Is it possible to live a normal life?

Without having people say "stop being a pussy" and blah blah... is it possible for people who get in the IB/PE/HF world, to have a family and raise kids? To be able to see their kids grow up and such. Or are you just constantly working late and never unplugging no matter what? Does everyone in wall street just sniff coke or are there normal functioning people who have a wife and kids with a stable marriage?

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Comments (11)

Aug 7, 2017 - 12:28pm

I personally know a few MDs at BBs and an EB and two of them are extremely happy and see their kids a lot - normal family life. The other MD at a BB is divorced and has a bad relationship w/ his kids. I honestly think it depends on who you are as a person. Do you value family and seeing your kids?

Aug 7, 2017 - 12:36pm

I don't have any right now. Currently have a girlfriend who I will marry in a year. Yes, I do value that but I am willing to work hard as well. I was just wondering if everyoneeee literally sells their soul and their only purpose in life is to fulfill their calling at work. Basically, either single, divorced, only care about having drinks, cheat, drugs, and get prostitutes. Is that all there is?

Best Response
Aug 7, 2017 - 3:10pm
nahlij:

I don't have any right now. Currently have a girlfriend who I will marry in a year. Yes, I do value that but I am willing to work hard as well. I was just wondering if everyoneeee literally sells their soul and their only purpose in life is to fulfill their calling at work. Basically, either single, divorced, only care about having drinks, cheat, drugs, and get prostitutes. Is that all there is?

Not sure why I am responding to this, but the real world isn't a movie. Having worked/interned in a variety of BO/MO/FO roles, you will learn that any corporate workplace has a wide variety of personalities that will vary by level and will vary within levels. This isn't necessarily unique to banking either, believe it or not there are people in the BO too who believe they have 'sold their soul'.

For every bro analyst who goes out every night, there is an equally nerdy analyst who stays in and just gets their work done. There is also a wide variety of 'normal' people in the middle who go out occasionally and interact normally within the team. For every MD who is divorced, does drugs and what have you there is another who is happily married and leaves every day at 5 to be with his/her family.

You have to carve-out your own niche and make your own priorities. There is no 'correct' way to be a banker or any type of professional, and you'll come to see that a wide variety of types of people are successful. If you are an analyst leaving every day at 5pm you probably aren't going to make it and if you are staying till 5am every day you probably won't last either. You need to find balance and above all you need to find a group of people that will allow you to achieve that.

Aug 9, 2017 - 12:39am

Don't worry about it. You couldn't get into IB even if you wanted to

Someone who worries this much about making it and having the work-life balance so blatantly and talking about IB like its some casual thing will get weeded out immediately in interviews

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Aug 7, 2017 - 3:15pm

I worked closely with the principal of a private equity fund in Chicago this past summer. He would leave the office every day at 4PM to pick his son up (age 4) at 5, and would spent the evening with his son until it was time for his child to go to sleep (8 PM ish). Then, he would reopen his laptop and continue working for another four hours or so. He doesnt do coke, has a wife and child who he loves, and manages a multi-million dollar enterprise. He works very hard, and almost never has downtime, but seems to be intrinsically happy. At the same time, he was often so stressed that he would sleep 2-3 hours a night (big deal was in the process of closing) and would just end up working 18+ hours a day. You make your own happiness, and prioritize what you want. If you say the industry kept you back from reaching happiness, you are a self-diluted individual who needs to stop pointing the finger at others for repercussions caused by oneself.

Aug 7, 2017 - 6:34pm

High-level finance careers are very demanding and weeds out people who don't have an organic passion for the work. If your top priority is having a family and living a stable life, I'd suggest settling for a less lucrative career. If the thought of maximizing your investment positions and/or executing deals keeps you up at night excited - poor work/life balance won't be as significantly important imo.

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