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Late Links: Which is most scarce - a good boyfriend, or a good job in banking?

A dilemma has been doing the rounds on the web this morning. Emanating from Lucy Kellaway's agony aunt column in the Financial Times, it describes the conundrum faced by a 28 year old female banker whose boyfriend wants her to leave her job and to go travelling.

The woman in question says she's worked in banking since her graduation six years ago and has, 'recently been given the opportunity to go travelling' with her boyfriend. How long can she be away from the industry before she becomes employable, she wonders. And will anyone offer her a job when she returns - particularly in light of the fact that she will be an, "attached, childless woman in her early 30s."

Kellaway tells the young banker that she has got it all wrong. "I think you are making a mistake on both counts. No job in the City is remotely secure....Equally, travel is not always fun." In Kellaway's opinion, the young banker should stick with her man: "A good boyfriend is more of a scarce resource than a job in global markets at an investment bank, so if he is off for three years it is rational for you to go too."

Others are not so sure. "Boyfriends come and go," says one, "Take advantage of work life now, don't ruin the momentum."

Which would you choose?

[polldaddy poll=7092503]


Earlier this year, Citigroup gave ex-employees Jonathan Dorman, James O’Brien and others 75% of Napier Park Capital for free. Now it may be worth $360m. (Bloomberg) 

J.P. Morgan also had a perfect trading quarter in the first quarter of 2013. (Financial News)

Goldman Sachs traders lost money on two days last quarter. (Bloomberg) 

“In this culture, your whole life is planned out until you graduate from university.”  (NY Times) 

Unemployed Danes have taken to sitting in shop windows to sell their skills. (Wall Street Journal) 

Citigroup is catching up with Deutsche as the world’s biggest FX trader as the importance of emerging markets FX increases. (Bloomberg) 

Credit Suisse is building its hedge fund sales desk in Singapore. (Finance Asia) 

Something happens to your brain after a big bonus. (Guardian) 

Thomas Rudy, 31, a hedge fund manager who said he used to sneak out of his office to dance at the Abercrombie & Fitch store on Fifth Avenue. (New York Times) 





AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • sr
    12 May 2013

    the fact that her boyfriend present such dilemma to her when she's really achieving something for herself is an indicator that he doesn't really care about her. it didn't say he's required to be overseas, only travelling, for what?? plus, when asking her to leave the pursuit and security in her life to wonder off the bottom of the world, shouldn't he at least be engaged with her first?
    boyfriend isn't just a boyfriend in this scenario, more like a prospective life partner if he's worth leaving a dream job for. but if he's a prospective life partner, he would NOT ask her to make such decision.
    it's a no brainer to axe the so-called bf in this story, not saying there is no boyfriend worth leaving job for but it takes more than just what's described.

  • Ia
    10 May 2013

    person is 28, been in industry 6 years, which is fairly typical of people who quit jobs to do an MBA. So how about some study abroad (finance or languages) combined with travelling? How about maintaining a travel blog to show her on-the-ground familiarity with emerging markets, which she can show interviewers upon her return. More importantly, does this woman want to achieve anything for herself rather than keeping men (at home and work) happy? If so what?

  • Ch
    9 May 2013

    Partners of any gender will always be around! The opportunity to land a dream job in a bank may not always present itself. Who knows, one can 'network' within banking and find a partner! It seems to work for presenters on the various business channels, who seem to marry bankers.

  • Jo
    9 May 2013

    "How long can she be away from the industry before she becomes employable, she wonders."

    Typo or genuine question?!

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