What do you tell people you work as?

To be more clear do you guys say "I'm in banking", "I'm and Investment Banker", "I'm an analyst"? or "I'm an analyst at MS."

What's your go to?

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Jul 12, 2019 - 2:44pm

Also a scene in Billions where Bobby is mocking the younger version of himself when he met a girl (his future wife). And he says "I work in finance" sounding as awkward and mouthbreather-like as possible.

Banking sounds more like an actual job, finance is weird to me because everyone else says their job not their industry. A teacher says she's a teacher, not "I work in education."

Jul 12, 2019 - 4:17pm

Exactly this. I tell my outside family members I work in banking and they still think in terms of retail banking like in the commercials or movies.

Contra omnes dissident
Jul 9, 2019 - 4:44pm

He's an importer exporter

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.
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Jul 9, 2019 - 8:20pm

Oh yeah I know that life - I interned at a cable company and I just got so tired of telling people "oh no, I work at corporate I don't work at the call center / I'm not a technician" I started letting people believe whatever they wanted

Edit: also, telling people you work at a cable company 90% of the time got me an angry response about their bill being too high / bad customer service / some random problem they had and I just started saying "sorry, that's not my department"

Jul 9, 2019 - 7:39pm

Depends on where I am and who it is..

Most people/not industry:
I buy, sell and grow eCommerce companies.

I own a small private equity firm with a focus on DNVBs and eCommerce that does everything from distressed buyouts to growth/venture.

If you're in investment banking and trying to explain what you do to like...your gf's mom with room temp IQ then I think it's easier to tell people that you help companies raise capital, sell themselves or buy other companies. It doesn't come across as pretentious that way and sounds straightforward. Can't really expect anyone to know what an investment banker is.

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Jul 9, 2019 - 9:30pm

Honestly saying investment banker will confuse people since they think investments. Mergers and acquisitions is pretty direct and doesn't come across as pretentious. 'I do corporate mergers and acquisitions' I think I've said to someone before and they understood

Jul 11, 2019 - 11:51am

Could just use analogies..

fundraiser for companies instead of charities

realtor for companies instead of houses

house flipper for companies instead of houses etc

Jul 10, 2019 - 10:40am

Yeah, I was looking for a way to say it to my FOB the boat uncle or when I go on dates. I'd say the best way is "i work in finance" and if they want more detail tell them how I work in murders and executions

Jul 9, 2019 - 11:54pm

I usually say investment banking. I had to say construction for a while and got a lot of slow nods w/ grimaces, sometimes accompanied by an "mmm, yeah, that's tough" that I'm comfortable saying that I have a good job. I even had one guy, a former high school teacher, say "yeah, that's the best that some ppl can do." Meanwhile, he's still teaching 10th grade English. If ppl ask me to explain what I do, I just say that investment bankers are like investment advisers to companies.

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done

Jul 17, 2019 - 1:39am

Na. Knowing more about grammar than 15 year olds is the best that some ppl can do, and there's nothing wrong w/ that.

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done

Jul 10, 2019 - 10:42am

"I throw money at startups. Think of Shark Tank without the TV show"

Check out my blog EjAhead.wordpress.com
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Jul 10, 2019 - 10:45am

Finance. It's the equivalent of saying "I work in medicine". If people know or care then you can tell what job role in what specialty, but 99% of the time you really don't care....and 99% of the time people don't care or know what different jobs in finance there are.

Get busy living
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Jul 10, 2019 - 10:54am

Investment fund. Says more than banking since most people assume a bank teller job

Jul 10, 2019 - 10:58am

For IBD M&A, people usually get it if you say "I'm like a real estate agent except instead of houses, we help buy/sell entire companies. Ever seen that graphic where a few corporations rule every mainstream brand? Yeah it's because of us." That usually sparks interesting convo

Check out my blog EjAhead.wordpress.com
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Jul 10, 2019 - 11:04am

I used to just say that I work in trading .. But I stopped that for 2 reasons .. First, it would often illicit follow up questions where people asked me to analyze their Fidelity account, get my thoughts on some penny stock, or if I thought their guy at Edward Jones was bum.

The second reason was because some branches of the extended family, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, would get downright hostile with me.... It was "guys like me" who were keeping the working man from getting ahead.

Now I just say finance.

Jul 10, 2019 - 6:12pm

At first I would say "I work in banking" or "I work in finance", which would lead to follow up questions like "What do you think of mutual funds vs ETFs? Do you think I should buy gold? What will the Fed do?"

Now I just say "I work at a bank." People assume I'm a bank teller. No follow up questions ever.

"He was an idiot! He was a bouncer who got his Series 7" - Josh Brown
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Jul 11, 2019 - 1:21pm

"Analyst at a bank downtown" is my typical answer. Usually suffices, since analyst indicates I'm not a teller and people typically won't ask me more. "Finance" is also good.

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Jul 13, 2019 - 4:39pm


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Jul 11, 2019 - 9:42pm

I'll normally say "finance". I try not to elaborate unless the person is genuinely interested - you never know how some individuals will react and some seem to have a deep hatred/ get triggered by those anywhere near "finance"...

Situations like this can happen - talking with a girl I met at a mutual friends place while working in consulting.

Asks me what I do and we have the following exchange...

Me: I'm a management consultant

Her: what kind of "consulting" to you do?

Me: I help asset managers, insurers, banks make strategic decisions, enter new markets, blah x3. (i guess she just hears "finance")

Her: LOL seriously? you work with "those" people. that's unreal.

Me: not sure what you mean? yes, exec at those companies are my clients

Her: they're immoral charlatans. Do you think it's cool that those finance guys exploit poor people and minorities? is that the "strategy" you to make for them?

Me: a lot of my colleagues come from that industry as well - I actually find the people to be great and I think the work is really interesting.

Her: that's funny. whatever helps you sleep at night.

Me: ... (awkward look at her, shoot a glance at a friend who gives me the raised eyebrows, "she's nuts", kind of look, walk away to get another beer/eject from the convo.)

Jul 20, 2019 - 5:05pm

Usually start with commercial real estate. If they push further say the financing side of it. Find most people judge if you start with finance or banking

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