Is 90 hours a week worth it?

steve001's picture
Rank: Monkey | 62

Honestly, at what point does the number of hours you work a week actually matter. I'm considering entering investment banking/ Hedge Fund starting this summer and 90 hours a week is just So much. I mean, honestly, how do you have friends, girlfriend, etc etc.

basically my q is: is working 90 hours a week worth it? short run/long run?

also, when does it get better

long hours at work

This is issue requires self analysis. Most people will not understand why you would even consider working 90 hours. Therefore asking anyone who does not work in banking will give you the same answer. However, people who do work in the industry will tell you the opposite "Suck it up and get work".

Here are some questions you might consider asking yourself.

  • What do I value?
  • If I only had 8 hours of free time per week how would I spend it?
  • Is banking the only way to reach my goal?
  • Can I prioritize how I spend time to maximize it?

Another great way to answer this question is to complete an internship. An internship can get you somewhat familiar with the hours and work. At that point you can determine if pursuing banking is right for you.

from certified user @Mzzzz

I was in your position a few years ago. Scared of the hours / in a relationship / lots of friends to keep up with.

Eventually I convinced myself that its what I want to do...haven't looked back since. Yes, the sleep schedule sucks, but I've been able to maintain my relationship (tough) as well as see my friends (only the ones I am very close with). The experience/responsibility/etc... is well worth it.

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Comments (33)

Dec 7, 2010

You're considering entering banking this summer......... Let us know when you have an offer.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

Dec 7, 2010
bulge4lyf:

You're considering entering banking this summer......... Let us know when you have an offer.

don't be a douche. you go to a state school, and even you got one.

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Dec 7, 2010

man up dude

Dec 7, 2010

If you are really worried about working 90hrs then maybe finance is not for you. Its about working hard for a nice paycheck and to get where you want to be in life...where ever that is. A person who has even a small interest in finance shouldn't be thinking about the hours, but rather doing a good job to get paid. Honestly though, after a few weeks the hours just seem to blend together to the point where you don't exactly remember what day it is, let alone how many hours you have spent in he office.

Dec 7, 2010
Gekko21:

If you are really worried about working 90hrs then maybe finance is not for you. Its about working hard for a nice paycheck and to get where you want to be in life...where ever that is. A person who has even a small interest in finance shouldn't be thinking about the hours, but rather doing a good job to get paid. Honestly though, after a few weeks the hours just seem to blend together to the point where you don't exactly remember what day it is, let alone how many hours you have spent in he office.

Agree with this post. I'm not even in IB yet and I'm already pulling in mad hours. Wake up around 6am and come home around 9pm. 5 days a week, that's around 75 hours +/- 5. At first I was shocked but now it's not too bad. I would definitely put in 15 more hours for a much higher pay in IB.

Dec 7, 2010
Gekko21:

If you are really worried about working 90hrs then maybe finance is not for you. Its about working hard for a nice paycheck and to get where you want to be in life...where ever that is. A person who has even a small interest in finance shouldn't be thinking about the hours, but rather doing a good job to get paid. Honestly though, after a few weeks the hours just seem to blend together to the point where you don't exactly remember what day it is, let alone how many hours you have spent in he office.

tool post. Are you even a real analyst ? Most analysts i know (me included) fuking hate the hours. Since i had a life in university I was also scared about them before I got into IB. Its normal man.

dont listen to tools like Gekko they tend to be university kids generally, who glorify it but have never lived it.

Dec 8, 2010
jackilewis:
Gekko21:

If you are really worried about working 90hrs then maybe finance is not for you. Its about working hard for a nice paycheck and to get where you want to be in life...where ever that is. A person who has even a small interest in finance shouldn't be thinking about the hours, but rather doing a good job to get paid. Honestly though, after a few weeks the hours just seem to blend together to the point where you don't exactly remember what day it is, let alone how many hours you have spent in he office.

tool post. Are you even a real analyst ? Most analysts i know (me included) fuking hate the hours. Since i had a life in university I was also scared about them before I got into IB. Its normal man.

dont listen to tools like Gekko they tend to be university kids generally, who glorify it but have never lived it.

You sir - are the king of douche. If you would perform a simple search function, which it is clear you lack the computer skills required to do so, you would see Gekko is an upstanding contributor in this community, for a long amount of time. He is both in the industry and takes his time to contribute positively to help inexperienced fucks like yourself, since as your profile states you are not in the industry. So, until you are, either take the advice on these forums, shut the fuck up and be thankful, or return to your high school or college classes and come back on when you know what you are talking about. It is continued attitudes from fucking idiots like you that make me not want to waste my time on here, but thankfully there are beginning to be enough people on here that are worth my time and efforts. If you keep this shit up, you will most certainly never work in finance. That is all for today.

Dec 7, 2010

You would be a dumbass to have a wife as an analyst. Why would you marry at such a young age, especially during a 2 year analyst program!?

Dec 7, 2010

People you don't know on an online forum can't answer this for you. Some people get married right after college, make it through the analyst grind, and become rich and successfully married BSDs; others spend 10 years driving for a goal that they don't achieve and find themselves 30, single, and miserable. There is no one-size-fits-all path; bankers don't have monopolies on money or happiness, but nobody else does, either. You won't work 100 hour weeks forever, but you also won't work 40 hour weeks and have 100% weekends on any successful corporate path. You've gotta look at the end game and decide if it's worth it to you.

Dec 7, 2010

Look, if the hours terrify you, don't do it. There's no shame in not being a banker. If it is something you're interested in, there's a reason they have internships, and it's not just so the bank can evaluate you; it's so you can evaluate if banking is right for you. I know plenty of people who did banking internships and couldn't stand the hours, stress, and abuse, and chose not to come back, but it is ten weeks and they were able to make an informed decision. If you know you're not going to cut it, then don't do it; if you're unsure, it's ten weeks, and it won't kill you.

Dec 7, 2010

Honestly it's what works for you - nobody knows you better than yourself. Are you one of those people that needs a girlfriend, if so - banking probably is not the right route for you. Your time will be extremely limited, and you might want to do just more than hang out with your chick. Don't get me wrong, I know people who made it through their stint in a relationship and I'm sure there is people on this forum who have as well, but more than likely it was an exception to the rule and a struggle. This is the time in your life to be selfish since you will be working so much (ie stash cash, chase multiple girls, learn the business and enjoy your free time, etc.)

Again, this is all my experience and what worked for me - do some self analysis and make a decision that way. Work is going to be your main priority, and the majority of people outside of banking cannot and do not understand/accept that.

Dec 7, 2010

you'll know if it's worth it when it's 2am at the W in NYC, you are getting to bed for 3 hrs of shuteye because you are meeting your team at 5am to catch an early shuttle to the next leg of the roadshow, and you've been on this schedule for the past 10 days, feeling increasingly dazed and suicidal.

Dec 7, 2010

during those moments, if you think "i'd take a quarter of the pay and a room at the Howard Johnson if they would give me just three more hours of sleep" -- it is not worth it.

Dec 8, 2010
ivoteforthatguy:

during those moments, if you think "i'd take a quarter of the pay and a room at the Howard Johnson if they would give me just three more hours of sleep" -- it is not worth it.

Wrong! My buddy and I used to say that we would take a $25k+ pay cut in exchange for the ability to go to bed every night at midnight. We were dead serious too. And we were two of the few that managed to land PE jobs during the recession.

Dec 7, 2010

Actually getting sick of these posts. Get the Job first then worry about your work week

Dec 7, 2010

Your twenties are designed for hard work and building a strong base for your 30s, 40s, 50s so you don't have to do the bullshit you did in your twenties.

Please view my quote from the movie Layer Cake.

    • 1
Dec 7, 2010

you have to suck it up and put in your time before you can reap the benefits of wallstreet. you will become a stronger person/banker after your analyst stint.....everyone has to do it. otherwise wallstreet will eat you up

Best Response
Dec 7, 2010

Completely valid question -- especially if you don't have an offer. If you think it'll be worth it, then you can go out, hustle, and land that job. If not, then move on.

I was in your position a few years ago. Scared of the hours / in a relationship / lots of friends to keep up with. Eventually I convinced myself that its what I want to do...haven't looked back since. Yes, the sleep schedule sucks, but I've been able to maintain my relationship (tough) as well as see my friends (only the ones I am very close with). The experience/responsibility/etc... is well worth it.

Dec 7, 2010

dude it's more like 80-120 hrs/week so the average is more like 100 at BB's. This is a fact...

Dec 7, 2010
GoldwingX:

dude it's more like 80-120 hrs/week so the average is more like 100 at BB's. This is a fact...

Right on. You'll have time some weeks for sleep and drinks with friends, other weeks you'll just be working and sleeping. The big problem (as mentioned elsewhere on the forum) is that you generally don't know which weeks will be which. That variability is what sucks about the job. The hours really aren't that bad - you're well-compensated and doing great work for someone right out of school.

Dec 7, 2010

mezz, good reassuring post - would shoot you an sb if i had any

Dec 7, 2010

You probably have a girlfriend now that you are very serious with but you want to do banking, otherwise I don't see why you worry so much. If that's the case and you DO get the job, talk to her, prepare both of you for hard times ahead. If she loves you she will support you plus it's not like you are going to do banking forever. If that's not your case then seriously reevaluate, stop thinking about the future and enjoy life ;)

Dec 7, 2010

Look at it as an extension of your education (only here you always need to bring your "A" effort, as opposed to school where you can coast and cram at the end), like going to a high-ranked law school or a competitive masters program. Except that you get PAID really well, learn a lot (depends on you, though), and get tangible work experience that will prepare you well technically (finance, excel, accounting, industry knowledge) and intangibly (attention to detail, ability to withstand hours, ability to work in teams with tough personalities).

I have friends in law, architecture, and other programs, who study and work more than I do. Of course they're getting the masters degrees and are learning good skills, but I wouldn't want to generalize that banking work is useless. It can be applied to any corporate work environment afterwards.

Dec 7, 2010

After 120-hr weeks and 2-nighters, everything job you have after that will feel easy.

Dec 7, 2010

its 2 years of 90 hours a week and afterwards you are THE SHIT in terms of professionalism and work ethics.
you also gained an excellent finance, accounting and excel as well as industry exposure.

After fucking around and learning jack shit for the first 21/22 years of your life its time to grow the fuck up and actually learn something.

Dec 7, 2010

Haven't read the whole thread but nothing wrong with being slightly anxious about the hours. I think everyone is a little when they are thinking about this line of work or have an offer and are about to start.

Most people who get through a process and land a job realise they can handle it and actually get some satisfaction from what they do. This keeps you going.

Also, associate years are actually worse than analyst years in terms of stress (minimal reduction in hours, more stress in having to train / supervise / pick up after analysts while being at the mercy of VPs / EDs )

Dec 7, 2010

If you're worried about the hours, do what I did.... go into capital markets. You're not going to run the next PE fund, but your hours are marginally better (65-80 depending on deal flow) and they generally don't kick you out the door after 2/3 years.

Dec 7, 2010

Its only two to three years. How much of your freshman/sophomore year of high school do you actually remember?

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Dec 7, 2010

Get a job first in the industry and then worry about it.

Dec 7, 2010

Yeah dude. Finance is a pretty big universe. You might not want to be a banker, but that doesn't mean you cannot work anywhere in finance.

Get a couple internships and then decide.

Dec 8, 2010
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Dec 8, 2010