This is the kind of BS that MDs absolutely LOVE to tell themselves: "I am hardworking and tough, sure, but I'm also really fair and I let people have lives when they tell me about it. This would never be my analyst."
I've seen the latest sad news posted in this forum, and I've felt the need to comment again. Unfortunately, these are well publicised stories, but I've seen it happen too many times in my career.
As some of you know, I'm an M&A MD in my mid 30s and have effectively worked my entire career in investment banking since I was a first year analyst, so I think I have a good perspective on workload issues. I also consider myself one of the hardest working people in the industry, so I approach these issues from the perspective of a tough SOB, but I will give some advice that I hope will help some people.
1. The work always gets done.
I mean the real important work of giving the client the right advice. My job as an MD is to deliver that advice, and while i rely heavily on the analysis and presentation work that you do as analysts and associates, I'm experienced enough to do my job without perfect presentations or analysis. So rather than drive yourself to exhaustion creating the perfect work product, discuss with me (or whoever your MD is) how most efficiently to use the time that we have.
2. Exhausted junior people are not useful junior people.
Go home, get some sleep, take the weekend off. Never let yourself burn out or let us burn you out. Raise your hand when you need a break. We do complicated and challenging work, and it gets done badly when you're exhausted.
3. Plan, coordinate and communicate.
Good reviews are not about how many hours you work, it's about how well you communicate with your deal team and coordinate work. The best people I've worked with were responsive, creative, efficient and communicative, not grunts.
4. Never equate your personal self esteem with your professional success.
I've been laid off, I've been passed over for promotion, and was able to bounce back up even higher because I never took it personally or felt it was a reflection on me. This industry is equally exhilarating and cruel but you have to detach yourself personally from the successes and failures
5. Don't miss the big ones.
Weddings, family events, etc. I never understood why someone would miss a big personal event for work. There are always better solutions.
6. Your family, friends and partners are very important.
Don't take them for granted.
7. Sometimes, it's just not worth it.
If you're unappy at work and it persists, find another job or something else to do. There are many paths to happiness and professional success, and there's no reason to make yourself miserable.
This isn't the 1980s. The industry is a kinder, gentler place and that's a good thing, If there's a problem, there are a lot of resources that can help.
9. Don't forget how much we rely on you.
I was discussing last weekend with another senior MD how valuable a good junior team member is. You have leverage. Use it carefully when you need to.
Hope this gives some perspective.