Landed Your First Job? EXTREMELY Important Thread: Office Politics

Mod Note: Each day we'll be posting the top WSO forum posts of 2014. This one was originally posted on 3/22/14 and ranks #14 for the year by total silver banana count. You can see all our top ranked content here.

Ahhh so you landed your job. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't deserve it because you absolutely do. The recruiting process for Sell-Side Wall Street is brutal and has significant merit attached to it (unless your dad is the CEO of a F500 of course). But lets cut to the chase. You need to read this post very carefully or you will never ever get paid at the top. That is a bold statement but anyone who has spent a meaningful amount of time on the Street knows the following:

Without solid political positioning I will never get promoted and I will never be ranked at the top

This point is so important that we are going to write it again. Say it out loud to yourself. Say this as you walk into training. Write this on your iPhone as a calendar invite every single morning for a month before training... until it sticks.

Without solid political positioning I will never get promoted and I will never be ranked at the top

This applies to Investment Banking Analysts and Associates. It applies to Sales and Trading Associates. It applies to Equity Research. It applies to your entire Wall Street Career.

Backdrop:

You are a bright eyed twenty something. Your entire life you put in the work. You deserved a shot to make some money on the Street. The problem? Your entire life, performance at school drove your results. As soon as you sign that dotted line and rake in that 5 figure signing bonus, this is no longer the case. You need to have politics and performance. Without politics? You will work longer hours. You will not get ranked as top bucket... and you will not be offered the promotion. Period.

Don't mean to beat a dead horse but please don't waste our time saying that this is false. If you have never worked a day on the Street, you don't have the right to an opinion.

Does this sound incredibly intense? Is the tone much more aggressive than usual?

Yes and Yes.

Why? It is that important and we want anyone who reads this post to take it seriously. Unlike our fun post on "Attention to Detial is Overrated"... There are no jokes in this post. Simply the truth... If you want to get paid and have a life.

Now that we've made this as serious as possible please read the below and we will outline a high level view of how to get good at politics assuming you have zero experience.

Overview:

The truth is you must do the following: 1) find the people within the office who are going to help you get placed into a hedge fund/PE shop - eg. Any exit ops apply, 2) manage multiple tasks prioritizing those with more political weight over those with minimal political weight, 3) respond aggressively to important tasks on the fly and 4) get all of the important people in the office to like you as a person.

What does this all mean? It means on day one you better figure out who matters and who does not. There is no excuse for not knowing who the important figures are within the office by the end of the first month. Luckily you're reading this post, so we're going to make your life a whole lot easier.

Day One - Who Matters?

You're walking into the office with your brooks brothers T-shirt and your oversized suit and sit down at your desk. After the first 8-10 hours the office begins to clear out. While every other Analyst/Associate is sitting around staring at the screen to show "face time" it's time for you to become the CSI of your investment bank.

Investment Banker: Open up the most recent pitchbook with a "qualifications" section. There should be 1-6 slides explaining why they should bank with your firm. Guess what? On the slides there will be Tombstones. Tombstones tell you the most recent deals that have closed and include major deals as well. Circle and highlight all the major deals and transactions over the last 2 years. Now go on your Company's internal contact sheet and find the Managing director responsible for those transactions.

Follow the money and you'll find who matters. Follow the money, follow the money, follow the money.

Sales and Trading: This is the easiest one. When everyone leaves the office pretend that you are reading research reports to understand what your Analysts are saying... when the dust settles immediately go through the Account list. Quickly look for the major accounts. Fidelity, Capital Group, CREF, Invesco, Wellington, Citadel, SAC Capital, Soros.... You get the idea. Now all you have to do is find the sales person in charge of these accounts.

Follow the money and you'll find who matters. Follow the money, follow the money, follow the money.

Equity Research: This is a cross between investment banking and sales and trading. Go through the IPOs that have occurred in the past and see which analyst is constantly being asked to cover more stocks. As an example: Analyst 1 seems to be adding companies over the past 2-4 years versus Analyst 2 who has covered the exact same companies. Why? While not related to IBD due to the Chinese Wall many companies will request a certain analyst cover their stock instead of analyst number two if the stock is between two spaces. Finally, the two other ways to find the good analysts is by looking at 1) call log of clients (if large accounts mentioned above fidelity/CREF etc. call in he is a good analyst) and 2) institutional investor is the trump card. If the analyst is ranked in the top 3, no doubt you want to try and become part of that team find all ranked analysts. If you are on a rotational program shine bright. Shine as bright as possible for the best analyst when you work under him or her. That is where you want to end up after the rotation is complete.

Follow the money and you'll find who matters. Follow the money, follow the money, follow the money.

Analyze the Data:

You have the dirt. It is time to look at the food chain and figure out where to position yourself within the investment bank. Again no time to waste. If you choose incorrectly you will have a 10-100x harder time getting promoted compared to choosing correctly. If the guy pulling for you can pay for your promotion as a rounding error compared to the revenue he brings in, you better believe the firm will promote you to keep the managing director happy. It isn't even about you at that point, a big guy says he wants you to stay, this means the firm will make sure you are paid enough to stay.

You got the names in your hand. Lets say there are three important managing directors. How do you know which one to latch on to? Look at what has happened in the past. Find all of the people within the investment bank who have been promoted over the last 3-5 years. Which managing directors did they work for? Of the three that are amazing, hopefully at least two are kind enough to promote within. Now you know who to keep happy.

Lets look at this from a basic business perspective. If your boss is making it rain and is a golden goose to the firm, why would they care about paying you an extra few thousand dollars? A top tier Managing director is making in excess of seven figures. The bank actually works for the managing director, the managing director does not work for the bank because if he is a top MD he is in charge of the relationships and uses the bank for leverage and/or its balance sheet.

(Side note this is a bit of an aggressive example in italics but the point is simple the top MDs are constantly getting job offers from other banks, so the top guys are not worried about getting laid off one bit they are primarily interested that no one wastes their time)

They will do what is needed to keep him happy and part of keeping him happy is keeping his team intact. If you are an analyst about to get promoted to an Associate there is no way the firm is going to say no to an extra $50K a year in expenses... if it means the managing director will stick around. The number of good analysts/associates is small, so this same logic applies to the Associate to VP promotion however the skill set you need to sell is certainly different. They will simply refuse to promote the other analysts/associates and let them exit the firm. Cost structure unchanged, top tier performers are still with the firm. Sounds like an intelligent business model.

Simply put, by now you know who you want to work under because you have correctly done your research and see a path to that promotion everyone wants.

Positioning and Performance:

We're making a rather large jump now we assume you know how to do work without making major errors. Please note this post is NOT saying you can turn in work that is subpar. The point is that anyone can do the entry level job. If you went to MIT and got a 4.0 or you went to a Non-Target and got a 4.0 we're pretty sure you can copy paste numbers into an excel sheet without making mistakes. If there are major errors in your work you also won't get ranked at the top, but lets be honest, it is not incredibly difficult to make a price volume chart, spread a comp table or update a merger model.

So lets get to positioning.

It's time to strategically drop quality by ~2-4% on the lower ranked managing directors and increase quality on the higher ranked managing directors by ~2-4%. This is going to take serious concentration and will help you immensely.

For investment banking this means you have a few extra formatting errors on your low level work and for the high up MDs you have none. Simple, your quality simply goes up a bit with the people who matter

For Sales and Trading this means you are slightly faster with your requests from the top S&T MDs. If you want to position yourself under sales guy #1 and he asks for something that will take 30 minutes and sales guy #2 wants something that will take 15 minutes... Ignore Sales guy #2.

For Equity Research this means a mix of quicker speed and quality of information and data requests. This is a bit easier to do. If you know Analyst 1 matters and you are currently working under Analyst 2... Show up slightly later to work and leave slightly earlier. When you work under Analyst 1 burn the candle on both ends. Respond immediately, work harder and be visibly pleased to work with him/her.

Why would you do this? Well the answer is clear. If everyone else is trying to please every single MD with the same quality of work, you know with certainty that they are giving 9/10 work to everyone, instead you're giving 10/10 work to some and 8/10 work to others. We've said it before and will say it again, what is everyone else doing... probably a bad idea.

Guess what will happen? Slowly you'll end up doing more work on the right team.

The Transition:

You must be able to change gears if you hope to succeed long-term. Lets say you've correctly landed yourself more responsibility on the right team. Lets say you're heading into that important annual review. It is time to listen to all of the criticism because if you don't you'll miss the train.

Here is the explanation:
At the bottom of the totem pole your movement to the next level is generally a function of likability and error free work. Notice we now assume that you are working under the **right** team/group/analyst/sales person etc. Make everyone like you AS A PERSON within that team. There are no excuses, no matter how much you may want to kill that one Director or that one psycho Vice President... It is simply not worth it to lose the momentum you've created.

With that said, the best time to find your weak political spots is going to be... during your review. Take copious notes on any negative feed back and immediately triangulate who made the comments. Do not shirk on this step or you will regret it. This is because your life is going to be chaotic at this point. Simplistically, if 8 people reviewed you at the end of the year, you need to be certain that person 1 and person 6 are the ones that made comment one and comment 4. Why? Now you can remember this specifically for their projects. No matter what, do not let this error occur again on their projects.

Everyone makes mistakes so don't beat yourself up over some minute errors in the beginning... But... you need to dial in on these comments to win their affection when it comes time for that promotion.

If you're doing this good well guess what? You'll gain more traction. If everyone likes your work and you are on the best team in the firm your only job is to be happy in the office

"The first to complain can withstand the least amount of pain"
"The spoiled child cries first"

You're going to want to complain a lot by year 2. Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. It is simply not worth it. If you need to complain, go take a walk and call someone you care about, you can cry as much as you like at home in your bed or out at the clubs. Don't bring it to work. Separation.

The Home Stretch:

So you have the office situation locked up like a death row inmate.

The key is to remain on the gas pedal and continue to ask a smart questions once in a while and receive minor actionable feedback. Why would you do this? You're validating their belief that they are good leaders. Again this is not about you, no one cares about you, this is about slight nudges of validation after you ask an innocent and intelligent question.

Here is an example unrelated to Wall Street.

You want to gain a few pounds of muscle but you've hit a plateau. You read a few books and still can't seem to jump the gap... You find someone who has done this before. You contact. No answer. You contact again. No answer. You contact a third time and the person finally answers.

"I know you're a busy person and I have been researching this topic for a few months and learned xx and xx, to cut to the chase I'm trying to gain another 5 pounds and have hit a plateau. Would you mind sparing me a few seconds so I can troubleshoot the issue"

Guess what, you're going to get an answer and then they are going to hang up. 9/10 they are hoping you don't contact them again because they are extremely busy and don't have time to waste. 2 months go by. You send them the following

"Didn't gain just 5 pounds of muscle, gained 10. Thank you for everything. (attached photo)"

Want to take a guess if this person will be willing to help you again?

The TL:DR Version:

There is no TL:DR. If you are unwilling to read this long post you will not make it. No joke. If you were too lazy to read this long-winded and accurate post you're simply ruining it for yourself. We have no interest in seeing you drown, please take it seriously and remember...

Without politics there is no performance

We are trying to make your career run as smoothly as possible. There is always some luck involved in life, but luck favors the prepared.

If you need clarification, glad to help!

**

Addendum:

We know what the question is going to be. What if I screwed up? What if I didn't play my politics correctly and messed up in this process?

Hate to say it... But it is time to leave. The chances of undoing significant political damage is extremely difficult. You are relying on a lot of luck at that point (too much luck). You should stick it out for a year or so and try to switch firms. After that you can learn from your political mistakes and move on.

Don't become bitter, become better. Learn from the mistakes.

Comments (241)

Mar 22, 2014

Great post but have a few questions.

Suppose your team (including MDs) are 'new' to the team too (IBD). How do you judge them if you are just starting off in IBD too? Also your post mentions to do good work for the good MDs and ok work for the not so great MDs but what if you are only assigned work for not so good MDs from day 1? Finally apart from producing quality work how do you make sure the top people who matter like you? Go out for drinks with them (should you ever invite them?) or something?

Mar 22, 2014

These are good questions.

1. New MD? The best way to figure this out is how much power he has as soon as he walks into the door. The way you will tell is he/she is very demanding of the firms resources. Just because someone is new, does not mean they have no power from hello. So here are some signs:

1) Immediately able to change how the firm works (process), 2)) he is asking for more resources than the other MDs the best analysts and best associates (key giveaway, all the top ranked analysts and associates are immediately staffed with him), 3) finally you should get along with your staffer and see how he/she allocates resources (note the Staffer is generally of high value don't forget that)

2. This one is unfortunately not one we can help answer. The post is tailored to larger banks and should have been noted in the post, apologies. However... Even at small banks it is quite rare for someone to work under a single person (that is more common on the buyside and equity research). Maybe the best solution is to simply be amicable with everyone in your office. Again haven't heard or seen such situation as most Investment banking groups don't operate that way.

3. The biggest thing here is noted in the OP. "The first to complain can withstand the least amount of pain". The happiest person in the office is generally the guy who is getting ranked highly.

Why? Well if you think about it, most banks have a "360 degree review process" this is a inane process where all you are going to do is give your boss excellent marks and tell him he is great. Now if you are an MD, put your feet in his shoes. You are going to want the happiest person in the office to write your review correct? This is because he intrinsically realizes you're likely to give good feedback as you seem to be happy with the firm/career.

4. Do not invite them for drinks. Unfortunately, there is a trend on the Street where many people join the firm and have poor social skills. If you join the Street with this set up you're going to get burned out. It is going to be the small things that add up. Do you recognize when your staffer is stressed out? Do you recognize when your MD is in a good mood versus a bad mood? Do you recognize socially when someone is just extremely mad and is taking out their anger on you?

Adapt or die.

If you two just closed a deal and he knows you worked long hours... The best thing to do is go and say congrats to him, he is in a great mood, if he typically gets coffee you can roll the dice a little bit and say hey I am grabbing coffee do you need anything. He is significantly more likely join you. Why? He feels great about his recent deal.

If he is in a bad mood and is having a fit, avoid, avoid, avoid. Respond to any emails immediately and be extremely professional and polite. Sometimes people are just having a bad day and are taking out their anger by creating meaningless work (this is going to happen more than you like) hold together your emotions and again complain to someone unrelated to your firm when you go home.

If the staffer asks if you want to grab coffee or any analyst/associate in the firm. Your answer is always yes and drink water in the worst case.

Finally, no we are not stating that you should get "stepped on" by your MD however... If he realizes you're willing to burn the candle at both ends for him and not have a problem with it you're going to get treated with more respect.

If he's a complete psycho MD? Well you may have to leave. Remember that politics is art and performance is analytical. Or Politics is social skills and Performance is technical skills.

It is quite difficult to put great art into words.

    • 3
Mar 22, 2014

Do you even work in IB? Not sure if srs.

    • 1
    • 5
Apr 16, 2014

deleted

Mar 22, 2014

Have been following your posts, OP. You're a genius.

Thank you for your time and please ignore above poster.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

Mar 22, 2014

Haha we don't care if he doesn't think it's real.

Literally in the post it basically says:

"If you don't think this is serious you have never worked on Wall Street for a single day"

So all it tells us is that he is a keyboard jockey and has never worked a day on the Street.

This was not a joke at all.

What is more valuable:
1) a degree from XYZ top tier school or...
2) Carl Ichan saying you're an amazing talent and spreading the word to his contacts

Anyone with an IQ above the median is going to choose number 2. We're trying to outline a good way to make sure you get the *right* people to like you.

It matters a lot and we hope everyone reads this at least once before starting work.

    • 1
Mar 23, 2014

sorry

Mar 27, 2014

I don't work on the Street, but I think that a lot of the info you provided can be applicable to many industries. Very good post and thanks for the info!

Mar 22, 2014

I'm sure some people who have worked on Wall Street would disagree with at least some items written about in your post. Anyone who disagrees with this statement is incapable of thinking critically.

Mar 22, 2014

Oh of course my man. The difference is the guy is saying "not sure if serious"

Anyone who says that = definitely doesn't have any real experience or didn't even read the post.

Now if he said

"I disagree with this tactic here is what I did"

In fact that type of commentary would be encouraged because it would actually be valuable to people on here.

Mar 24, 2014
WallStreetPlayboys:

Oh of course my man. The difference is the guy is saying "not sure if serious"

Anyone who says that = definitely doesn't have any real experience or didn't even read the post.

Now if he said

"I disagree with this tactic here is what I did"

In fact that type of commentary would be encouraged because it would actually be valuable to people on here.

OP, your post was so real, it was serious. Unfortunately I didn't read your post years ago during my first stint on Wall St, and basically did the exact opposite of everything you advised. I was young and naive. During my second stint I've applied everything you've said (life experience basically taught me--wish you had been around)... These young guys need to learn!

One of the most useful posts that I've read on this site!

    • 1
Mar 23, 2014

Also acknowledge when you make an error and don't get defensive, I distinctly remember one time as an SA where my colleague and I had screwed up, I said sorry and changed the minor error, he got defensive, the MD took him apart.

Mar 23, 2014

very subjective, but overall good advice.

Mar 23, 2014

This may work in a true hierarchy structure at an investment bank, and it could very well be useful in getting yourself in with the best possible team or desk or analyst/MD...

But when it comes to most results-driven work environments that are flatter and in many cases have literal scoreboards for everyone's production in the office, the whole political scheme is exchanged for a meritocracy. I'm not so sure about the private equity side, but hedge funds tend to be much more relaxed, with a flatter hierarchy and everyone has a very clear understanding of which investments they're responsible for and which they are not... Regardless of how long you've been working there, performance is what you're evaluated on, and if it's not good, there's no office politics you can try and use to bend a bad year into a decent year. There are no top buckets or bottom buckets... there's only how much outperformance did you bring in for us and how much carry did we get for our trouble. I should be able to point to the analyst whose two names in the portfolio made up all of outperformance and say that guy helped us pull in $X in fees.

Real office politics like the kind OP described is probably the type of environment where after a month or two of work, I'd have jumped off the roof of the building to get away from the place. Takes a certain kinda person, that's for sure.

Mar 24, 2014
BlackHat:

This may work in a true hierarchy structure at an investment bank, and it could very well be useful in getting yourself in with the best possible team or desk or analyst/MD...

But when it comes to most results-driven work environments that are flatter and in many cases have literal scoreboards for everyone's production in the office, the whole political scheme is exchanged for a meritocracy. I'm not so sure about the private equity side, but hedge funds tend to be much more relaxed, with a flatter hierarchy and everyone has a very clear understanding of which investments they're responsible for and which they are not... Regardless of how long you've been working there, performance is what you're evaluated on, and if it's not good, there's no office politics you can try and use to bend a bad year into a decent year. There are no top buckets or bottom buckets... there's only how much outperformance did you bring in for us and how much carry did we get for our trouble. I should be able to point to the analyst whose two names in the portfolio made up all of outperformance and say that guy helped us pull in $X in fees.

Real office politics like the kind OP described is probably the type of environment where after a month or two of work, I'd have jumped off the roof of the building to get away from the place. Takes a certain kinda person, that's for sure.

"Hold on a sec...you mean they made all this money without doing IB --> PE --> HBS --> PE --> God?
How is this possible?!?!?!!??" - TheKing

Mar 23, 2014

Backing one MD and doing poorer work for others may not fare well in the forced ranking systems that some IBs work with, where all directors meet, discuss performance and rank all analysts and associates.

You want more than one MD speaking on your behalf at this meeting, even if the guy on your side is the BSD.

Compounding the risk is that you often find some BSD MDs are not the most empathetic or caring people and may not see upside in arguing your cause in a forced ranking meeting.

Understand how your IB division determines advancement and remuneration before getting too set into tactics which may be inappropriate.

    • 1
Mar 23, 2014

SSits that is an excellent point. Poor writing on our part. We should have adjusted the phrasing and you are absolutely correct... Basically, you should back "the good MDs" ie: it is going to be very very difficult to give 10/10 work to everyone and have a normal functioning social life as well.

You ABSOLUTELY need more than one MD pulling for you. However, you simply want the *right* ones on your side.

Eg: if there are 3 BSDs and 1 that doesn't matter. Give the 3 BSDs your best work and shirk a little on the other guy. Also, try to push yourself a bit ore to the BSD wp also has a history of pulling/promoting his junior workers.

Again, great point as you definitely don't want to go "all in" on one MD (in IBD).

The goal here is to correctly position yourself to get ranked at the top, work a bit less (the star analyst/associate has no life - eg: 10/10 to everyone) and avoid getting into a bad downward political spiral.

---

@"BlackHat" now you're just bragging mane! (Joke) yes this is for the sell-side and does not matter anywhere near as much at a hedge fund. Our guess is most readers on here start in the sell-side, if you landed a good buy side gig this is much less applicable.

Just don't piss on the shoes of your PM at dem dere holiday parrrttyyy

Mar 23, 2014

Great post, WSP is always a good read (despite the flack they get around here). This doesn't just go for IBD, but all front office positions at banks on the street.

Mar 23, 2014

will this advice help me be a rainmaking IBD MD BSD before I'm 25? really curious

    • 1
Mar 23, 2014

Before 25 no.

But it absolutely matters miss penny, ie: no chance of moving up without the politcal performance.

Sucks. But it is what it is.

Mar 23, 2014
WallStreetPlayboys:

Before 25 no.

But it absolutely matters miss penny, ie: no chance of moving up without the politcal performance.

Sucks. But it is what it is.

Hopefully this question makes sense, but ... Is the primary reason for the necessity for politics that, at the end of the day, the work product of an IBD analyst doesn't lend itself to having real evaluative criteria to it? i.e. An analyst either got the work done or he didn't, and most of determining if someone was more or less useful to an MD is simply how much the MD liked them?

Mar 23, 2014

Great stuff. I haven't worked a day on Wall Street yet but I'll be going into a MSF program hoping I can land a Wall Street gig. This definitely helps set the stage for steps that I should be taking once I start the job. If I am to understand previous posts and comments correctly, the best way to impress your "targeted" MD or MDs is to present high quality work and have a positive attitude at all times?

In terms of interacting with others in the office, I'm guessing you just have to be socially intelligent and rarely say no if they ask to go grab coffee, drinks or lunch? Sorry if this comes off as being ignorant but having never worked in IBD, I'm trying to get a picture of the landscape and the social expectations.

Mar 23, 2014

"The best way to impress your "targeted" MD or MDs is to present high quality work and have a positive attitude at all times?"

We are highlighting the MDs part to be clear (due to correct commenter above us) but in a sentence yes that is it however... A positive attitude is just one piece

"Does he like you as a person"

A positive attitude is so important because no one likes hanging out with a boring guy/girl with aspengers. No one likes to invite the angry person out for a drink. No one enjoys hanging out with a complainer. Plain and simple, it is incredibly easy to get bitter and give up.

The getting coffee piece was just an example, strongly suggest reading the example section one more time because note we suggest only asking a higher up if he "wants coffee" when he is in a good mood. If you do this on your first day (no trust or performance characteristics built up) or when he is in a bad mood he is going to tell you to take a hike and actually you will be negatively associating yourself with him.

We put a ton of effort into this post because we are basically trying to teach "people skills on the sell side" in a single post. An impossible task.

Apr 16, 2014

deleted

Mar 24, 2014
ValueBanker14:

Great stuff. I haven't worked a day on Wall Street yet but I'll be going into a MSF program hoping I can land a Wall Street gig. This definitely helps set the stage for steps that I should be taking once I start the job. If I am to understand previous posts and comments correctly, the best way to impress your "targeted" MD or MDs is to present high quality work and have a positive attitude at all times?

In terms of interacting with others in the office, I'm guessing you just have to be socially intelligent and rarely say no if they ask to go grab coffee, drinks or lunch? Sorry if this comes off as being ignorant but having never worked in IBD, I'm trying to get a picture of the landscape and the social expectations.

good god listen to yourself

    • 1
    • 1
Mar 24, 2014

What if you get called out on a "mistake" that wasn't yours? I once got into an argument with a VP who's very important and all around liked at my firm about a template I used for an analysis. She wanted me to redo the whole thing because she incorrectly assumed something was wrong just because the formatting was slightly different from what she was used to.

I tried to gently point out that all the formulas and calculations are the same but she wouldn't even take a look at it and in the end it escalated to an argument as I didn't want to spend hours redoing an analysis that had nothing wrong with it.

Few weeks later I got a pretty negative performance review and I know that it was because of her. I wouldn't say I ruined my political positioning as I'm still generally liked by the MDs but this was definitely very damaging.

So should I have done something differently? Even if I was being accused of a mistake that wasn't there, should I have pretended that the VP was right? I just felt like it was a lose-lose situation at the moment. Either 1.) I swallow my pride and just do what she says risking making the impression that I'm prone to mistakes (even if I hadn't) or 2.) Come off as defensive and argumentative

I ended up having to redo the analysis anyway so probably would have been better just to not argue.. But I had stayed late making this analysis and to be asked to redo it in the morning for just no reason.. I just snapped

    • 1
Mar 28, 2014
bkzen:

What if you get called out on a "mistake" that wasn't yours? I once got into an argument with a VP who's very important and all around liked at my firm about a template I used for an analysis. She wanted me to redo the whole thing because she incorrectly assumed something was wrong just because the formatting was slightly different from what she was used to.

I tried to gently point out that all the formulas and calculations are the same but she wouldn't even take a look at it and in the end it escalated to an argument as I didn't want to spend hours redoing an analysis that had nothing wrong with it.

Few weeks later I got a pretty negative performance review and I know that it was because of her. I wouldn't say I ruined my political positioning as I'm still generally liked by the MDs but this was definitely very damaging.

So should I have done something differently? Even if I was being accused of a mistake that wasn't there, should I have pretended that the VP was right? I just felt like it was a lose-lose situation at the moment. Either 1.) I swallow my pride and just do what she says risking making the impression that I'm prone to mistakes (even if I hadn't) or 2.) Come off as defensive and argumentative

I ended up having to redo the analysis anyway so probably would have been better just to not argue.. But I had stayed late making this analysis and to be asked to redo it in the morning for just no reason.. I just snapped

I would be interested to hear about the OP's view on this. At what point should you stand up for your credibility over making someone like you? From what it sounds like in Bkzen's situation it ended up working to their disadvantage, do you think there could have been a diplomatic alternative way to approach the situation?

Many thanks.

Mar 29, 2014

Hey WallStreetPlayboys, very helpful post. Any additional advice for someone who will be an Asset Management summer analyst?

Cheers.

Mar 24, 2014

great post. wish I read this when I started out - granted I'm in consulting but the general concept still applies

I'm currently under a boss who: 1. is not liked positively on by anyone of consequence and 2. has very little political leverage to get anything done. Recently, I've started to see that being reflected on to me.

That said, I do have relationships with key BSDs in my organization, and I also have C-suite execs at the client personally vouching for me to my partners - so I'm not in a terrible position. (And this is at a client that is really important to my company).

That said, I would never recommend being in this position. Take heed at what was written in this thread. If you work with incompetent people who have limited say in how things work, you WILL end up with NO LIFE and also RISK OF A CRAPPY BONUS. Instead of focusing on things that matter, you have to put an unnecessary amount of time watching your back, triple checking your work, fixing problems that should never have been problems, and doing all these time wasting political machinations that you will never have to do otherwise.

A lot of organizations are trying to move into a more 'meritocratic' way of working but there's usually bits and pieces that don't work that way - especially when you're dealing with 'hot' areas. So especially if you're looking to be on some cool stuff (and have a more senior role, I would recommend following at least some of the advice above just as a precautionary measure)

    • 1
Mar 24, 2014

Great post, but this applies to pretty much every industry outside of a production based role.

Mar 24, 2014

tldr

    • 1
Mar 24, 2014

What consists of "significant political damage" in IB? Could you give specific examples plz?

Mar 24, 2014

Significant political damage consists of having your intangibles ranked below the ~70% mark.

Essentially if you get 2nd tier in intangibles then you know you are close. The wrong people in the group won't be able to get very far past the median.

Overall if you're in the top quartile or quintile, it is a no brainer that you are doing it right. If you drop below this level your best bet is to start looking at what went wrong.

Bad examples include 1) not prioritizing, 2) your team no longer cares if you are recruiting and 3) there is no personal relationship between you and the higher ups.

#2 is a bit subjective, but essentially if you' re looking to hop banks and word gets around... They should be asking you to stay. If not... Well you know it is time to leave.

---

Regarding being thrown under the bus. There is limited ways to deflect this. The best possible thing you can do is live by this motto:

"If I touch it the whole project is my responsibility"

If you are an associate working under a poor VP, it is your job to check the work of the VP if you know he/she is going to throw you under the bus.

---
Yes politics matter more for areas where there is no $$$s associated with your name. That is exactly why we reiterated "follow the money".

Even in IBD if you work under the "rainmaker" you are basically under the "performing" group. Same applies across all industries.

In fact this even applies to the buyside, if you are supporting a PM/Analyst and your piece of the portfolio does well. You will be paid well. If it does badly... You will also be paid badly.

---

Final note, politics are so important that if you get ranked at the top politically, but you get a median score for performance. We suggest you stay. You should 1) put in more face time, 2) quadruple check your work, 3) increase speed of processing the work.

You can recover from that type of review.

If you're ranked below the median in either segment, that's a tough tough situation and we would leave. (Opinion) we would also leave if you got a median review in both performance and attitude.

"It never pays to be average"

Mar 24, 2014

Would you agree that politics matters a lot more in sales then trading? I always figured trading was more of a true meritocracy where the pnl speaks for itself and less about politics.

Mar 24, 2014

Absolutely genius my friend. Well written.
SB for you.

Mar 24, 2014

I've never even worked on Wall Street (yet) and can tell this is gold. Great post, I enjoyed reading all of it and will definitely keep it in mind as I move forward in my pursuit of a career.

-- reaper

Mar 24, 2014

Tl;dr: you need a rabbi to succeed.

Mar 24, 2014

Dick, will you be my rabbi please?

Mar 25, 2014
MissMoneyPenny:

Dick, will you be my rabbi please?

No, it needs to be someone in your firm, like Lew Glucksman was for me.

Mar 24, 2014

No need for a Rabbi. You really just need to be certain you have strong social skills.

If you're the guy who got a 4.0, 7 internships... but you are extremely introverted... You're going to struggle and will not be in the position for a promotion. (Always exceptions). You will likely get ranked at the top performance wise and get mediocre attitude assessments at best. Again, if you are not a likable cool person... It's going to mean more hours, more face time and likely less pay. (Pi-day sums it up pretty well, more work less pay less options)

The real person to fear within your associate/analyst class is the guy/girl who is somehow able to be part of a frat/sorority and maintains great grades and networks like a champ.

Bet on that guy/girl 100 times out of 100.

    • 3
Mar 25, 2014

Brilliant post OP. Plan on using this mindset for whenever I'm fortunate enough to land an ER position.

Mar 25, 2014

Great post, very informative and thorough! Thanks

Mar 26, 2014

SB for you

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."

-Warren Buffett

Mar 26, 2014
WallStreetPlayboys:

We're making a rather large jump now we assume you know how to do work without making major errors. Please note this post is NOT saying you can turn in work that is subpar. The point is that anyone can do the entry level job. If you went to MIT and got a 4.0 or you went to a Non-Target and got a 4.0 we're pretty sure you can copy paste numbers into an excel sheet without making mistakes. If there are major errors in your work you also won't get ranked at the top, but lets be honest, it is not incredibly difficult to make a price volume chart, spread a comp table or update a merger model.

Yes, this is so true. Managing politics also allows you to work less hours.

One thing I add is start saying no to some VPs (and MD - if your team is structured in such a way that you get orders directly from the MD). At some point, you have to say no, I have too many on my plate and can't take any more on.

Also think about it this way. If you are working 120 hours a week, you are doing 3 people's work (40 hours per person). How much are you getting paid? Are you getting paid 3 times your friends who went into corporate and do 40 hours a week?

Mar 26, 2014

Astute observation. Exactly the point.

If it takes 25 hours of work per MD and 3 are great and 1 is horrible.

Slowly decrease your workload on the fourth MD by making him think you're just "okay".

Now you work closer to 80 hours, less work, more pay, zero damage to your career.

Mar 26, 2014

Great -actual- interview question -not on Wall Street necessarily but in line with it.

"Give me an example of when you have had to play [office politics] , how you did it, and when you have had to stop it."

-From NetJets CEO Interview

Mar 28, 2014

Interesting post

Mar 30, 2014

Extremely useful post. I've just started as an Investment Banking Analyst and was wondering if there are any good books you recommend on this topic, such as, "How to win friends and influence people". Thanks

Mar 30, 2014

Believe all the remaining questions are answered already in the comments

1) if you get bus'd it's 100% your job to check a VP's work or associate's work if possible. Why? There is always one a**hole on the team who will throw you under if it is going to impact his performance review. So there is minimal you can do to prevent this.

This is why politics are extremely important, you need the extra time to focus on the groups that matter and ignore the poor directors/MD's

2) Asset Management summer analyst is not too difficult. The goal there is to simply grind for everyone and anyone, you are only there for 10 weeks so simply kill yourself to make sure you get an offer.

No offer = no leverage and red flag during interview/recruiting process. With an offer = much easier to sell and upside to a different firm come fall.

3) no books on politics that we're aware of. To be perfectly candid, each point in here could be a full chapter.

Beating a dead horse here but you mess up politics your career is basically going sideways and all your effort is wasted.

Thinking of a "good analyst/associate" versus "bad analyst/associate" post as well for the performance side.

Just remember with no politics your performance doesn't matter.

    • 2
Mar 31, 2014

SB. thanks.

Mar 31, 2014

This is, by far, the best advice post I've ever read on WSO and should be required for everyone that is starting a job anywhere.

May 7, 2014

This is great info. I will be reading this multiple times before I start in S&T Goal is to eventually get to ER at the firm but regardless from day 1 i will be making it a point to build strong rapport with everybody, especially the head honchos

May 7, 2014

Sage advice.

May 7, 2014

...

May 7, 2014

great read, thanks for sharing.

Gie Hannesson

May 8, 2014

Spend more time honing your skills, less time worrying about "Shark Tank."

May 8, 2014

very good post. HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend reading How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Dec 23, 2014

For what it is worth, we realize the FIG post has the most SBs (for 2014) but this is the most important post we wrote in 2014.

If you end up working on the sell side (most reading this forum will to start out) you need to listen to the advice on here.

You will be asked point blank what you were ranked during HF/PE recruiting and you want to say "top bucket"

Good luck in 2015!!

Dec 24, 2014

First, great post, SB. Second, I've never been so glad in my life to not be an analyst.

Dec 24, 2014

hahah this is very good advice, in the future, if I ever work at an institutionalized place, I will definitely be doing this!

Dec 25, 2014

I read this prior to my internship, and implemented what I could during the summer. Very true but difficult to implement as you will rub people the wrong way when choosing who to slow down for. Interestingly enough, trying too hard will also get you labeled negatively (kissing a55) and I still have no idea how to properly/perfectly navigate.

The interview process isn't geared towards finding people who are well versed in office politics. Technical and "Why Finance" questions are like the hurdle rates of PE investments, they're just a bare minimum.

Incoming Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master
Literally a problem, solve for both X and Y, please and thank you.
Hugh Myron: "Are there any guides on here for getting a top girlfriend? Think banker/lawyer/doctor. I really don't want to go mid-tier"

Dec 26, 2014
Red3:

I read this prior to my internship, and implemented what I could during the summer. Very true but difficult to implement as you will rub people the wrong way when choosing who to slow down for. Interestingly enough, trying too hard will also get you labeled negatively (kissing a55) and I still have no idea how to properly/perfectly navigate.

The interview process isn't geared towards finding people who are well versed in office politics. Technical and "Why Finance" questions are like the hurdle rates of PE investments, they're just a bare minimum.

We got a new young guy in our group. He basically told me that kissing ass was part of his strategy to moving up. I think there's a diff in building relationships and straight up kissing ass. What do you guys think?

Dec 27, 2014

@Stripstrapoption landed on Dick Fuld's signature with a few well-aimed smooches.

"I wasn't joking about dick Fuld being my idol. I look up to the guy and ask myself how he would act in my situation. Hopefully he won't think I'm a bitch if he sees this thread" -Stripstrapoption

Incoming Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master
Literally a problem, solve for both X and Y, please and thank you.
Hugh Myron: "Are there any guides on here for getting a top girlfriend? Think banker/lawyer/doctor. I really don't want to go mid-tier"

Dec 30, 2014

Ha. Very true.

You can be given the blueprint... But no one can execute for you.

It's a slippery slope indeed. #SellSideProblems

Another reason to jump to a HF/PE shop

Dec 26, 2014

I feel like this post should be titled "The Game of Thrones"

Dec 26, 2014

All I know is that I am going to use the phrase "EXTREMELY Important Thread" in the title of the next thread that I author.

Oct 15, 2016

noting

Oct 15, 2016

Discretely print your sent emails about this and keep a record of everything in the event you get thrown under the bus. SUPRISE: You're the fall guy. Actually, he's probably been throwing you under the bus for a while, you just don't know about it. Your boss is likely angling for another "promotion" or transfer, and will lay blame for everything on you. You are guilty by association. Your only hope is that someone else sees your potential and hires you away, but your boss is able to cock block you so you'd do best to hit up the recruiters. Today. Get out now.

My boss was like this at my first job and is now unemployed. I left ASAP. My current supervisor is increasingly like this, and I'm actively looking for an out.

Don't try to fix a dysfunctional company, it's not your problem to fix and you need to focus on jumping on the next fast moving ship. You have your own problems. They are only going to blame you for everything anway. This is the nature of heirarchies when they go bad.

This is a bad relationship and you need a divorce.

Oct 15, 2016

Thanks for the advice. I completely agree with you, but can't help feeling that I'm owed a severance at the very least if the company won't address the situation. Every senior person I've spoken to (heads of banking, distribution, research) has been in agreement about the problems surrounding my boss, but he continues to be accommodated by the business because of his visibility w/ senior clients and public profile. So it's basically PR crisis control, yet they don't consider at all that I am becoming a severely disgruntled employee with extensive knowledge of egregious and embarrassing behaviour, and I'm spending my spare time reading about whistleblower protection. Without going thermonuclear, what can I do to command some respect in this organisation? You would think that decoupling the problem boss from the angry employee would be the most basic step.

Oct 15, 2016

"I am well aware of this behavior as I have been diplomatically escalating concerns to management over the past year about questionable decisions, inefficiencies, absenteeism and various compliance issues."

Absenteeism? You expressed concerns for your bosses work schedule? Looks like you are a moron/have gotten yourself stuck in some sort of BB purgatory. Good luck with that.

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

I'm talking about frequent week-long unreported absences from work, fabricated travel plans charged to work, excessive involvement in external work that conflicts with compliance & client interests, misrepresentations of position in pursuit of board seat, etc. etc. If you jump to the conclusion that I brought this on by expressing "concerns for my bosses work schedule" then you are a moron.

Oct 15, 2016

Hold the phone....you're not owed anything. Also, Cruncharoo is right, who the hell are you to try to put a senior in their place? That's how it is. Your job is to do what he tells you to. If the guy is a sinking ship and dicking you over, leave or try to find another master to serve until you EARN a promotion. If you get shitcanned you get nothing. You will not get support in "changing" anything. Finance, ESPECIALLY BBs, are heirarchical and you're fighting a losing battle. What did you think this was?

My point is that your best move is to get out, not to assume anyone cares what you think of your boss's schedule.

Whine and bitch about it and get destroyed, shut up and deal with it, or make a move. Those are your options...you have been warned.

    • 2
Oct 15, 2016

Believe me, I am well aware that the situation is stacked against me and am extremely focused on my job search. That said, if I'm going to be shafted even while keeping my head low and personally threatened because my boss is pissed off about the results of his 5-employee anonymous review for 2013, i'm not going to go down without being assertive. After all, it was you who advised me to print emails in case I get thrown under the bus.

Oct 15, 2016

Yes, protect yourself. Part of that strategy is not marching into a battle you're definitely going to lose. The guy can get you fired, ruin your reputation at the firm, refuse to give you a reference, and even contact your school if he's REALLY a dick....and then what? What have you really gained?

Hit the gym, get a few drinks, and get a good night of sleep. You're not thinking clearly.

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

Listen, I appreciate your candour and sound advice. At this point I've come to expect nothing and I'm just going to work with my head low, hoping for minimal grief until I find something else. But out of the blue, I get called in for a dressing down and stern warning because of a performance review that was meant to be anonymous and was aggregated from 5 people. I'm keen to better understand your concept of when & how to protect oneself, because I'm unaccustomed to the workplace apocalypse scene! I might be a nobody facing possible ruin, but the flip side is that my boss and the firm have a lot more to lose if the situation deteriorates beyond hope. I'm thinking if things worsen i'll either need to either i) request a meeting with the next-level manager, who is a very senior person I hardly know and try to appeal to him diplomatically for advice, ii) go to HR with an extensive account of the situation and supporting documentation, argue that situation is beyond repair through no fault on my part + I have met my obligations all year in escalating some fairly serious issues.

Oct 15, 2016

There are two distinct issues here, IMHO.

If you have observed and can document that this person was in breach of compliance rules/codes of conduct, it's your duty to report it. It's a very different kettle of fish to being a disgruntled employee with an axe to grind. If your compliance officers/HR don't act on it and you feel sufficiently strongly, threaten that you will take your evidence to the appropriate regulator. I stress that this stuff had better be ironclad, 'cause there won't be no turning back. In case you proceed this way, I'd advise you to consult with an attorney/solicitor.

If it's just a matter of being unhappy because you think your boss is an utter sh1thead, you have to grin and bear it until you're ready to leave.

My Z$2c...

Oct 15, 2016

Thank you Martinghoul. Your first scenario aptly describes my situation. My boss has become very disengaged from his day job over the past 1-2 years, brashly pursuing some external interests, and even compelling people in the team to contribute towards outside projects using some absurd rationalization. I've had numerous discussions with compliance and HR about how some of these activities have conflicted with compliance and conduct guidelines, while putting the team in a difficult position. Maybe not London Whale stuff, but clear infractions nonetheless.While no disciplinary action was taken, it seems clear to me that news of the situation went up the food chain, contributing towards my boss' former manager and other executives deciding to box him off in a diminished role. Of course from my perspective, I feel I am being punished after having spoken up about these issues. it's probably not a case of vindictiveness by the company, just nobody giving a passing thought to me as a person + management turnover allowing the problem to be passed on.

Sure life's a bitch and people lose their jobs all the time. But I wasn't even presented with the option of standard redundancy, which I might have found acceptable. Only to continue working in a vastly different role for a person I've had major issues with, or to resign on my own accord.

Oct 15, 2016

I think it's reasonably likely that your boss has been looking for another job. I suggest you should too.

Oct 15, 2016

I think that your boss might have figured out that you wrote a negative review because all the reviews were negative.

Oct 15, 2016

You stand up on your desk at 9:30am and yell out out to the bullpen "I WILL BACKSTAB YOU POLITICALLY".

    • 4
Oct 15, 2016
SanityCheck:

You stand up on your desk at 9:30am and yell out out to the bullpen "I WILL BACKSTAB YOU POLITICALLY".

HAHAH! This had me busting out laughing at my desk.

Best Response
Oct 15, 2016

Good to see that no matter how long I'm away from WSO, the social awkwardness is always still there upon my return.

    • 7
Oct 15, 2016

If you have to ask these questions, it's fair to say you're losing them.

    • 3
Oct 15, 2016

Smiling to your face and then talking poorly behind your back? Usually it's more like, "Hi buddy! How's it going? Let's get lunch. Yeah I'm there for you" and then going to your other buddy who might be more senior or in a position of power and saying, "Oh Bob? He's just great, love him, had a bit of a rough patch with his wife, he seems really emotional right now and preoccupied with that, I think it might be taking away from his work. But I'm there for you buddy, if you need anything, glad to step up to the plate.".

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

to win at office politics you need to "peacock" every day. Also no letting up, you need to send a consistent message in AND out of the office

-one night at the bar with other co-workers yell "THIS IS A BAR FIGHT" and punch the nearest douche-bag from another bank
-you need to swag out w/ your office attire - e.g. watch/shoes/MD-shirt/cufflinks/belt etc at a prestige level higher than all your other cohorts
-in your life you need: a maid, your own barber, your own tailor, and a chef, and make sure to drop each of them lightly in conversation

What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

How lightly is considered standard? Plz elaborate with example(s).

Oct 15, 2016

Watch the television show "Suits" and you will understand how finance and big law really work. It's all sex, intrigue, underhanded partners and associates teaming together to bring about a coup of MD's and partners, and violations of legal and regulatory codes (don't worry, no one ever really gets caught) but by the next week, we're all pretty cool with each other and continue working together. The real world is all very soap opera-ish. Pretty cool stuff.

    • 2
    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

Don't trust Asians. They have no backbone and will throw you under the bus.

    • 9
    • 9
Oct 15, 2016

Absolutely true. You must trust black, white, and girls.

Oct 15, 2016
vik2000:

Absolutely true. You must trust black, white, and girls.

Although I am racist against all races (as I consider myself to be a God), I found that black people tend to be more team players. Blacks will take one for the team. Whites will only do so to a certain extent (it's calculated). Asians will throw you under the bus in a heart-beat (if they eat men's best friend -dogs- and throw their own families under the bus -north-korea and north-vietnam- you can be damn sure they will throw you too),

For girls, I'm a bit ambiguous. They are highly emotional creatures. If they love you, they will take a bullet for you. If not, they can act as reliable spies in the office. But usually, if you're ok with them, they won't throw you under.

In all seriousness, the ''worst'' thing I've seen is only ''friends'' hiding vital career information/tips from other ''friends''.

    • 3
    • 8
Oct 15, 2016

Honestly? Nothing you'll have to worry about at the Analyst and Associate level. Way too much shit going on for anyone to have the time or patience for "politics".

Oct 15, 2016

The only way I've heard of politics/backstabbing at an analyst level is with the point of getting staffed on mega-deals. When that one deal comes through the door that is every analysts ticket to bonus, buy-side, and the stamp on their IB career that made their previous 2 years of suffering worth it, things can get a little racey.

However, staffers tend to be fairly keen to this so I don't know how effective backstabbing could be in that kind of situation. I'm from Texas so different culture down here I'm sure, but we tend want to help guys who are first team players and second opportunistic, not the other way around.

Oct 15, 2016

lololol

"The only thing history teaches us, a wise man once said, is that history doesn't teach us anything."

Oct 15, 2016

"For girls, I'm a bit ambiguous. They are highly emotional creatures. If they love you, they will take a bullet for you. If not, they can act as reliable spies in the office. But usually, if you're ok with them, they won't throw you under."

Most women have too much other stuff going on to think about office politics. I notice we all generally avoid it if possible. Unless it's against one of our own. Then god help you.

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

    • 4
Oct 15, 2016

The women ALL talk btw. We all talk. We talk to your assistants. We talk to your bosses. We know. We keep silent unless provoked.

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

    • 4
Oct 15, 2016

All remains in the cone of women silence.

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

    • 4
Oct 15, 2016

And we all know whose cheating on their wives.

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

    • 4
Oct 15, 2016

Trust me.. Everyone knows you talk :)

In my experience, feelings take precedence over facts in the so-called cone of silence... E.g. It's not 'i know he is cheating'; it is 'i feel he is cheating'.. It's things like this that gives rise to office politics.. And the rest is Chinese whisper history.

Lastly, you may want to admit the guy is not as dumb as you think if he can hide an affair from his very own wife.. ;)

Oct 15, 2016

And quadruple post apparently.

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

What the fuck is this thread. A better question to ask would be for the more senior people here: how receptive are you to the kind of people who try to subtly talk shit about other people?

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

You take credit for someone's work
You pass blame on to others for your errors
You question the competence of other analysts in front of seniors
You question the competence of seniors in front of rivaling seniors
Sending out all deliverables late at night so that it appears that you're putting in a lot of hours
CC seniors when highlighting the mistakes of others
Managing expectations by highlighting the complexities of your workload
Diminishing the complexities of other workloads

etc.

    • 2
Oct 15, 2016
Esuric:

You take credit for someone's workYou pass blame on to others for your errorsYou question the competence of other analysts in front of seniorsYou question the competence of seniors in front of rivaling seniorsSending out all deliverables late at night so that it appears that you're putting in a lot of hoursCC seniors when highlighting the mistakes of othersManaging expectations by highlighting the complexities of your workloadDiminishing the complexities of other workloads

etc.

You just spot-on described my associate. sigh...

Oct 15, 2016
Esuric:

You take credit for someone's workYou pass blame on to others for your errorsYou question the competence of other analysts in front of seniorsYou question the competence of seniors in front of rivaling seniorsSending out all deliverables late at night so that it appears that you're putting in a lot of hoursCC seniors when highlighting the mistakes of othersManaging expectations by highlighting the complexities of your workloadDiminishing the complexities of other workloads

etc.

Don't forget some casual swirlies in the bathroom

God I loathe people

Oct 15, 2016

I would never trust Asians and women.

And I am an Asian male.

Also, the OP is probably an awkward Asian.

    • 1
    • 3
Oct 15, 2016
snakeoil:

I would never trust Asians and women.

And I am an Asian male.

Also, the OP is probably an awkward Asian.

Give this man a Silver Banana!

Oct 15, 2016

Office politics/gossip/back stabbing is the toxic sludge of any team.
It can make or break a team and cause unnecessary friction amongst team mates.
If you think you gain "power" by being a gossip centre.... you're only thinking short term.

Oct 15, 2016

sleeping w/ staffers

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

They were probably talking about laterals. After all, what's the point in them having SA's when SA's contribute essentially zero value, take up a lot of time analysts could be using on their own work, and get paid just as much, on a pro-rated basis, as their analysts.

Oct 15, 2016

Perhaps. But they were also in the interview when the big boss told me I may be able to go FT if things work out. So that's what made me wonder if it was directed at me...

Oct 15, 2016

You realize that analyst pay is peanuts and has nothing to do with whatever VP, Associates etc etc get right?

Oct 15, 2016

Of course. That is what was weird as well since: a) they are not that high up (assoc. level), how would they think that they had any influence over the MD/hiring and b) why would they care if an analyst gets hired?

Oct 15, 2016

Lots of horrible politics where I work... Remember the last time I fainted in battle and pikachu convinced ash not to take me to the pokemon center because he made up some shit about how I sexually harassed nurse joy. Which wasn't even fucking true. She asked me if I was squirting properly and I instinctively answered "yep and you?" wtf

Oct 15, 2016

Dude, don't worry. Just do your job and try to avoid letting folks make you paranoid. Perhaps just be a little bit cautious with those associates. That's all. Regardless, if the person you work for doesn't want you to be hired full-time, there is very little you can do. So the best you can do is forget about it.

Analysts are fairly cheap. And HR usually pays for them the first year or two anyways.

Oct 15, 2016

Office politics are the worst. When I was a first year, one third year made it his duty to make me look bad come review time (from what I heard on the grapevine, he also wanted a larger bonus - but to my knowledge analyst bonuses are separated by year), and he was particularly good at sucking up with the seniors. I've learned my lesson that year. Sad thing about most of corporate America is that you need to know how to play the office politics game. Make a good impression to the guys above you, but make an even better impression to the guys above them.

Oct 15, 2016

Are the MD's generally smart enough to know what's up? Or do they rely on what the senior bankers tell them?

Oct 15, 2016

I think it depends on the MD. Some of my MDs over the summer, I thought was for sure crazy and in their own world / aren ot there half of the tie.

Oct 15, 2016

these associates are total morons if they think that the money saved by firing a few summer analysts is going to end up in their comp.

Oct 15, 2016

I totally thought this thread was going to be about people around the office not cleaning up shit in the bank kitchen.

There is some woman that I work with that is constantly bitching about people not wiping off the microwave. She isn't afraid to send out company wide emails about semi-expired food being left in the fridge either. She even made us start using name tags if/when we bring lunch into work. My response was label an old container of sauerkraut with her name and hide in the back of the fridge. That ought to teach her...

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016
Rdonahue7:

I totally thought this thread was going to be about people around the office not cleaning up shit in the bank kitchen.

There is some woman that I work with that is constantly bitching about people not wiping off the microwave. She isn't afraid to send out company wide emails about semi-expired food being left in the fridge either. She even made us start using name tags if/when we bring lunch into work. My response was label an old container of sauerkraut with her name and hide in the back of the fridge. That ought to teach her...

I thought so too. Love the idea for the food thieves/haters.

Oct 15, 2016

hot

Oct 15, 2016

Is the cooking division front/mid office? One could argue that those Ramen noodles are the fuel behind a DCF.

Oct 15, 2016
Connor:

Is the cooking division front/mid office? One could argue that those Ramen noodles are the fuel behind a DCF.

whatwhatwhat seems to be an expert, maybe we should ask him?
I can safely say though: Ramen noodles are the fuel behind all things silly.

Oct 15, 2016

This is a great post.

Keep it together and you will go far..

Oct 15, 2016
Disincentivy:

She is not incompetent despite what your little walnut-of-a-brain tells you: trust me; most women have better judgment than you do.

Now that's just sexist.

Disincentivy:

Oh, and if you've got a problem, let's take it outside.

I wasn't aware there was a kitchen outside.

-_-

Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.

Oct 15, 2016
goodL1fe:

I wasn't aware there was a kitchen outside. -_-

That automatically makes me the Master Chef - If you're not too slow, you might learn from me.

Oct 15, 2016
goodL1fe:

I wasn't aware there was a kitchen outside.

Commonly referred to as a barbecue and a hose

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art - Andy Warhol

Oct 15, 2016

anyone who needs advice on this is a complete social retard

Oct 15, 2016

Forgot to tag Whiskey

Oct 15, 2016

Sounds like OP could have this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scaAz1zcdXI

Here to learn and hopefully pass on some knowledge as well. SB if I helped.

Oct 15, 2016

Good post.

HBS gives EQ as a the prevalent indicator of success in the workplace, and women just happen to have it in spades.

Women work twice as hard to prove they belong, and unfortunately for guys, instead of that being the status quo, people are starting to notice and promote them.

Mind you, most guys should know all this already. For all their anonymous stirring on WSO, I'm hoping none of them are stupid enough to be like this in an environment where HR could potentially get involved.

Oct 15, 2016
Aimez:

Good post.
Mind you, most guys should know all this already. For all their anonymous stirring on WSO, I'm hoping none of them are stupid enough to be like this in an environment where HR could potentially get involved.

LOL, You do not have to worry about that, most of them are unemployed.

Oct 15, 2016

meeeow

"I want the last check I write to bounce."

Oct 15, 2016
Immortal1:

meeeow

For real. This kitten's got claws.

I just wish I knew if she were hot or not so I could decide if I give a shit about what she is saying.

"Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes."

Oct 15, 2016

Awesome post.

Oct 15, 2016
DrPeterVenkman:

Awesome post.

haha way to change that post...

    • 1
    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

There should be like a ghostbusters that catches women and takes them back to the kitchen.

You know you've been working too hard when you stop dreaming about bottles of champagne and hordes of naked women, and start dreaming about conditional formatting and circular references.

Oct 15, 2016

Ah. The Douche is strong with this one. Ultimately, though, there can be only one.

Bring it, bitch. I am the Douchess.

Oct 15, 2016

OP is definitely on the rag.

Oct 15, 2016
ChrisHansen:

OP is definitely on the rag.

You know this because you bumped into her at the tampon dispenser.

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016

Why do I get the feeling many women in banking act extra bitchy just because they feel like they need to compensate for something, lol. Half the posts by women on WSO have this air of just trying too hard to be tough and bitchy. I mean come on, I don't see any guys saying omg totally men have better judgement than women; the funny thing is it's always a women that has to say it. Walnut brain is nice though, but I was hoping for something just as condescending and bitchy but slightly more original.

Dis it really looks like you got some anger / hunger / menstrual issues to deal with here...I mean multiple sweeping generalizations about males isn't exactly furthering your position here.

But some good advice though.

Oct 15, 2016
Nabooru:

Why do I get the feeling many women in banking act extra bitchy just because they feel like they need to compensate for something

Have you ever questioned your feelings? Maybe they are just extra bitchy by nature? Is it just women in banking or do you have similar experiences with women in other fields? What could it be that they are trying to compensate for? I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on that.

Nabooru:

lol. Half the posts by women on WSO have this air of just trying too hard to be tough and bitchy. I mean come on, I don't see any guys saying omg totally men have better judgement than women; the funny thing is it's always a women that has to say it.

You haven't seen any guys on here passing judgment on women in the industry? You never read a post on here saying that women don't make good bankers because they are emotional and incompetent? Now that's awkward. I would ask you to go read all CornellBanker's previous posts, but I believe some guys gave him shit for them so they had to be taken down.

Nabooru:

Dis it really looks like you got some anger / hunger / menstrual issues to deal with here...I mean multiple sweeping generalizations about males isn't exactly furthering your position here.

I could go off on how your comprehension skills are not really that great if you took my post as "multiple sweeping generalizations" partly because I am addressing a very specific type of men "scared, little boys" (refer to paragraph right before the 5 points) and partly because you missed the whole point. But then again, this is not my style.

I am not sure, Nabooru, what position you think I am aiming to further here, but thanks for the advice. I will go eat, kill a cat, and pop a midol to get over my womanliness.

Nabooru:

But some good advice though.

Glad I could help

Oct 15, 2016

I'm simply sick of us, males, having to treat women as if they're retarded. Kick'em in the nuts, just as you do to the other guys that stand in your path to success (i.e. competition)! Yet if we do, they call foul! If we don't, they ride and stomp all over us and excitedly claim how women can beat men at anything. wtf?

Girls will never get it, but bitching about something won't help. Neither will thinking that ALL MEN are bad will get you any where. Grow-the-f***-up. You're not a tween anymore (if you're a "belieber", you ought to be shot).

If you want equality, start by acting and thinking with equality!

And honestly, why do all of you fellas (ok, most of you) accept the notion that a woman automatically knows more about fashion/has better taste than a guy? not true.

Greed is Good.

Oct 15, 2016

Konig, did you mean to post this to this thread or was it an accident?
Tweens, Bliebers, and Equality - Yeah sounds like it's an accidental post.

Oct 15, 2016
Disincentivy:

Konig, did you mean to post this to this thread or was it an accident?
Tweens, Bliebers, and Equality - Yeah sounds like it's an accidental post.

lol stop trying to be what you're not. You're weak, you want to hide behind that ultimate finance-shield-of-power! but in the very end, you're still a weak person.

You want to be treated with respect in this industry but address the majority (the men) as if ALL of them are self-serving morons. Way to go!

P.S. the twitter/beiber comment was supposed to hint at your child-like behavior. Grow up and grow a pair.

Greed is Good.

Oct 15, 2016

So to summarize, I am weak, need to grow up and I am hiding behind a shield. Got it, will start working on that ASAP.

To continue with the summary theme: You need to read the original post, you need to put more effort into understanding the original post.

But thanks for the eye opening revelations, Konig.

Oct 15, 2016

What if number 5 doesn't apply?

Oct 15, 2016
sanjose04:

What if number 5 doesn't apply?

You mean she's better than you?
Oh wait, I assume you mean the opposite: You are way more qualified than her, right? In this case, kick her in the nuts and kill her Orchids.

Oct 15, 2016

"She is probably so comfortable expressing her feelings (laaaaaaame) that she has no problem telling HR about your crude jokes and sexual innuendos."

What? This isn't really being comfortable with feelings. It's called being a tattle-tale.

Unless you're talking about weird stuff TOWARD that girl. That I understand.

Oct 15, 2016

There are a lot of Harvard MBAs who are now housewives. Less than half of women are still working full-time 10 years after an MBA.

For every woman who takes up a spot at a prestigious firm/business school only to scale back and have children later, there is a man who would have used that opportunity, working like a dog every day of his life until the day his heart exploded inside his chest. Instead, 5 men were denied spots, so that 1 woman might make it to Partner/C-level while the other 4 might take part-time jobs and use their MBA to spend their mornings spoon-feeding their babies Gerber.

I don't care how smart or driven they are, until society/biology changes, women will drop out at high rates to have families.

Most people (men and women alike) would be happier if most women stuck to nursing, teaching, and bearing children.

    • 1
Oct 15, 2016
expenseaccounts:

I don't care how smart or driven they are, until society/biology changes, women will drop out at high rates to have families.

Most people (men and women alike) would be happier if most women stuck to nursing, teaching, and bearing children.

And you know that because you are most men and women? You know that because that's what you grew up to? Oh, and society changes when people who think like you cease to exist.

Oct 15, 2016

"Oh and if you've got a problem, lets take it outside." -Look tootz, I'm glad you can talk a big game but you are going in the face of science here...I don't think you want to be picking physical fights with males. Refer to bus driver in Cleveland video. Also, if you (women) want to be treated normally in the workplace you need to cut out all the "woah is me" garbage.

Oct 15, 2016
cheese86:

"Oh and if you've got a problem, lets take it outside." -Look tootz, I'm glad you can talk a big game but you are going in the face of science here...I don't think you want to be picking physical fights with males. Refer to bus driver in Cleveland video. Also, if you (women) want to be treated normally in the workplace you need to cut out all the "woah is me" garbage.

lmao.

Oct 15, 2016

No problem with any of this post except the part about asking women for advice on style/clothes. very bad idea...most women know as little about men's clothing as a guy does about dresses. Learn to dress yourself.

Oct 15, 2016

Lots.

Keep your head down, stay quiet, never show anger no matter how unfair something seems, and never ally yourself with the malcontents, even if you're secretly a malcontent yourself.

Oct 15, 2016

depends on the group and the staffer

Oct 15, 2016

Can you please elaborate?

Oct 15, 2016

Most r democratics from wat i saw

Oct 15, 2016

KISS.LOTS.OF.ASS and be good at what you do

Oct 15, 2016
UFOinsider:

KISS.LOTS.OF.ASS and be good at what you do

That

Oct 15, 2016

first know whose keister ya gotta kiss, THEN do the above.

Oct 15, 2016

Great On the Job is pretty solid, with practical advice.

Oct 15, 2016

oops, wrong thread

Oct 15, 2016
Oct 15, 2016
Oct 15, 2016
Oct 15, 2016
Oct 15, 2016