Who on here hates their job? (srs)

hey everyone, got into a pretty interesting discussion with a friend this week and it kinda opened my eyes a bit. he is in a good place but was sharing a lot about his contemporaries in law, medicine, and consulting who all hate their jobs despite making great incomes. that reminded me of what I've been seeing around the forums and several analysts sharing what I can only describe as indentured servitude and the misery that comes from that. I'm debating writing a long form post on how to think about this (job choice, career reset, etc.) to help out but candidly I never thought it was needed until I had those conversations.

So I ask you this, do you hate your job? If so, why?

also would be helpful if you included your industry and seniority

finally, would you even be interested in a long form post addressing this specific issue? if not, won't hurt my feelings, give it to me straight

throwing out a few tags to get the conversation going

Malta DickFuld Lloyd BIankfein Layne Staley InfoDominatrix Synergy_or_Syzygy  CuriousCharacter hungaroe BoBandy Elite_Bulge 

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Comments (129)

Mar 26, 2021 - 11:25am

I think this would be a fascinating discussion. I've always been interested to hear how people describe their jobs and careers. There is a huge difference between "I love my job" and "I am very willing to tolerate my job under a set of conditions." Almost everyone I know in the deal community is the latter - the downsides (the actual, real, pen-to-paper work, along with the hours and the personalities) are outweighed by the upsides (obviously the pay, status in the community, connection to transactions that you think are 'important,' the power that comes from telling staff what to do, etc.). Because the balance is in their favor, they willingly (and even happily) continue to pursue the career. But it's not because they actually like the work.

Some number of years ago, I talked with a guy in his 40s who was in the prime of his medical career. His specialty? Urology. Men's urology. So I had to ask him "hey man... why?" And he laughed and said "well it's not because I like looking at dicks all day." Turns out the reason he gravitated toward men's urology is that for the most part, when he sees patients, they have an acute issue that's fixable and not life-threatening, so he can solve their problem and send them along out the door. That, for him, was the fulfilling feeling he was chasing (and one that's fairly rare in medicine at large), so he didn't mind all the dicks if it meant that was the impact he got to have on his patients.

To answer the prompt - VP at a merchant bank, so some direct investing and some buy-side advisory. I love finding, evaluating, and investing in businesses. I hate the deal process. You'd think that since 90% of my time is being engaged in the deal process, I would hate my job - but for me, it depends. I really don't enjoy the advisory work. Doing deals sucks, and it's only worth it if at the end you get to be an owner (or part owner) in a business that you can guide and you think is going to be successful. The idea of doing all the work that's the shitty part and then getting paid a fee and walking away at the end is just awful. But if I'm the principal, then it's a completely different reason for wading through the shitty parts and an end goal that I really enjoy.

If I worked in transaction advisory services at a Big 4 I think I'd kill myself.

Also, obviously yes, more brofessor longforms please.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
  • 4
  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Mar 26, 2021 - 3:37pm

If I worked in transaction advisory services at a Big 4 I think I'd kill myself.

Work in TAS, can confirm.

Mar 26, 2021 - 11:42pm

Layne Staley

....and the personalities) are outweighed by the upsides ....

HOLD UP. HOLD UP.              They are the personalities... If you're in a group of people made up of other people, and the majority of that group of people says they hate the people in their group of people, there's a chance some of them hate themselves, or you just happen to be talking to the outliers.

Per Layne's response, the question you're searching for might be "why do you hate your job"

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Mar 26, 2021 - 12:44pm

I'm in a mid level client facing role in tech and I don't like it.

I'm reasonably introverted, so after a full day of work I am *fried* and don't want to do anything.

The shift to video calling has made things significantly worse.

Also, I'm pale, male and (verging on) stale, with pretty centrist political views, which in tech land means I must always smile & never speak...

But truthfully?

I would probably dislike any job, maybe apart from being a billionaire speculator who answers to no one a la George Soros.

The people I know who are happy at work are just generally happy, and they would probably find a way to be happy digging ditches everyday.

Do the long form post, I'm sure lots of people will find it valuable.

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Mar 26, 2021 - 2:59pm

I'm lazy

I'm sarcastic

I'm impulsive

I'm impatient

I'm jaded

I'm bitter

I'm misanthropic

I'm a dilettante

I have ADHD (legitimately)

I have utter contempt for authority

I can't stand details

On the big five personality factor test, I get the highest possible score on openness and neuroticism, the lowest possible on agreeableness and conscientiousness, and right in the middle for extraversion.

If you're into the MBTI, I'm an INTP.

  • 5
  • Intern in HF - Other
Mar 26, 2021 - 4:10pm

Can relate a lot to this post. Started my career off in an entry level client facing role at a tech company (think Oracle/Salesforce/Workday) after declining a FT IB offer and hated it. I genuinely believe that most people that work in tech would join cults under certain circumstances and believe that a fair amount of tech companies exhibit cult like behavior. At the tech company I worked for nobody was willing to objectively look at anything and our product was the best product in the world no questions asked. If Amazon put out a similar product that was cheaper, faster, and more widely adopted than our product then those that dare give them business didn't understand our value proposition. Nobody was willing to consider or even think maybe our way of doing business was incredibly antiquated and the product we offered cost 10x as much offering no incremental value to consumers. Every time I would try to get people to look at things objectively or play devils advocate you would have thought I'd taken a piss on the alter at St. Peter's Cathedral in front of a room full of people. 

Did another consulting project during UG with a tech company in the semiconductor space (think Intel/AMD/Broadcom). The company wanted us conduct a market analysis for a project they were adopting of creating an Apple TV competitor. The device did all of the same things as the Apple TV, offered worse specs, and cost the same as an Apple TV. That wasn't even the best part. Not only did they expect to be able to take on Apple but they didn't advertise this product at all anywhere. In other words no analysis had to be done to see that this was an awful product that wasn't selling for pretty obvious reasons. The people that worked for that company though acted like they were releasing an iPhone type product to consumers in 2006 and thought it would be a smashing success. 

Through these two experiences and all of the people I know I'm convinced that everyone who works at a tech company just blindly believes that they're the best and changing the world. 

Mar 29, 2021 - 8:54pm

Oracle Cloud is free forever, AWS is only free for a year. For their micro compute services. Set up my DNS level ad blocker on oracle. The second they bill me a penny I'm taking it down though. 
 

I'd agree with that though. Plenty of people have shit startup ideas and act like they're a divine being who walks a higher path. It does get old. 

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
  • Intern in HF - Other
Mar 27, 2021 - 11:05pm

Not sure if you replied to me based on the flow chart lines on the side but I'm just going to respond anyways. I did tech sales and I have no shame. 

In short, I did IB for a 2nd summer (finally made it to a BB from my non target) and came to the realization about halfway through the summer that it wasn't where I wanted to be anymore. I started off at a MM bank and worked at a local boutique bank during the school year prior to joining the BB. I enjoyed working with the people at both of those places but I wanted to work on bigger deals and told myself that the transactions I'd be working on at the BB would be exponentially more interesting than the work I was doing at the MM and Boutique. Once I came to the realization that this wasn't necessarily the case I began to question why I pursued IB in the first place. What I concluded was that my pursuit of a career in IB was largely based on others views of what constitutes success rather than my own. When the internship concluded I got the FT offer and immediately declined it going into my last semester of school (graduated a semester early).

Heading into my last semester I began thinking about what it was that I wanted to do with my career and whether finance was the right path for me moving forward. After a lot of reflection I determined that my decision to study finance was not a mistake and the reason I majored in finance is because I wanted to be an investor. Once I graduated in December I moved across the country and moved in with family who live 45 minutes outside NYC. I proceeded to pound the pavement for 8 months and was able to get some traction during that time landing about a dozen interviews at reputable firms. At each of the firms I interviewed at I was consistently making it to the final round but kept getting beat out by candidates with prior investing experience or ER/IB analysts with 2-3 years more experience than me. I kept grinding but after a while couldn't get anymore traction going and had more or less done everything I could have done within my control. While I was doing all of this a recruiter from the tech company I worked at reached out and I just decided to go through the process to get an offer that I'd accept in a worse case scenario (didn't want to have to swallow my pride and move in with my parents). I ended up getting the offer after a few rounds of interviews and accepted it. The job didn't start for 2 months so I had 60 days to try to make something happen in NYC and I had no problem reneging if I got an offer from somewhere else since I never planned to have a career in tech. Over the next 2 months I didn't get much traction and got offered a couple of BO/MO jobs at BB's in S&T but I declined them to pursue the tech sales opportunity. Being an introverted person I wanted to force myself into a role where I was uncomfortable and where I could improve my presentation skills which was a major weakness of mine before heading back to business school to re-recruit for finance jobs. Given that the hours at my job in tech were light in comparison to IB I was able to study for the CFA, GRE, pursue things that interested me, and actively manage my PA with no restrictions (outside of my companies stock) in my free time. 

At the time COVID had shut everything down I was approaching a year at the tech company and was looking to leave as quickly as possible. I really liked all of the analysts I worked with but management made the job unbearable. Since I anticipated being in B-School during the Fall of 2020 I had to pivot from my initial plan and began looking for other jobs. I ended up landing an off cycle virtual internship at a BB in S&T through networking and quit the tech company the same day. I worked at the BB for 4 months and was applying to B-Schools towards the end of the internship. Since I now had a relevant finance internship after working in tech that I could point to and craft my story around for potential employers I began networking with people at HF's. After about a month I was lucky enough to find a fund manager who found my prior IB experience useful and was willing to give me a shot before I went back to B-School. Less than 2 weeks later I found out that I got into a masters program at target school with a big scholarship and ever since then life has been pretty good all things considered. For the first time in my professional life I'm actually enjoying what I'm doing, getting to learn from a talented investor whose genuinely interested in helping me grow, and feel like I have meaningful traction towards what I ultimately want to be doing with my life. It hasn't been the easiest path by any means and at times along the way I felt like a complete failure but I wouldn't take any of it back because it made me a stronger person. Had I gone into IB I'd have a lot more $ but I'd have been more miserable as a person and wouldn't know what its like to actually struggle. 

Mar 26, 2021 - 1:09pm

Good topic and would be great to see your longform.

I worked in IB for ~3 years and then PE for barely 3 months before recently quitting to pursue a business venture of my own. I've always dreamt of having my own business someday and PE had always seemed like this great way to work with and on businesses where my own money wasn't at risk. The goal was to gain as much operating experience while saving up money to then use both to launch my own thing. Turned out (in my case, at least) that PE was much of the same. I had hoped that "portco work" would involve some hands-on operating experience but I was wrong (or in denial, because friends did tell me that most portco work was just helping management teams clean up and present data for their decision making). It didn't help that the people at my firm didn't inspire much confidence despite being generally pleasant.

I started out at a small boutique bank on one of the coasts and then lateraled over to a large household M&A group after about a year. In the middle of that, I didn't realize how much I actually enjoyed my team and time at the smaller bank but my eyes were glossy and set on going to a large bank as leverage to have more PE options. The group at my first bank was made up of ~20 people and was actually more of an inverted pyramid where we had fewer juniors than we did MDs. What that ultimately meant is that VPs and Directors were oftentimes in the trenches with us analysts and associates and the work felt like it was being completed by the village instead of passed down and left behind by the elders. To add to that, VPs and Directors also had a better read on when the workload was becoming too heavy because it impacted them directly. The pay was lower than the standard at most established firms but not far off; I was comfortable.

My experience at the larger bank relative to the boutique was contrasted pretty heavily. Everyone shoveled work down to the analysts, which I'd expected based on WSO posts but I didn't realize how shitty it truly was until I was the junior being shoveled onto. The people at the larger bank were pretty nice on the surface but never felt genuinely "warm" if that makes sense. We all got along fine but I didn't forge (or even really maintain to the same degree) the relationships I did at my smaller bank despite being at the larger bank for a year longer. There were also more people in my group and I never felt like I had much of a chance to get to know many of them because deal teams changed with each staffing. I did make more money and had more resources at my disposal on the job but that didn't mean as much as I thought it would as I was going into the new role.

Fast forward to Fall of 2020 when I started the new PE gig: it was cool, at first. The team was smaller than my group in IB so I was hoping by virtue that meant I'd regain some of the tight-knit camaraderie that I had at my first bank but it didn't really happen. Granted, I joined the team virtually so never even met them or had much of a chance to (the role was in a city different from the one I'd worked in at the time). The work itself was whatever... Not any more or less interesting than what I was doing in IB and certainly didn't feel like it was getting me any closer to my long-term goal of business ownership (although, to be fair, I only gave it ~3 months before quitting). My decision to quit came out of (1) me wanting to do it for over a year at that point, (2) my target industry seeing a nice boost from Covid and (3) my working wife agreed to support our living expenses entirely as long as I was giving the pursuit an honest effort, meaning that I had more than I needed to sustain the business for ~1 year.

We're a few months in and trying to ignore the potential consequences of having foregone "the path" and focusing on the big goal at hand has been a challenge. Self-motivating has been a drag despite my enthusiasm for and belief in the idea itself being stronger than ever. One thing that was difficult to realize in the thick of working 80+ hours each week was that I had more ground I could have laid before ultimately quitting (I convinced myself I'd done all I could with the capacity I had while working full-time in IB and PE). It would have been better to continue working and using my salary to pay third parties to do what I can't do as well but hindsight is 20/20. I do wonder how long I can muck around like this before I start becoming "too stale" to go back to IB or PE if I want, although in-house operations or a better-balanced form of finance like commercial or corporate banking may be the next move if this goes belly up.

All I've gleaned from my own experience thus far is that the people around you are what make the job fun or miserable. I would rather work 80+ hour weeks with people I truly enjoy working with and being around than 60 hours with people I don't respect, even if it meant making less money. Your significant other, true friends (those you can have genuine, vulnerable discussions with) and by extension life at home also greatly determines how good of a time you have in your career.

Going to hit Nightman Cometh up also because it seems like he has a pretty level-headed view on his current job and career overall.

Mar 26, 2021 - 2:07pm

Happy to chime in. Little background, I have been in IB for just south of three years now, with the first year spent at a different firm than I am at now. I have a love-hate relationship with my job, and kind of see my current feelings about it as a scale, with the bad and good trying to tip in one direction or another. I think the bad is pretty obvious--the hours suck, the work can be very demanding and very mundane at times, and having to always be "on call" makes it hard to fully take even a couple hours to relax or leave the house/apartment for more than an hour without lugging my laptop with me. This all sucks. I think a lot of people underestimate how brutal consecutive 90-100 hour weeks can be before they actually start--I know I did. The worst feeling is going in on a Monday after spending the majority of Sat/Sun in the office, and just seeing five more days of this in front of you.

This all sounds bad, but there is a lot that I like about my job that actually makes me quite happy in the role and have no desire to move, even with well-known PE and investing headhunters emailing me multiple times a day with opportunities that actually seem pretty good. I would say the biggest thing I like about where I currently am are the people, particularly the mid-level associates/VPs, but also the MDs. At my last firm, I really liked my MDs, but the VP and associate I worked with most were very unpleasant to work with. They were not bad people--I actually like them both outside of work, but they were not great at managing an analyst, and overwhelming micromanagement and a lack of trust for seemingly no reason (or if there was, they never told me even though I always want to hear about this kind of stuff) made it really hard to want to work for them. Fast forward to my current place, my mid-level teammates let me operate pretty autonomously and have even pulled themselves off some deals. I have good relationships with them both in work and outside, and texting them about random nonsense every day has helped keep me sane and motivated in these wild times. Regarding the seniors, I primarily work with five--three managing directors and two directors. I have friendly relationships with all of them, to the point where one called me after the Patriots made all those free agent signings to poke fun at how it will still never make up for Brady leaving (he's a tortured Jets fan). Additionally, they also let me operate relatively freely (at least more freely than my friends at other MM banks), and are fine with me doing client calls on my on and handling material prep, with them being hands-off until the final stages.

This level of client interaction is fun for me--I am the type of person who likes to make friends with as many people as I can, and I love to talk. I really think this is somewhat unique to my team and very dependent on the seniors I work with, so I consider myself super lucky for that one. My clients seem to like this about me, and they seem comfortable that the guy helping them behind the scenes is a normal dude who is trying his hardest. I feel like for the first time in my career, and as long as I can remember, I am actually being used to near 100% of my ability. I actually feel like I am helping, and this gives me quite a bit of satisfaction in my role. I am even more motivated now that I know I am getting looks for associate next year, and that only makes me want to push harder and be better. These people took a chance hiring me--a guy who was just trying to run from his former firm--and I take that seriously and want to make it worth it to them. Also, obviously, the money is good. Money does not equal happiness, but it sure can facilitate it!

I think another point is that I am good at managing relationships outside of work. I have the mindset where even if I'm tired and just want to crash, I'm still going to go out of whatever, just because I love my friends and want to take advantage of all the time I have to do stuff with them. They (and my family, obviously) are more important to me than my job, and if my relationships with them ever start to suffer, I am totally comfortable walking away. But it has not gotten to that point, and I truly don't see it getting there. I have pretty rough hours, and was managing pretty well before COVID hit. 

At the end of the day, I am such a believer that the team makes the dream (obligatory [slightly adjusted] bankerism). Good quality people around you and above you, both from a managerial and personality point of view, can really make or break this job. And when it "breaks" it, it really fucking sucks. But for me, it's been working out so far, and I am happy at the end of the day. So I guess this does not really answer your question in the title. I guess I did hate my job, but definitely don't anymore, and I am fine with looking past generally appealing opportunities in PE and other industries because I don't want to compromise the situation I'm in now. The only real exit I can see for myself is a role more on the corporate strategy side, with ideally considerably less of a time commitment (maybe like 60 hours max on normal weeks). I have taken quite an interest in investing over the past two years and have had almost inconceivable returns on my portfolio, so if that trend continues and my money ends up doing the majority of the work for me, pursuing a much less intensive lifestyle may become appealing. But I would need a million invested (little more than half way there now) at a bare minimum before considering this, so probably a couple years off at least. And even then I may not want to leave. Who knows...

Also would like to see a long post if you have time.

Dayman?
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Apr 1, 2021 - 3:01pm

I watched a few movies about mortality recently and realized I do not want to spent my entire life behind a desk. Did the calcs and based on my currently situation if I'm fairly conservative in my living I can retire by 50. Obviously a lot of those calculations change if/when I get married have a family (which I definitely want) because costs go up, but hopefully we'll have two incomes, too, etc. etc. Regardless of the details, I am certainly going to keep my spending under wraps so I can shave years off of my working life. 

Mar 26, 2021 - 1:34pm

Junior/early-mid level in corp dev. I don't hate my job per se, however, I am definitely more in the "I tolerate it under a certain set of conditions" camp. Let's be honest: finance is not fun, particularly at the junior/analyst levels. Especially after 4+ years, the work itself starts to get incredibly repetitive and uninteresting. I'm likely going to exit the industry in 2-3 years; I really don't think this is what I personally am meant to do long-term. Life is too short to spend the majority of your waking hours doing something you don't truly enjoy.

What I do struggle with, though, is whether I'd start to enjoy the job more at the mid to senior level, where I am doing less of the analytical/busy work and am more focused on business development, relationship management, etc. That's also when the pay starts to scale nicely, which to me personally is just an added bonus on top of not wanting to punch my laptop repeatedly after excel crashes for the third time in a row while doing some stupid analysis I've done countless times over the past few years. I'd wager a large number of junior to mid-level employees on this board feel similar. In a somewhat similar vein, I'm quite extroverted and think I'd have excelled in more of a sales or sourcing role and likely won't be feeling as generally burnt on finance had I gone that route (too late now). So personally I plan to re-evaluate in 2-3 years and if I don't like where I am at or what my career trajectory is looking like at the time I'll probably dip out.

Mar 26, 2021 - 1:37pm

Firstly, I love this topic. @brofessor to answer your initial question directly: Yes, let's make this a long thread. I think there's a balance between realizing work is work, it naturally isn't getting paid to have the time of your life every single day. But at the same time, some perspective is helpful that my life will always be objectively better than someone in a silicon chip factory working 20 hours a day with only 1 bathroom break. The nature of human suffering does not invalidate "lesser suffering", but it is important to enjoy your life and make the most of it while you're here. 

So here's my current situation and perspective based on previous situations:

Job Title: Senior Software Engineer (FinTech Firm)

Do I hate my job? No- I don't. Is my job just the happiest thing in the world? No, it's not that either. When making pretty much any decision in life I make a list of pros and cons and weigh them out. I'll make that here just off the cuff right now:

Pros: Usually my hours aren't terrible. The last month is an outlier, but my acquaintances at the team I'm transferring to work 35-45 hours a week. The pay is really great, I'm 25 and on track to earn about ~$160k this year before taxes (got a raise quickly, solid bonus, etc). For my title I'm a little underpaid but I also think I wasn't qualified for this role or my title is inflated. Either way, it works for me right now. I work remotely and will likely continue to do so (which has its own pros and cons- but I love walking over to hang out with my wife for a few mins randomly throughout the day). The people I work with (minus one) are all really great, just a group of solid guys and girls who do good work and are easygoing.

Cons: The last month has had terrible hours (70ish), mostly due to inefficiencies caused by this one person who I loathe. He's the VP. Thankfully I'm doing an internal transfer within the firm, which I think is a pretty cool thing to happen. This is either a pro or con- but there's always more to learn. I love learning, love reading, etc. But it does get overwhelming sometimes. The interviewing in this industry is truly awful, it's really a horrible system that a majority of companies use. 

Overall, I am happy with my career. I see a lot of room for growth, I am learning more and more specialty topics (specifically Cloud and Cloud Security- namely AWS). 

If you look at my post history you'll see I absolutely hated my previous job. It was the worst place I've ever worked and had no pros other than it was a job and it made me reevaluate my life in such a profound way I learned how to code. I'm also not opposed to switching careers ever, just make your pros and cons and assess your life.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
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Mar 26, 2021 - 2:18pm

Hi, can I PM you? I have some questions about SWE recruiting and how much you need to learn, since those hours/pay sound amazing. 

What’s past is past and can’t be undone. It has led to the circumstances we now face. All we can do is recognize our circumstances for what they are and make the best decisions we can, “given the givens."  - Howard Marks

Mar 26, 2021 - 2:23pm

Absolutely, feel free to PM me. Happy to help answer any questions.

For visibility, if you want an easy entrance to become a SWE either learn web development or mobile development. If you learn just frontend (HTML, CSS, JS, and React) you can spend a couple months self learning and expect to make $80k+. Same would go for basic mobile development (Java, Kotlin, Swift, or React Native). Both realms get super deep, if you want to earn the bigger bucks then you can do deep dives into state management or distributed computing, learn API development (Node.js, Python Django, Golang, Java, C#, etc- not all, just one of them) and become a fullstack engineer. There's huge specialties. But these help get your foot in the door. Happy to answer specific questions to get further as well.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Most Helpful
Mar 26, 2021 - 1:52pm

3rd year associate in MM PE with the proverbial carrot of VP promote being dangled 'this year'. I hate my job. I think about leaving and I reflect on who I am/who I want to be every day. I support creating the long form post, but I think it will bias towards negative/morose discussion, just like the rest of this comment will. There's a lot of noise on this here website but these long form, insightful/though provoking discussions elevate the forum IMO, and are why I've been here for years (and why I recently started posting).

I hate my job because:

It is not what I went to school to do (engineering), which in turn was not what I WANTED to do (kinesiology). 

I have become trapped by my salary. I regularly think: how could I justify taking a massive pay-cut to move elsewhere now when I could wait another X years to be that much better off for retirement? I am in my 20s and my current nest egg would compound to the point where I could retire by 50. But that's not enough - I want financial independence in my 30s, an obsession I've only developed since arriving in PE. Prospects of early retirement are tough to accurately weigh against near-term suffering.

I am uncertain of the quality of our firm/team/leadership. We haven't done anything meaningful in terms of fund level exits or deals since I joined. I was sold on the age old "we got lots of money, lets do deals". It's all been portco level strategic and optimization type of work, which has been a great experience because I feel like I am learning how to run a business, but it also feels like we are not making demonstrable progress.

I oftentimes find myself disagreeing with decisions made at the Partner level. I have never been able to deal with the element of being beholden to other peoples ideals, schedules, and frameworks that I disagree with. I want to be in control of, or have more say in, the decision making, for better or worse.

It's taken me through 3 different cities and two different countries in the last 5 years, 3 of them long-distance from my girlfriend whom I would call my fiancee by now if not for the distance. I've never known anything but COVID-19 WFH life in my current city so that has a huge impact on my mental health and how I feel about the job.

BUT I agree with Bizkit - It's "Work". You're not necessarily supposed to LOVE it. As far as "work" goes, I have it pretty fucking good. 

I work an average of 60-70 hours, am close enough to my superiors and subordinates to be considered friends, and am well liked in my firm. I'll get paid close to a 4-handle all in this year as an associate. I get flown globally in international business class and comped 5-star hotels/meals etc (expensing on my own cards, so I get the points). when times are normal. I work closely with 30 and 40-y industry veterans in our C-Suites to inform strategic decision making. I have been to two new continents for free. My voice is heard by my immediate superiors, and (occasionally) by the Partners. I am unlikely to ever be financially constrained ever again. I have learned so much about personal finance through this career as well. The list goes on.

My job has absolutely made me a better person, but not a happier one.

Mar 26, 2021 - 2:10pm

onebagger

It is not what I went to school to do (engineering), which in turn was not what I WANTED to do (kinesiology). 

I oftentimes find myself disagreeing with decisions made at the Partner level. I have never been able to deal with the element of being beholden to other peoples ideals, schedules, and frameworks that I disagree with. I want to be in control of, or have more say in, the decision making, for better or worse.

Man, this sounds like me. You could always get back to your roots and open up a Starting Strength franchise gym and help people get stronger with better movement quality. You'll make a lot less money though.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
Mar 26, 2021 - 2:38pm

I'll take that as a compliment.

Although I'm a huge fan of 3x5 and 5x5 heavy compounds, I never actually did SS. I have absolutely dreamt about 'retiring' from finance and opening a gym (among other things like opening a B&B or becoming a high school teacher or writing a sci-fi series).

The ideal gym for me is pretty simple. Basically just a warehouse/garage with a tonne of barbells and dumbells and racks. Bumper plates and platforms. PL plates and PL barbells. Ideally a garage door that opens into an open parking lot of some kind. Tires and sledgehammers and ropes and chains. Multiple TVs including one in the corner that plays Pumping Iron on infinite loop. Another playing Olympic career highlights from guys like Klokov and Xiaojun and Dimas. Shake bar at the back with Subway style make-your-own-shake ingredients. Gym cat who just chills on the counter all day long judging peoples form. 

Mar 28, 2021 - 12:22am

This is eerily similar to what I wrestle with on a daily basis. Third year associate in banking with the VP promote almost guaranteed if I make it through this year. 
 

On a risk adjusted basis, it's the easiest way to make a good chunk of change over the next 12 months. However I constantly weigh whether a few hundred thousand is worth another year of writing CIMs, being always on call and all the other stresses of banking. Especially when it requires another precious year of my 20s. 
 

like many others, covid gave my time to reevaluate things a bit and what mattered. I rediscovered my passion for fitness (played college sports + always wanted to do something fitness related in general) and realized that's an industry I've always wanted to get involved in. Like you though, I have this nagging goal of becoming financially independent in my 30s, and this provides some path to it. 
 

Maybe I'm just being another soft millennial, but I think there's something to be said about all the pressures that we put on ourselves simply by surrounding immersing ourselves in this industry. Went back to my old high school gym in the hood over the holidays and honestly it was pure bliss. No lululemon, no one talking about fundraising, just people putting in work and lifting weights. 
 

also there's more ways to make money in fitness than just opening a gym...

Mar 26, 2021 - 3:22pm

Whether I hate my job or not fluctuates daily. On the whole, though, I recognize that I am grossly overpaid vs. the amount of time and energy I am asking to put into my function. As long as I remain at my level within my current organization, I'm content that I have enough time and money to pursue what I actually care about, which is my extracurriculars.

If I am ever promoted to the next level or offered a meaningful increase in compensation, I'll probably quit or seriously pursue a different job.

I used to think I'd be "more happy" at a firm whose product more closely aligns with my interests, but at this point I've made peace with the fact that all corporate jobs are pretty much the same and that that sort of thinking is probably a fallacy. I'm fairly certain I would hate any job where I'm working for someone else in a corporate environment, so I've determined that as long as I like and respect my direct superiors (I do), am paid fairly (I am), and don't really have to put in that much time or effort (I don't), I'll stay put until they lay me off and I get to retain all my RSUs.

Mar 29, 2021 - 1:57pm

I don't really subscribe to the notion that we all have to be constantly "uncomfortable" and stressed out all the time or we're not being the best we can be, or something. I recognize my perspective on work isn't going to get me anywhere, but that's borne out of the view that my professional achievement doesn't inform how fulfilled I feel about my life.

I used to think if you weren't constantly moving upward, you were selling yourself short, and all it ever did for me was give me the feeling of "you'll be happy when you're xyz", and the notion of delayed gratification started to bleed into my personal life. Eventually I realized that sort of thinking would just make it so you're never actually happy NOW.

I'm at the Director level (not in banking anymore, but still employed by a BB) right now and I have absolutely no aspirations to be an MD, and I'm at peace with it. 

Mar 26, 2021 - 4:34pm

Current role: BB coverage VP, been with firm for 5 years

Prior: MBA, 5 years in Big 4 Strategy Consulting + TAS

Exec Summ: I do not hate my job, but I hate the way my job is done.

Straight off the bat -- I'm a nerd, or the only one in my profession who will admit it ("the only guilty man in Shawshank"). I like solving problems and I like analyzing data, so I never had a problem doing consulting, TAS, or banking, it's all really similar to me. I also enjoy working in teams and with clients, especially on deals and shorter time-frame projects. I truly enjoy the nature of the job and being on the learning treadmill for a decade has not tired me out in the slightest about that.

However -- I hate the way that people work in client service (and if I'm honest, this applies to our corporate clients as well). I don't like the inefficiency and the bureaucracy. I don't like solving a problem that isn't there, or not solving a problem that is there. I don't think people need to boil the ocean, or create huge decks, or turn it a hundred times. People also don't use technology enough or even care to train themselves about it. Fundamentally the "ways of working" is broken. This creates no end of frustration when in my mind, we can get things done at a reasonable time, and instead have to burn the entire team out week after week. It's an entirely separate topic. The senior feedback to the GS13 is very telling, and there is even a large amount of "crabs in the bucket" mentality with junior hardos exhorting people to just suck it up, and that it's always been this way, etc.

So fundamentally my problem is the lack of creativity or change from within the client service industry. This is more pronounced in banking than consulting. I remember in Consulting I could legitimately tell my client, "Look you've asked us to deliver X to solve Y problem. But it really seems like you're trying to solve Z problem, and we can accomplish that much more efficiently by giving you A and B. Would that work better? It will cost less and be faster, and then we can iterate from there." Banking pitchbooks are absolutely useless, archaic in their format and produced in an archaic, manual labor way. That stuff makes me hate my job sometimes even though I love the work.

tl;dr; It sounds like I'm the opposite of Layne Staley. I want no part in dealing with the long-term operation of the company. I want to be a surgeon, not a primary care physician. Get in, get at the root of the issue, and then let the patient do the rehab under someone else's watch. I'm risk averse, I don't need equity. I won't be rich, but I'll be intellectually satisfied and compensated well enough for my modest lifestyle. Give me my bonus year end for the time and value I give to clients, thanks, see you next problem.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
  • 3
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Mar 26, 2021 - 6:47pm

Generally enjoy what I do working as a FinTech banker, really interested in the sector and can't wait to see how the industry develops over the next decade considering what is going on with blockchain and crypto, but I have come to the conclusion recently that I do not want to spend the next 5-10 years of my life building CIMs and being beholden to needy clients. Just trying to figure out what the right move is over the next year.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2021 - 6:09am

confidential information memorandum

it's what a sell-side broker (aka bank) would show to potential buyers about the company they're trying to sell

Mar 26, 2021 - 10:03pm

I generally hate everyday in a certain way. I would just rather sleep all day and play poker and smoke weed. But, I can't even smoke weed, I have to vape it.

I've been through a lot of industries including working for the department of defense, spec ops training, management consulting, corporate finance, neuroscience neuroimaging, neuroscience biotech clinical trials, geriatrics, poker, maple sap collection, construction, lumberjack in Canada, automotive analytics, and even modding golf carts. 

To give you an idea of how you can come to hate what you want to do is in 2015 when I decided to play poker full time. I'd go to casinos every month and played online on 5 platforms. I gradually lost my circadian rhythm, slept all day and generally did well the first 6 months in tourneys, but became an insomniac and developed suicidal ideation. This was the year that I realized how important it was to get a good sleep and maintain some sort of circadian rhythm. If you don't, your hormones can go out of whack. Nutrition is key as well. It really matters to feel good. 

Now, I do a variety of things, but limit myself in certain areas to allow for massive amounts of sleep. I usually sleep 10hrs per night and need to be well rested these days. I think this tends to help avoid the hate, if you're getting your sleep. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Mar 27, 2021 - 1:48pm

You remind me a lot of BK Actual - ever listened to him?

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

Mar 27, 2021 - 2:22pm

Undercover meme

You remind me a lot of BK Actual - ever listened to him?

Oh ok cool - I haven't listened to him.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Mar 28, 2021 - 8:15am

Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎

Now, I do a variety of things, but limit myself in certain areas to allow for massive amounts of sleep. I usually sleep 10hrs per night and need to be well rested these days. I think this tends to help avoid the hate, if you're getting your sleep. 

Oh my God I thought I was the only one!

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in Research - FI
Mar 27, 2021 - 1:03am

Today was a beautiful day. A day  I could have been out enjoying (even with covid). The breeze was warm, the sun was warm, and my feet in the morning were warm - it warmed my soul. During lunch, while my soul was warm and the sun continued gently sharing its warmth, I couldn't help but hear the birds chirping in the trees, see the bees resting carelessly on the purple, floral arms of the lavender bushes, or catch a whiff of the vibrant scent of lavender in the breeze. It made me forget the stresses and problems of the day. If only I could have sat down for five minute on the concrete parking bumpers I would have been happy - but I couldn't. I'm an hourly employee and I don't have the luxury of taking and additional 5 minutes of lunch to take a breather and enjoy my life. I had to trade the joy, warmth of the outside world for the chilling and sterile cage of concrete that I call my office, and I had to do it immediately, lest I be reprimanded. As I stepped into my office I felt a chill on my skin caused by the by the AC my overweight and overdressed bossman kept running, and a chill on my soul. The cage of concrete I call my office does not function only as a physical box which shuts me out from the outside world, but also as a clock that runs my life Monday through Friday, telling me when I can and cannot take 5 minutes to sit on the curb and take in a little of the goodness the world has to offer. Everyday at a designated time, I have to go sit in this cage and even on the warmest of days it chills my soul.

I am not oblivious to the fact that I need a job or that I can trade in my cage for one with more windows - I try to flow like the water in the streams, gliding over whatever stones and pebbles lie in its way. Its knowing that that I need the income and that I can be doing other things to do obtain that income that bother me. More specifically, what bothers me is the knowledge that I can be a worker doing the same work, or even working harder in the same amount of time, while still making more income, having the flexibility of choosing when I get to go to lunch and whether or not I can spare 5 extra minutes to enjoy the sunshine on a nice sunny day, and having more windows in my office. It bothers me knowing that, I can turn these hand cuffs lead into handcuffs of gold, or even silver, pewter or tungstun. I want to make more money to maximize the happiness that can be purchase with money on my free time and to have the financial security to take more risks in my career and life. Is it not easier on the wrists to have padded handcuffs of gold rather than lead which bears heavily upon the bones of your wrists? Will it not be nicer to make $50 and hour than to make $25 and to use that extra income to cut back on time spent cleaning the home, washing vegetables and trimming meats to make dinner, and use the extra to explore a new hobby?

But, we can not simply shed our handcuffs of lead and trade them in to those of gold. We must first trade up to steel, and everything in between gold. This takes resources, this takes skill. We must be able to smith the handcuffs of our choosing, but we can not learn to smith with steel, silver, and gold when all we have is lead. You will not give your carpenter a slab of marble to carve, but fear not, a carpenter can learn to sculpt the marble. Perhaps, they'll learn to train their eye for aesthetics carving wood totems and statues, developing the foundational artistic finesse that is necessary regardless of whether they sculpt wood, bronze or marble. Upon developing this skill, they can now focus on applying their craft to a new medium using new tools. Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, a lot of jobs don't really allow us to truly expand our skill sets beyond a certain set of tasks. So, we sit at our desk day in and day out, repeating the same tasks putting in our hours until we are allowed to make round tables instead of square ones or until we need to once again pack up our tools and search for the next task… which a few hundred other people are looking for. Or, we can pay a master stone craftsman to teach us the art only to end up working on wooden tables again.

I lost the rest of what I was going to write...

It isn't really the job I hate, rather certain aspects about the job and having to work in general. Maybe I am just lazy and hate working? No. Not really. I also hate working in a cubicle and feeling stuck doing one task. It feels like being in a tiny little hamster cage n the middle of Time Square and watching the world go round. I also, do not feel like I have good exit opportunities but that is not this job in particular.

My current job isn't so bad since I'm learning a lot of things and learning to perform my job well which keeps my brain engaged. Despite having a rigid schedule and workload that makes multiweek vacation difficult, I have some flexibility in regards to when I show up to work which I wouldn't be able to get elsewhere. I have a window 1 hour window suggested start time which is nice.

Today was a beautiful day. A day  I could have been out enjoying (even with covid). The breeze was warm, the sun was warm, and my feet in the morning were warm - it warmed my soul. During lunch, while my soul was warm and the sun continued gently sharing its warmth, I couldn't help but hear the birds chirping in the trees, see the bees resting carelessly on the purple, floral arms of the lavender bushes, or catch a whiff of the vibrant scent of lavender in the breeze. It made me forget the stresses and problems of the day. If only I could have sat down for five minute on the concrete parking bumpers I would have been happy - but I couldn't. I'm an hourly employee and I don't have the luxury of taking and additional 5 minutes of lunch to take a breather and enjoy my life. I had to trade the joy, warmth of the outside world for the chilling and sterile cage of concrete that I call my office, and I had to do it immediately, lest I be reprimanded. As I stepped into my office I felt a chill on my skin caused by the by the AC my overweight and overdressed bossman kept running, and a chill on my soul. The cage of concrete I call my office does not function only as a physical box which shuts me out from the outside world, but also as a clock that runs my life Monday through Friday, telling me when I can and cannot take 5 minutes to sit on the curb and take in a little of the goodness the world has to offer. Everyday at a designated time, I have to go sit in this cage and even on the warmest of days it chills my soul.

I am not oblivious to the fact that I need a job or that I can trade in my cage for one with more windows - I try to flow like the water in the streams, gliding over whatever stones and pebbles lie in its way. Its knowing that that I need the income and that I can be doing other things to do obtain that income that bother me. More specifically, what bothers me is the knowledge that I can be a worker doing the same work, or even working harder in the same amount of time, while still making more income, having the flexibility of choosing when I get to go to lunch and whether or not I can spare 5 extra minutes to enjoy the sunshine on a nice sunny day, and having more windows in my office. It bothers me knowing that, I can turn these hand cuffs lead into handcuffs of gold, or even silver, pewter or tungstun. I want to make more money to maximize the happiness that can be purchase with money on my free time and to have the financial security to take more risks in my career and life. Is it not easier on the wrists to have padded handcuffs of gold rather than lead which bears heavily upon the bones of your wrists? Will it not be nicer to make $50 and hour than to make $25 and to use that extra income to cut back on time spent cleaning the home, washing vegetables and trimming meats to make dinner, and use the extra to explore a new hobby?

But, we can not simply shed our handcuffs of lead and trade them in to those of gold. We must first trade up to steel, and everything in between gold. This takes resources, this takes skill. We must be able to smith the handcuffs of our choosing, but we can not learn to smith with steel, silver, and gold when all we have is lead. You will not give your carpenter a slab of marble to carve, but fear not, a carpenter can learn to sculpt the marble. Perhaps, they'll learn to train their eye for aesthetics carving wood totems and statues, developing the foundational artistic finesse that is necessary regardless of whether they sculpt wood, bronze or marble. Upon developing this skill, they can now focus on applying their craft to a new medium using new tools. Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, a lot of jobs don't really allow us to truly expand our skill sets beyond a certain set of tasks. So, we sit at our desk day in and day out, repeating the same tasks putting in our hours until we are allowed to make round tables instead of square ones or until we need to once again pack up our tools and search for the next task… which a few hundred other people are looking for. Or, we can pay a master stone craftsman to teach us the art only to end up working on wooden tables again.

I lost the rest of what I was going to write...

It isn't really the job I hate, rather certain aspects about the job and having to work in general. Maybe I am just lazy and hate working? No. Not really. I also hate working in a cubicle and feeling stuck doing one task. It feels like being in a tiny little hamster cage n the middle of Time Square and watching the world go round. I also, do not feel like I have good exit opportunities but that is not this job in particular.

My current job isn't so bad since I'm learning a lot of things and learning to perform my job well which keeps my brain engaged. Despite having a rigid schedule and workload that makes multiweek vacation difficult, I have some flexibility in regards to when I show up to work which I wouldn't be able to get elsewhere. I have a window 1 hour window suggested start time which is nice.

Mar 27, 2021 - 8:19am

If @thebrofessor writes it, I'll read it, long or short, as he always brings a candid take on virtually any/all topics.

I don't hate my job.

Been doing this for close to 3 decades now.  Whether at law firms, Swiss and Japanese banks, I've almost always worked in some sort of Information Management/Library Services/Knowledge Management/Research Library capacity.  I will always prefer the more "librarian" angle of the job, as I enjoy looking for answers and I enjoy helping others find the necessary information they need.  

But I'm a firm believer in Bruce Lee's adage "be as water" and there were times when the jobs in IM/LS/KM/RL were scarce -- I've also managed the office of a UK investment advisory firm, along with stints where I worked at an engineering organization, worked as a licensed realtor and where I provided respite care for an autistic child, but well over 20+ years has been working in investment banks.

Just as we began working from home in March 2020, my boss asked if I would help with managing an additional workstream, over and beyond my usual reference/research work.  It's not rocket science, it's repetitive, monotonous, tedious - but it's a necessary evil, making sure bankers have access to the tools to do the parts of their jobs that bring fees into the firm, along with managing and controlling the costs involved with subscriptions and services.  

Add to that, the firm was going through the changing corporate landscape brought on by covid - the usual early-Spring departing analysts - a considerable number of them stayed on, moving into other teams or new projects relating to restructuring, covid itself, distressed/reorganizing companies/clients, etc.  Then came Summer 2020 and the first virtual class of interns, associates and analysts.

While my title is Associate, I don't live in financial models and I don't churn out PPT decks. I only occasionally put together PIBs.

I get to evaluate potential new products/services/vendors. Sometimes I have to look into who's offering ESG score products or sports business data or SPAC coverage. There's always a new niche that needs addressing or there's always some legacy product that we're considering replacing for something newer/better/cheaper. 

The variety of what I get to work on can truly run the gamut in a day: demographics, market research, biographical, branding/marketing, sector research, cryptocurrency, blockchain, the impact of a new president on this or that business sector and taxes, locating trends in everything from e-sports sponsorships/sports licensing to digital asset management to CBD-enhanced beverages to decentralized finance to covid's impact on student housing and college enrollments.  

I help out bankers that want to do things themselves, showing them how to navigate Capital IQ/Factset/Bloomberg to screen for what they want or help them shape their search strategies for better results in their news runs. I like helping people and I like showing people how to help themselves.  I do not work 80 hours a week.  Not gonna lie and say it's all as smooth as glass.  Yes, there's stress and these past 12 months have involved a serious learning curve on my behalf as we manage over 400 products/contracts and no 2 are alike, but in its own way, it's been eye-opening and interesting to see the back-end workings of how the firm's information needs are contained and provided for. 

I work mostly independently but also with a great boss and a small but amazing team that regularly blows me away in the amount of work we churn out and the range of workflows that we address - I often say my co-workers are my greatest resource, the collective/hive of their cumulative experience often feels boundless.  Even if we're not side by side in the office, we know that we're only a call or IM chat or email away from each other when those really esoteric questions come in and you're like "where the hell would I go to find this?!"  Plus we also keep each other sane by discussing sports, recommending shows/movies to watch, talking about weekend/vacation plans, sharing crazy news stories/memes.

Even before covid, a lot of what we're doing had always been on the fly, always been "already virtual" in a sense, incorporating new services and features and pushing them out to the rest of the firm, including a request system software, along with training and supervising outsourced consultants that helps our small team 'follow the sun.' 

Yes, there are some bankers at my firm that are more stressed than others and working long hours, but overall morale is quite high and the bankers that I'm friendly with are more content than not.  Add to that, my firm doesn't ever get mentioned in the same breath as GS or UBS or Moelis and their various dramas of over-working/under-appreciating their people.

Mar 27, 2021 - 10:09am

+SB. I like your writing style and positivity. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into a world I know nothing about

Just had my trade dispute rejected by Schwab for a loss of 35k. This single issue alone should be a gigantic red flag to anyone who trades on their platform.

If they have a system error, and you do not video record your trading (they actually said this), they will not honour their fuck up. Switching everything away from them. Fuck this company.

Mar 27, 2021 - 12:59pm

Want to throw my 2 cents in. I am a procurement category manager, specifically fleet/capex, for a large maintenance/development services company (fleet is about 15,000 vehicles and trailers). I dont hate my job, but I sure as hell dont love it. Like a couple people have said above, it is on a constantly swinging pendulum back and forth. That being said, gun to my head, I would say I hate my job as that pendulum spends more time on the hate side than it does the love side.

Pros: Good experience, title, fairly interesting work, and great visibility and exposure across the entire company.

I am part of a team that essentially controls our company's spend for our fleet/opex department. We responsible for analyzing, forecasting, and budgeting our yearly spend for the department. Once establishing this budget, we are responsible for fulfilling our company's fleet/opex needs for all our of teams across the country, handling everything from sourcing to delivery of these various assets for the best quality at the lowest possible price. I am directly responsible for overseeing 3 programs that are worth 15-20 million dollars each in budgeted and actual spend. Since a lot of the job is negotiating contracts with vendors and having a direct impact on the bottom line for the company controlling spend, the job has very large visibility and exposure to C suite, executive, and other high level people both in and outside the company as well.

Cons: Longer hours, pay should be better, and lack of flexibility

I think the cons of this job are more company related than job related. Long hours are a result of a lot of dysfunction and lack of communication within the company's higher ups. Everything needs to be done yesterday and a lot of times our upper management isnt as versed in something as they should be and dont understand what can be done put off for another day. This leads to a lot of fires that need to constantly be put out as a result of jobs that are thought to be extremely time sensitive and need to be done immediately. Hours arent bad at all relative to this board, but are 60+ hours a week throughout the year. Pay is much lower than it should be given direct impact on the company's profits and high standing within the company. Lack of flexibility is also a big issue before covid with minimal work from home and ability to take time off without being plugged in for at least some various times throughout each day.

Overall, I think moving to another company doing something similar would increase my happiness with my job, as I said before, I believe a lot of the positives are associated more with the job itself, while a lot of negatives are more associated with the company. In moving company's with a better culture, I would be getting paid more, working the same or a bit less, and have more flexibility to take time off, while still having good experience, fairly interesting work, and great visibility and exposure. That all being said, I really feel like I wont ever maximize my fulfillment in my career without doing my own thing eventually, which I am on my way to doing.

Mar 27, 2021 - 1:31pm

I wouldnt say I hate my job but I would say I would choose differently 10/10 times for many reasons

  1. Obviously we are all hard working, bright individuals that could have succeeded in pretty much anything we set our eyes on. And that's what kind of unfortunate, is that I could have done anything and I chose to be a computer monkey. I never once thought I would change the world but I thought I would use some of my actual interests to make a living out of. I mean anyone that says they actually like banking (gonna go as far to say business) at a junior level is just infatuated with the money and prestige (IMO) because every one of my friends that aren't in business are much happier with their jobs. My brother (firefighter), girlfriend (teacher), best friend (in construction) all love their jobs and love going to work, and I think I make more than all them combined and I still envy them.
  1. The hours don't just end at 80 hours, it is 24/7 literally. I dream about work, I think about it during dinner, and after working my ass off all week, on the big Friday night when all my friends are getting fucked up and having fun, I'm just counting down the minutes til I can get >7 hours of sleep for the first time in 5 days. I went to a big party school and all the kids I know that didn't prioritize their career like we do are not just happier than this forum - They are healthier, they have more friends, more sex, more hobbies, and they are taking advantage of something that I'll never be able to buy - youth and time.
  1. This is all on me, but I hate that I have become someone so defined by work. My family sees me and always asks how work and they don't ask about gf or hobbies cause they know all I do is sleep and work.

Somethings that I've found to help my mentality and day to day feelings:

  • therapy
  • workout
  • delete social media
  • no porn
  • clean up my diet

Putting a positive ending to this post, This isn't the end. I can start prioritizing work less and if I fall down in analyst rankings then so what. But I just picked up an instrument. I go to a personal trainer now so exercise has become a bigger part of my life. And I just hit up my ex who agreed to get dinner so solid back slide from the kid. And if I ever actually have an "oh shit" moment, I have a world options where I can use my life experiences to go succeed in something else.

Mar 27, 2021 - 3:22pm

My experience has been a mixed bag - I find myself swinging from gratitude to feeling trapped to resentment on a regular basis. 

On a day to day, being in an environment where you are expected to lead the charge in addressing ridiculously complex problems that don't seem to have a discernable scope is mentally and emotionally overwhelming, and it's magnified by the perpetual expectation that you should get better and better at it despite each problem being new and different in nature. Add to it the natural secrecy and backchannel firm politics, and you have a recipe for burnout and discontentment, especially when it's very easy to point out the multitude of tangible benefits (higher pay, lower stress, less hours, etc) one would receive if they just decided to leave.

With that said, there's a unique oxymoron that has kept me here so far. This first is that as much as I feel overwhelmed and constantly stretched in a brutally austere manner, I find myself sharper in communicating, better at understanding executive biases (holy crap I didn't realize how many well known companies wouldn't be able to tie their own shoelaces if we weren't around), and most importantly, more intellectually resilient against the ridiculously complex issues thrown in your face without feeling overwhelmed.

The second is that despite knowing the growth I've experienced, I'm uncertain what I could bring to another role. I don't even know what other role I'd want to do because I've just constantly been in a position of figuring out the bigger picture, rather than the day to day. As a result, I'm strung along, wanting to leave, but not knowing how to best leave, and perpetually knowing full well that I'm on the classic hamster wheel of "one more ____, and then I'll decide".

So ultimately, the key trade off I've unintentionally made is becoming a more efficient thinker at the expense of my emotional agility. I am now able to see the bigger picture, as well as the uncertainty and holes that so many people default to assuming are filled in life. That's equal parts illuminating as well as sobering. 

Mar 27, 2021 - 6:24pm

Never hated my job, but hated the way my company treated me. Often I felt I was being taken for granted. I worked for a year to gain an offer elsewhere at a better company for a much higher salary and at the next level (Consultant vs Analyst). You can love the work but still dislike how your company treats you. It will be hard to leave as I love my coworkers but when you have a manager with zero transparency it makes things very tough. 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Mar 28, 2021 - 11:05am

Yes, I hate my job, and looking to possibly switch up industries which would for sure result in a pay cut and a lower overall career earnings ceiling. 

Mar 28, 2021 - 11:29am

lets be honest we are all corporate slaves. there is no way we'd do the things we do if we didn't feel like we HAD to (social pressure/scarcity mentality), that's why I always hold people that spin off and do their own thing in high regard.

a random guy goes to start a llama farm and YouTube channel? JEALOUS. random guy building a hut in the wilderness? GREEN WITH ENVY.

humans simply aren't designed to sit at a desk for 10 hours a day. even the 40 hr workweek is a relatively recent phenomenon that came about from the industrial revolution. the human desire to create and achieve is filtered through a proxy at these corporate jobs, and the reality is we will never be able to see past the confirmation and survivorship bias we read on the forums.

Mar 28, 2021 - 12:36pm

TommyGunn

lets be honest we are all corporate slaves

'are'? lol no

we all have been is probably a better phrasing

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Mar 28, 2021 - 1:18pm

The nice thing about doing art or poker is that you can have drinks or 420 and its fine and no one gives a fuck. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Mar 30, 2021 - 1:41pm

Not that much, but they are just side hobbies. I played poker full time in 2015, but now only play a couple times per week so it's a few hundred dollars here and there. On Sunday I invested $55 in a game and got back $534. The first spot for that tourney was $31K, so hopefully I hit a payout like that at some point. Poker tourney wins are volatile.

As far as the art, I've only sold a couple of pieces, but want to keep building up inventory over time. I don't currently have an art studio which makes things difficult.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Mar 28, 2021 - 10:10pm

Yeah there is an indescribable high when you leave the structure of a job or school completely.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Mar 29, 2021 - 10:11am

I hate it, but not necessarily because of the demands of the job. I think I am slowly coming to realise that it may be because of me that I hate it. I am in audit at the big  and to put it simply, I just don't work fast enough. During busy season, I just straight up could not do the work fast enough. I am definitely a lot slower than my peers, and I need to maybe think about it at some point.

If I can fix that, and if I only have to deal with one busy season per year from Jan to end of March, I could see myself staying in audit and liking it for another year or two :) 

Mar 29, 2021 - 5:19pm

Would be interesting. In particular, I think it would be interesting to discuss aspects of the job which never get better. Sure, if you're an analyst, the 80-hour weeks suck....and that gets better. However, things like the immediate and insane urgency in finance never get better.  I'm a mid-level guy with a much better schedule, but even now, I'm constantly hit with fire drills where something due in 3 weeks must be done in 2 days.

In that line of thought, a discussion of things that will never get better in a long run career is useful.  Medical residency sucks, law school sucks, being an IB analyst for 2 to 3 years sucks.....that's obvious.  What's not obvious to a lot of people are things 10 years down the road on your career path that suck and are not going away at almost any level of seniority.

Mar 30, 2021 - 7:30am

I guess it's time for a little bit of career story, since in most cases, while I did not hate my job on the day to day duties, I ended up hating it and leaving. 

I did not start in finance, got into it a bit later. I will not reveal exactly what I was doing, but let's say my title was ''analyst'' and I would mostly do research and reports. For quite a while, I enjoyed it. My direct superior liked my work, gave me plenty of freedom for essentially being a junior member, we actually ended up working on key project rather soon and we had significant impact. When you are allowed to do what you like, the way you like and at worst given some constructive criticism on how to make things a bit smoother, it goes great. Pay wasn't great, but I did like what I was doing and the impact I was having. Fast forward over a year, the supervisor chooses a direction I don't agree with. Discussions start, my work gets increasingly edited with things I know not to be true. I start realizing it's time to find another place. A few months later, I'm out. 

Second job, roughly the same field. Once again, things start rather well. Money is still not amazing, but impact wise I make it to the newspapers. This is also the time I learn that there's an ocean between truth and what newspapers say. The latter sell stories and when they don't have it, they create one by putting the leftovers of other stories together. I'm careful enough that before even accepting an interview, I research who the journalist is and what kind of pieces does he or she write. I avoid reputational damage and eventually the attention shifts elsewhere. However, I increasingly grow unhappy with my reward. At this point, I'm delivering more than anyone, yet I get crumbs. I start learning trading as a side hustle. Eventually, my then boss takes a 4 months project I had done entirely by myself, uses it for a minimal personal reward and the project dies there. Mentally, I am already on my way out. A few months later, I win a trading competition, I'm offered a junior role at a prop firm, I jump the ship. 

Unfortunately, I jumped a ship that was in full mutiny. The best traders aren't happy with their compensation (and rightfully so), there are regular, almost weekly fights over this. Unlike my previous jobs where I'm comfortable and knowledgeable enough to go at my pace, here it's emotionally draining. Within a few months, all the people who were legitimately teaching me something have left. As the boss clearly shows he has not learned anything from the above issue, it's time for me to look elsewhere. 

I meet a number of commodity traders, do research about the industry, eventually network my way in. After a number of years in (not even that many), I can say ''so far, so good''. Even COVID wasn't particularly bad (I got lucky). Recently I've been stuck in a rather bad market, lacking opportunities. We have been trying to develop new business, the first attempts have all failed. I'm not overly happy about the current state of things as days can be dull and sometimes I don't exactly know where to hit to get things moving, but at least it's a new experience. It could be worse. I'm a lot more battle-hardened than in the past, I handle shortcomings better and I'm a lot more patient. So long that at least something is moving and I do not get the feeling of being stuck achieving nothing or worse being screwed, it's all good. That's all I care. I like my job. 

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

  • 1
  • VP in S&T - FI
Apr 2, 2021 - 12:17am

Been in the markets business for the last 15 or so years (buyside, traded and now sales).  Every seat I have been in has had pros and cons but at the end of the day its work, they would call it fun if it was fun.  It's simply a means to end and exists to do nothing other than fund my lifestyle and support my family.  COVID is making it very hard for junior people to see this right now since you can't really enjoy your money right now, I think that is the biggest factor driving how unhappy people are at work right now.  If you have nothing else other than your job you start to think a lot about how much do you really like this and maybe I should do something different when in reality that new job is still a job.  I'm friends with several professional athletes (guys I grew up with who made 10-20MM a year in their peak years) and they will tell its a job like anything else, comes with some great perks but its still work.  Your view of working changes as you get older and have a family, its not about what you want its about what is best for your family.  I guess the way I sort of think about it is like Kinish in rounders "I play for money, my kids eat (and go to private school)". 

S&T Pros
1. Autonomy: Once you get past the analyst level how you spend your day is your choice.  You really have no boss telling you what to do, no mindless meetings that waste and the structure is pretty flat.
2. Hours, most people in S&T work 50-60 hours a week and rarely any weekends and its predictable.  Even the client entertainment can be set up and moved around to fit your schedule.  
3. The scoreboard, there is a very real scoreboard telling you exactly how you are doing at any given moment, while it may not always correlate to dollars its still something to always be working towards.  If you are competitive and played sports growing up this is the closest thing to it.    
4. I have liked a large majority of the people I have worked with and most are enjoyable to be around outside of work.  

S&T Cons
1. Trading floors are gossipy, everybody is always in your business.  Everybody is always trying to find out who is getting paid what and how do I steal that account from this person.  Politics can be brutal sometimes.     
2. While I generally love the pace of things. There is always this feeling of if you take time off you might "miss a trade" and that every second you are not on the desk the competition is gaining on you.  You sometimes even feel this way when you are going to take time to see a client during the day.  
3. Its not a growth industry, feels like its dying a death by a thousand cuts can at times make for a depressing environment to work in.  Sometimes it feels like no matter how you produce you are just not going to get paid for it.    

At the end of the day job markets are efficient you are really only worth what someone else will pay you.  So if you can find another better paying gig or a job that will make you happier (however you define that) go for it.                    

Apr 2, 2021 - 4:30pm

Really interesting discussion.

I know this is the opposite of answering your question.. but I think it's an interesting angle to add to the debate. Because I often ask myself whether I've found the "holy grail". Because I genuinely, 100%, love everything about my job. I feel like that's such a rare statement for someone working in finance. So I'm intrigued to hear why a role like mine doesn't get as much "positive press" on forums like these.

So I work at one of the top global long onlys. I'm a generalist, investing globally. To keep it simple: I work with sector specialist analysts to pick stocks based on fundamental analysis. 95% of the companies I look at are public. 5% are the most exciting, and biggest, private growth companies. I spend all my time (1) talking to CEOs, from start-ups all the way to FANGs, (2) reading research, (3)synthesising my thinking. I get to look at the best companies globally. I get to think about Macro, industries, and go all the way down to deep company analysis. I work  
I'm curious to hear: am I an outlier in the finance industry? And why is everyone obsessed with IB/PE/HF, while ignoring LO?

  • Intern in HF - Other
Apr 2, 2021 - 5:30pm

How did you end up at your job if you don't mind me asking? Did you go straight from UG? 

  • Analyst 1 in Research - FI
Apr 2, 2021 - 9:11pm

I thought this was all of finance, but I found that many jobs are specialist jobs, so you become a specialist in a sector, on a country and while it allows you to become an expert in the field it also sucks, because its like you're l iving in this microcosm. The only folks that I know of who do this type of work you do are all older, senior position folks at  a firm which means that not many people will be able to experience that type of job.

Does this make sense?

What do you mean by macro?

Apr 2, 2021 - 10:56pm

I dislike my job mainly because I don't respect my company or the value of its product and services, but I love my co-workers and the job pays very well (around $160k) given the context of my 37-hour work week (sometimes 35 hours) and ridiculous benefits (I have 25 days of vacation this year). I could make more--a lot more--but I have everything I want and I value my time more. So I swallow my pride and do my job even though I think my company produces nothing of value.

To put some context onto the value of my time, my closest friend offered me twice what I make (so about $300k + endless revenue sharing potential) to head up his team as its CFO. I declined. The hours were 60-70 per week. I'm crazy, right? An additional 3-4 hours of work per night is a big freaking deal to me. There is a huge difference between getting off at 5:30 pm and getting off at 9:30 or 10 pm. I just don't need money that badly.

Array

Apr 3, 2021 - 2:11pm

I'm sure a lot more stress too given you would be CFO.

Yep. I don't want the stress--I don't need the money, I don't want the stuff I can buy with it, and I don't desire the stress in my life.

There comes a point where I don't understand the motivation for more. This friend of mine is now making over $1 million per year (doing about 70-80 hours a week). His goal is to make $10 million/year. Assuming he doesn't get hit by a bus or die unexpectedly of some affliction, he will get there in the next 5 years, which I am certain of (because his production is snowballing). But he has everything he wants--a good marriage, two nice, well-adjusted kids. He has a house that is worth only half of what he makes in an entire year (about $550,000 is his home value against a $1+ million gross income) and he's perfectly happy with it. He drives a base model 2019 Honda Civic and is perfectly happy with it. What purpose is there for him to push for more and more and more? I guess I could understand if he wanted more stuff, but he doesn't. He's just intrinsically motivated to "win"--I lack that killer instinct. 

Array

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 3, 2021 - 12:09pm

lmao  yesterday got hit with a "so what are you doing for easter you have to go to church or something?"

"Yeah not sure what time but i would like to be able to go"

"Well can you go at like 9 and be in the office by noon?"

"sure thing, will do."

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 3, 2021 - 1:17pm

lel i didn't even get any acknowledgement about the weekend, just BAU through the entire mf

goddam tired fucking hate this shit lol

May 13, 2021 - 12:39pm

lmao  yesterday got hit with a "so what are you doing for easter you have to go to church or something?"

"Yeah not sure what time but i would like to be able to go"

"Well can you go at like 9 and be in the office by noon?"

"sure thing, will do."

lmao

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Associate 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 3, 2021 - 8:35pm

Like many of you, I realize that my job doesn't do anything to help the greater good. The people I work with are great, which helps. However, the jobs is so monotone. I do essentially the same thing everyday with a few mix-ups here and there. There is definitely a limit to relevant information/skills one can learn and I can see that I am slowly approaching it. 

I have a few different thoughts on how I might be able to not hate my job. The first thing is starting my own business. If I were to do this, it would hopefully be related to an interest or something I actually enjoy. I would understand that it is intense work and far more hours that I am currently doing, but maybe the "If you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life..." expression would come to fruition. Perhaps someone with actual experience can chime in here. 

Another thought involves taking the somewhat interesting, although lower-paying career option. This would likely be the corporate strategy/development type roles where you actually get to impact the company and are often dealing directly with your own C-suite making organization-wide decisions. The caveat here is that it would have to be for a company that you actually find interesting and even then I would imagine it could get very boring here. The upside is that the hours are often pretty good and you can spend that additional time pursuing more personal interests or other income-generating activities (real estate investing, PA stock picking, *insert side hustle here). 

Finally, the other option would be to get out of finance entirely. This option likely has the greatest compensation sacrifice, but hopefully it means you can pursue a career of actual interest and/or something that can actually provide value and meaning to society. Who knows, maybe the compensation will scale. If it doesn't, statistics say we only have a total of 78 years of this life. I plan on going out with a smile. 

Apr 5, 2021 - 10:14am

I worked my ass off to get my job in acquisitions and development. We were developing and buying Class A apartments across the Southeast (Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, and secondary markets in South Florida). At first, I liked everything about my job. I got to travel to some really cool places and I'd be lying if I didn't get my ego stroked a little when I told people what I did. We had a multi billion dollar fund (pre-leverage) to put to work. But then Covid hit. Fast forward a year and we didn't have a single new deal in the pipeline. The owner and CEO were old, already had fuck you money, and were hesitant to risk money. Even when deals were home runs... 

I became super unmotivated - do I really need to underwrite this deal - we aren't going to develop here anyways! What's the point of doing this market research on this acquisition, we're just going to get outbid anyways. Suffice to say I no longer cared that much, plus I was tired of the 9 pm emails when I was ready to unwind because I didn't want to feel like I wasn't working hard. All the other staff were working late hours - and without showing any results!! 

So I became incredibly jaded and needed to get out. Plus my house flipping and rental business was taking off in the single family space and I was tired of working 24/7 at my day job and side hustle. So I left a few months ago and have been flipping houses and adding to my rental portfolio since then. I'm loving what I do and am so less stressed out. 

May 24, 2021 - 4:23am

Do u think u would still have ur old job and be enjoying it if COVID didnt hit? Curious as I'm interested in going into acquisitions and u touched on all the points that make the role interesting to me.

Also curious what ur hours were like?

May 25, 2021 - 1:50pm

kc19

Do u think u would still have ur old job and be enjoying it if COVID didnt hit? Curious as I'm interested in going into acquisitions and u touched on all the points that make the role interesting to me.

Also curious what ur hours were like?

I probably would still be working there actually. That's an interesting point. The plan was to always leave, but COVID certainly sped up the timeline.

The hours weren't bad, approximately 45-60 with some weekends and one or two weeks with every night being a late nights like if we were getting close to closing a deal or reaching a deadline.

Apr 5, 2021 - 10:20pm

Hellow, I was a doctor majored in Peadiatrics in Chines last year. But I quiet it the last month of last year. My dream was to be a good or excellent doctor, becauses I really love children. I like to work with children. But I was really tired that my condition was wrecked. The work for me was overloaded. The worse is our job situation is really awefully bad. There is no trust between doctor and children's parents. And they don't cooperate with doctors' medical advice. They treat us doctor as enemy. So that's why I have to leave my dream. I still love children because they are pure and unsophisticated. If there were any chances I still would love to give my hand to these lovely angels.

May 14, 2021 - 11:34pm

[email protected]

Hellow, I was a doctor majored in Peadiatrics in Chines last year. But I quiet it the last month of last year. My dream was to be a good or excellent doctor, becauses I really love children. I like to work with children. But I was really tired that my condition was wrecked. The work for me was overloaded. The worse is our job situation is really awefully bad. There is no trust between doctor and children's parents. And they don't cooperate with doctors' medical advice. They treat us doctor as enemy. So that's why I have to leave my dream. I still love children because they are pure and unsophisticated. If there were any chances I still would love to give my hand to these lovely angels.

Hellow

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Apr 6, 2021 - 8:08am

I was in IB and then moved on to do a more relaxed corporate job.

In the end I hated IB... but after moving to another job with much better hours (but where everyone works from home)... I still feel as if there is something missing.

I don't know what it is, maybe I am destined to hate all jobs. I can't seem to deal with mundane tasks nor am I able to continue doing a super intense job. I can't seem to find the sweet spot.

Maybe who you work with is a bigger factor than I thought.

May 14, 2021 - 11:36pm

Anthony Wilder

Maybe who you work with is a bigger factor than I thought.

Who you work with is everything. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Apr 11, 2021 - 6:40pm

Currently hate it; my situation has deteriorated significantly in the last few months after the VP in my group left, resulting in me being constantly  micromanaged and harangued by the Principal that now has an open line of fire to me. My firm already suffers from poor organizational structure, culture, and general disarray, and this has made it that much worse. We have a reverse triangle structure where there are 3 times as many senior people as junior people and the senior people operate at a distance (and when they do get their hands dirty, it's with an air of "ugh, what did you screw up this time?"), so the result is an unsustainable workload being pushed down onto woefully understaffed junior teams, shared services, and portcos, and no leniency given whatsoever. Principals make commitments to clients without checking internally if the work can even be done, then chew you out if you miss unreasonable deadlines while managing 10 other workstreams. There's no staffing process on top of that. 

Additionally, I've just lost interest in the work as a result of the above. My day-to-day is almost entirely modeling/actuarial work and financial engineering, and as someone coming from a non-traditional background (consulting/startups) it's something that's both harder for me to master and doesn't align with how I view investing (actual operational improvements are seen as an afterthought to, say, coming up with some obscure SPV structure to move certain assets off the balance sheet in order to squeeze out a 20 bps improvement on a debt facility for a business that's floundering to begin with). 

At this point I've accepted that, even after spending almost a decade landing what I thought was my dream role, that finance just isn't what I want to be doing. I'm in my early 30's with a long-term gf and the thought of being in my late 30's/early 40's, trying to take care of 1-2 kids, balding, putting on weight, while still grinding through 80-90 hour weeks and still getting chewed out over such minutiae as file naming convention just sounds absolutely miserable. The money does you absolutely no good if you can't spend it on anything (like a vacation that you'll never be able to take) and don't have time for hobbies. 

I'm actively searching for other roles that are more aligned with my interests (advising early stage companies or working as a chief of staff at one), with a heightened focus on culture and lifestyle. 

May 15, 2021 - 1:50am

Do you think that you would've preferred to stay within consulting?? 

Array
May 15, 2021 - 3:32pm

The two things I really liked about consulting was the autonomy and the client interaction. The experience may vary at an MBB, but I worked at a niche firm and our engagements were typically 1-3 people, so I had a lot of control over my schedule and my interactions with my boss were typically limited to short catch-ups every few weeks (if my interaction with my manager isn't strictly collaborative, I, and most adults probably, prefer being left alone). I had great relationships with my clients and the people were generally pretty easy going (plus you're only working on one engagement at a time, not 3 live deals, 5 portco's, etc). Compare that to finance where you're constantly micromanaged and hounded for deliverables while staring at models and legal docs for 12+ hours a day. 

That being said I don't see myself going back to consulting; I'll be starting a family in the next few years and don't want to be constantly on the road. I do like investing and working with entrepreneurs, I just find that I do very little of that in my current role.

May 11, 2021 - 5:42pm

I probably wouldn't go as far to say I hate it. I do spend much of the time at work thinking of all the other things (e.g., different career) I should be doing.

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