I'm lonely

Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

Recently started as an analyst in a M&A boutique after interning here. I find that IB is not what I was hoping for - coming into this industry I was expecting constantly intellectually challenging work, personal growth and amazing learning opportunities. It seems I was quite wrong - between the mind-numbing, high school intellect level work and studying for the level 2, I have nothing else in life.

Coming home alone to an empty bed every night a 2AM, only to be in the office aligning logos the next morning is proving to be quite a sad existence. Nevertheless, I will tough it out. I moved from my country to work here so I have no friends or a girlfriend, and find myself miserable and lonely for most of the time. Granted, the "pls fix" emails and CFA keep me busy and sometimes take my mind off things, but I often find myself wondering what I am doing wrong and why am I feeling like this. Is this how it is supposed to be? Does it ever get better? What do you guys do to combat this? I tried to go out to a few bars to meet a girl or something, but being constantly exhausted, under stress and sad doesn't exactly make me a catch for a random girl in a bar.

I have no problem working 16hr days (even though it's mostly uninteresting work) or spending my entire weekend studying, as long as I would have something to look forward to at some point in the future, which at this point, I don't. I feel like it would be so much easier if I had someone to talk to or spend time with. What should I do? What did you guys do when you felt like this?

Comments (61)

Feb 11, 2020

I was in the same position. People want to be traders but they don't understand every day is the same shit. At the end of the day, you're trading your edge, maybe looking for new ones, making markets, stressed out when you're wrong, etc. Finance in general is mundane. I look across the floor and I see people on the computer or glancing down at their phones, it's just pathetic. I'm currently in the process of leaving soon for Army Special Forces... I'll be making less money and unfortunately, I have to leave behind my son with his mother, whom I'm not with. Yes, I feel rather selfish but I know I won't be away forever. Personally for me, I think jumping out of planes, breaking down doors with the toughest men the military has to offer excites me. To push my mental and physical limits and see what kind of man I'm made of. Trading doesn't offer that. I don't want to grow old and say all I did was make money and die. So I'm giving up everything, taking a pay cut and leaving behind my family, temporarily, to fulfill my happiness. Find your happiness. Drinking isn't the answer and although working out sounds like an option but it's only a temporarily fix to relieve stress but it won't truly bring happiness. Ask yourself. What makes you happy. What do you have passion for? It's not possible to ask this online and achieve in getting an answer. Sit down and ask this yourself. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? For me, it wasn't sitting at a desk all day, stressing out.

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Feb 11, 2020

This ^

Feb 11, 2020
mswoonc:

I have to leave behind my son with his mother, whom I'm not with. Yes, I feel rather selfish but I know I won't be away forever. Personally for me, I think jumping out of planes, breaking down doors with the toughest men the military has to offer excites me.

If you are leaving your son and his baby mother behind because you think you're gonna break down doors in urban combats and jump out of planes I think you are going to be disappointed. Being in the special forces is 80% maintainence of body, gear, vehicles and equipment, 18% training and 2% actual bad ass stuff.

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Feb 11, 2020

^ this also assumes you're going to make it through the SF pipeline. You can have an incredible amount of will power and be in peak physical condition, but one wrong jump can force you out of the pipeline. Have fun being a cook or a normie grunt.

Feb 11, 2020

I know what SF has to offer. I've been in the military for 9 nine years now (still am). SOF isn't all about breaking down doors and shooting enemy in the face. But you have admit, not every day will be the same, some days, maybe but whatever the case may be, every situation I will be put in will test me and my capability as a man, as a human being and that's what I need. Best part of it, I work with the toughest men, same minded, as I am. I actually joined the Navy 9 years ago with a SEAL contract. I was literally the top candidate, scoring high on my PST. But I lost it due to my poor vision and I never got a chance to do LASIK after I had my son and had put priority with the finances. But now, Army picked me and it's time to rock.

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Feb 11, 2020

Being rich isn't easy. Save money and do your own thing open a business. Work for the man then set up your own thing, also make sure you are working out. Humans are not built to to just use our minds. It makes a big difference it alone releases things in your body that make you feel better. It will also make you look better and have more energy which naturally will draw people to you more. You got this

Most Helpful
Feb 11, 2020

Ok, I think all the advice on this thread so far is great but it's mainly looking into the future. Even if you manage to have a long-term mindset, you shouldn't have to live through the analyst years in misery. I think some simple things may help:

  • Find the time to gym and see if you can make that something semi-social. You don't go to the gym to make friends, but you may end up running into the same people who you could work out with. Worst case, you can still get a good pump in to relieve some stress
  • Plan something fun with friends or family during the weekend. Sure, you'll be working during the weekend too, but if you can find ways to plan something you look forward too all week then it'll be worth it
  • Find 24h restaurants or bars and see if any friends (ideally in IB) or fellow analysts would have time even for a 30-40 minute catch up
  • If you can afford to take a 1h lunch break (probably rare), see if you can convince fellow analysts to take a breather with you
  • Download every dating app imaginable and use it for both hooking up and making friends. There really isn't anything wrong with having a chat with someone on the weekend or one night that you've met online
  • If you can find the time to skype or call friends during the day, do it. It'll help massively with the loneliness. Barring time differences, even knowing you have a catch up with a friend over the phone coming up during the week helps with your mental health
  • Find clubs, societies or groups that have similar interests to you. I'm sure that you can find at least one which could accommodate your working hours even once a week

Loneliness can be a truly detrimental condition, because it is your body literally craving interaction or some form of affection. But in the same way that a quick snack can help manage hunger, a simple social interaction can help deal with loneliness.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 11, 2020

Thanks a lot for your advice. Everything you said makes a lot of sense and will try to implement the more possible things (gym, calls, dating apps, etc.) I haven't had much luck with dating apps in the past so was hesitant to even try it, guess I'll look up a tinder guide or something.. And considering I'm quite a social person, calls were not really in my mind as a viable replacement, but I guess beggars can't be choosers.

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Feb 11, 2020

Dating apps help even if you just wanna chill and hang with someone, not just "dating"

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Feb 12, 2020

Bump to the value of calling your friends/family. I'm only in undergraduate right now (I know, nothing compared to IB), but when I'm super stressed from work and recruiting, a 30 minute phone call with the boys really helps lift my mood.

Array

Feb 12, 2020

These are all great +SB. I'm routinely surprised by how much better I feel after getting a quick workout in. 20 min can legit change your day.

Other advice in no particular order:
1. How are the other analysts? I assume they're going through the exact same thing...
2. You mentioned logo nonsense - try logointern. Will save you a ton of time
3. Use tinder or other dating apps for initial dating prospects. Easy to do initial busdev / screening while in the elevator, taking a coffee break, etc. That way, when the weekend comes around, you already have a couple dates lined up.
4. Try meetups - it's kindof lame, but it might help you find some initial friends (outside of finance) as you get to know your new city

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2020

Thanks man. I try to get in a few workouts per week, but considering I can only do them before work, I usually have trouble getting out of bed and opt for sleeping in instead. Should change that.

Regarding the other analysts, it's a bit difficult to judge. As this is a small boutique, they don't do the usual 2 years and out but stay more long term. The most junior analyst, except me, has been here for 2 years and plans to stay. Plus, they are all local, except me, so already have established friendships, girlfriends etc. But the occasional get together with them is quite fun, lots of drinks and good people all in all.

And tinder I think I might have to do a fresh install as I probably busted my algorithm endlessly swiping right in college... Fuck

Thanks for the advice in general, really helps out, but I don't think I run well with the meetup kind of people. Usually it's a bunch of nerdy engineers (not that I have anything against them, just not my type of people) here for 6month placements and similar, as I went to a couple of those. But will keep trying.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 11, 2020

I am in the exact same situation. Also studying for CFA. Lets be friends

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 11, 2020

I guess the likelihood we are based in the same continent, let alone country is quite low. I am in western europe, you?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 11, 2020

New york unfortunately

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2020

Are you based in London?

Feb 11, 2020

try bumble BFF ??

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 11, 2020

All i get ie either teachers miles away who got off work around 6 or people in NYC coming to party

Feb 11, 2020

Op - most important thing. You are not alone. Seriously.

An idea may be to create a list of things/activities/places that interest you. Perhaps once a week (on the weekend) tick off one of those things? Perhaps as a study break or a reward for grinding through something? May make you more efficient as you will have something to look forward to.

The other (potentially tougher) idea is if you are in the same city as others on this board, maybe use this thread as a social thing for real life (if that's of interest). Something like, I am setting up a table at a bar at this place at this time (pick a time/day that has a higher probability of people making it), and then you guys can talk it out. A sort of support group.

I'm a bit older and realize that this sounds being open and vulnerable and is terrifying but what you are going through is pretty common (the misery and also the "wow I grinded this hard and the work is this idiotic?" feeling.). Seeing/hearing people around you open up about it (and of course you doing the same) will literally make you and everyone feel better and may end up making you some awesome friends (since you are cutting through the BS).

Life is too short to be miserable, especially after having worked so hard for so long. The last thing you want to do in your 40s or whatever is be like "wow I wasted my 20s"

Good Luck

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 11, 2020

Thanks for your encouragement. I will definitely try your suggestions, especially reaching out to meet people through this board, however, I think this sitebeing more US focused is a bit of a hindrance (I am in WE, but not London).

And yes, you are very right, I think the fact that we are grinding so hard and doing such idiotic work while going through constant high levels of stress really takes a toll on your mental health. Hopefully the work a few years down the line is more rewarding...

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 11, 2020

Thanks to all the comments and useful advice guys. Helps putting things into perspective. I really appreciate the encouragement and see it as a kind of light at the end of the tunnel - also makes going through the comments I'm currently swimming in with no end in sight a bit easier.

I especially like the comment on trying to meet people through this board, and it makes sense as many of us share the same interests/ life situation. Unfortunately, the vast majority of you guys are in USA, while I am in Western Europe (not UK). If any monkeys from western europe are interested in starting some sort of happy hour/ hanging out group - let me know and I'll reveal more detail about my exact location.

    • 1
Feb 11, 2020

at least you're west of the berlin wall

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

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2020

Indeed haha. Took me 23 years though...

Feb 11, 2020

Lets get a thread going for San Francisco analysts who like to DRINK, EAT, and TALK SHIT.

REPLY IF INTERESTED

p.s. whoever said drinking wasn't the answer is full of shit. drinking is always the answer. a girlfriend/boyfriend or your little buddy from tinder won't buzz you up and have you giggling at nothing like a good dirty vodka martini.

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

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Feb 12, 2020

How about a group that can go to SF bars or something and pick up chicks potentially? That can be one facet of this lol

Feb 12, 2020

No

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

Feb 12, 2020

SF bars
Pick up chicks

You might as well go dumpster diving, you're more likely to find something good in the middle of all that trash

    • 1
Feb 12, 2020

Hi there. Where are you located? I'd like to connect. I've spent time in many different cultures and countries.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2020

Mainland Europe - so not UK. Think France/Germany. You?

Mar 8, 2020

I've got family in Eastern Europe.

Feb 12, 2020

I will say, throw yourself into social situations and you can reap huge benefits. I moved to NYC a few years ago with literally no one I knew besides colleagues and took the plunge to live with a guy I met during my internship at the standard beergarden the next year. Lo and behold I moved in with him and a few of his friends and thus began my social life in the city which really did blossom into meeting a TON of people and now I can honestly say I treasure the moments I'm alone. Also moving to a large banking firm during my lateral shift in banking helped a bit too since some of the guys in my analyst class became some of my best friends who I hang out with weekly to this day when time allows.

Be a bit spontaneous, join a social club maybe or take some fitness classes at places like Equinox or SoulCycle for the hunnies. You'll find something

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2020

Thanks man. As I'm based in a more conservative European country, it's a bit more difficult than the US (also being there's a lot less people than NYC, makes things a bit more difficult) but I'm hoping to change this by going to different meetup events. Will also be looking to lateral to London at the end of my first year, hopefully to a BB.

Feb 12, 2020

What should you do? Before making any decisions regarding your professional future, seek the ear of a therapist. A mental health professional, if even as sounding board for ideas or perspective, can change your outlook on quite a bit of life.

  • Prospect in Other
Feb 12, 2020

" I find that IB is not what I was hoping for - coming into this industry I was expecting constantly intellectually challenging work"

Erm... Doesn't everyone know this before entering IB?

Feb 13, 2020

READ MY POST: best advice to meet your goal - your life has a lot of challenges and negativity now (I GET IT, I did RX at an EB years ago) when you talk to girls everything must be positive incl. your job, people you work with and you are learning new things all the time. Also, the other trick....bond more with your team, connect with key people...it'll keep you happy... trust me

Feb 13, 2020

exactly what i feel too. Still always try to leave as soon as possible. Make pre bookings for long weekends. Connect with old friends and for some time try and enjoy being alone.

Feb 14, 2020

I recommend you read the book Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It's chronicles the author's experiences as a prisoner in the concentration camps of WWII and the psychological effects that the experiences had on prisoners and how he found a purpose in life to feel positive about despite all the suffering. Pretty deep book but really interesting and very highly rated.

Definitely not comparing your situation to theirs btw - just an interesting read that provides some interesting perspective on life

    • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 15, 2020

im sitting at a bar 1 am crying my heart out. no-one to talk to and for some reason I come cross this. wish I had something to say

i cant even make it anonymous FML

Feb 15, 2020

You said you were in Germany, right? So probably Frankfurt?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 25, 2020

Nope, different, but still large city.

Feb 15, 2020

Hey bro are you ok?? You can PM me

Array

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 16, 2020

there is a limit to people I can PM but I am so fed up with this job at the moment :(

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