone to talk to to assuage your fears and worries, stoke your hopes and dreams, and/or provide guidance. Because no one really wants to talk to their parents about a deal they read about or how to unlever betas. It makes sense. Especially if you are at a target, you are surrounded by lots of competent people that are all gunning for similar jobs. the stress can get to you. It's difficult for any college kid to handle.

A few things: 1) college is a fishbowl where when you are in it and looking out, you have an incredibly warped view... there are many paths to success in life and one summer recruiting schedule is not going to make or break you...2) it's important to cultivate a group of friends that you can discuss this stuff with.... yes, everyone will be worried and stressed out but it helps to just shoot the shit and chat about this stuff or take your mind off of it.... and 3) not to be a Debbie downer but it honestly doesn't get easier, you just get better at handling it. This may seem like THE crucial moment for your career/life but just wait until you are 2 or 3 or 5 years out of school and deciding between b school/pe/hf/any other random path. So it helps to figure out a way to handle it sooner rather than later. Life is a never ending series of problems, just better problems. You have to learn to love the hamster wheel you choose.

Negative visualization also helps - not getting into IBD won't kill you

Dec 24, 2018

lol, you know what's also really isolating? Actually liking your FT job.

You know that determined enthusiastic attitude most students have in the internship and on-campus clubs? That dies QUICK after graduation for most people as they get into the "omg this is the rest of my life" and "I'm stuck in an office all day" mentality. To compensate, they like to assume their peers are just as miserable and actually get annoyed hearing about fun/positive things in other people's work. I have a couple friends who are fascinated with the startup space but when I talk about what I'm seeing in VC, their interest in talking more about it craters, I just don't talk to them about work anymore unless they ask and even then I try to keep the tone as un-flexed as possible.

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Dec 24, 2018

Amen to this. Have another friend in AM who loves his job (I'm in AM as well), and we're sometimes just chatting about markets/stocks, etc. When we get together though with even 3-5 other people (so it's not like us having a 15 minute finance convo is really excluding anyone as there are 3 other people who can talk to each other), we're told to "have a life outside of work." I understand only having finance convos around people is shitty protocol (which we don't do often), but jesus, it's like, sorry I actually like my job, how's your crap job at jet.com going?

Dec 25, 2018

So true what you're saying. I think the idea of work-life balance is pretty limiting because ideally it can all just blend together. You like work enough that you think about it in your free time, and then when you're at the office you dont need to focus all the time because you're thinking about work off-and-on 24/7. And only when you want to. To me that's how life should be, I feel bad for those who need to build boundaries.

Dec 24, 2018

Why would you ever want to talk about IB?

TheShah:

I try talking to my parents about investment banking and it just feels like I'm talking to a brick wall. Whether it's speaking about my dreams and ambitions, an interview coming up, I just feel like I don't know what to say because they don't really get it. And they always talk about themselves or whatever is on their mind. I have really close friends who work in IB and some who want to break in, so it's nice to chat with them, but I wish my folks understood. Especially since it's recruitment season soon and I'm a sophomore, the stress just piles on and I wish I could get advice from my parents rather than the internet. Feels really isolating.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Dec 24, 2018

You don't know shit until you're torn piecemeal by a minotaur of conscience.

Dec 26, 2018

I saw the word minotaur and instantly thought of this.

Dec 25, 2018

OP, if this makes you feel better: jobs that the mass don't understand + and are complex are usually (not always) jobs that reward the best. The public has no damn clue what investment bankers or management consultants do, yet most understand what the day-to-day tasks of a high school teacher or a cop entail.

Heck, I have connections on LinkedIn who are software engineers and constantly share articles about machine learning, blockchain etc. Looks like a bunch of gibberish to me, but I'm sure they're paid well.

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Dec 25, 2018

I actually think IB is one of the easiest jobs to relate to other people because it's such a generalist skill set. You don't need to be great at any one thing in IB, but you need to be decent in a lot of areas . . analytical ability, personality, judgment, writing, relationship building, etc etc. So it has something in common with almost any job.

I was briefly a lawyer before IB and that was the area where I couldn't connect with my parents. They know what a lawyer is, but the details of the work were impossible to make relevant for them because corporate lawyers mostly do bullshit scribe work that nobody else wants to do.

Banking was easier to connect over. I told my folks that M&A bankers are to companies what realtors are to houses. On a detailed level that's not totally correct but on a 30,000 foot level it works. So then my mom (who rants about manners and communication all the time) could tell me how to deal with people, and my dad (who has worked in manufacturing his whole life) could ask me about any work we were doing in that area. Wouldn't exactly say they were guiding my career but there wisdom wasn't meaningless like it would be in other jobs. My brother is a software engineer, no surprise they have nothing additive for him.

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Dec 25, 2018

Yes, but thankfully I have my fellow World of Warcraft guild members to support me through hardship.

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Dec 25, 2018

My mom thinks I'm a bank teller so I definitely understand where you're coming from. From my experience, you need to be able to break down your problem or the advice you're looking for in terms they understand. Sure my mom's never pulled an all nighter to crank out a model, or any of the problems bankers have, but she has a lot of experience dealing with deadlines, working with difficult people, juggling multiple tasks, etc... (she was a single mom with 3 kids and a full time job). At the end of the day, every job has the same challenges and stresses, just dressed up a little differently

Dec 25, 2018

My brother sent me this - thought that what I do for a living. Wish that I do that - don't really mind if my current life is like this (i.e. like the men in the trailer). But most people in Asia even people who are slightly familiar with finance, thinks that we are all glorified stock brokers. People are not really familiar with what M&A and Private Equity bankers do on a daily basis.

Dec 25, 2018

i feel like what youre yearning for is a mentor, not financially literate parents.

your parents probably dont understand the magnitude of breaking into IB for you because theyre your parents; might sound counterintuitive, but i'd bet they dont give a shit if you break in because theyll love you unconditionally either way. to you it seems like the world, to them it seems like another fad/temporary obsession.

use your parents as a release from all your career-related stress, not moderators of it. talking to your parents about their childhood/everyday life is some of the most rewarding conversation you can have, imo

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Dec 25, 2018

Alright, based on your comment, you're still hoping to score an internship.

So, rather than be condescending about what your parents 'understand', maybe have the self awareness to realize:

1) You don't really understand how the business works

And, so, as a result

2) All of your hopes and dreams sounds very much like 'I really want to do something pretigous that pays well'.

And that's okay (I was the same way). And having ambition is a very good thing. But you have to understand that your ramblings about interview prep probably sound very much the same as any kid's anxiety ridden monologue about how they want to be an enterpreuner/doctor/lawyer/pro athelete/rapper/whatever.

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Dec 26, 2018

ye

Dec 26, 2018

If your parents are not exposed to IB they may have limited interest. Also, their knowledge of finance might be nothing. If you have friends in the industry rely more on their advice than a parent who is not involved. At the end of the day you should be working to get towards where you want to be.

Dec 26, 2018
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Dec 26, 2018