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The modest hipsterish dream of most people quitting Wall Street now

The ex-banker ideal

You don't like your banking job. You're fed up with the long hours, the cloying corporate culture, the competitiveness, the dogmatism of compliance people, and the dwindling perks. You're under 30. You still have choices and don't have too much stock. What do you want to do next? A new survey suggests most people aspiring to leave banking just want to be like hipsters.

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Website Escape the City surveyed 75 US-based financial services professionals. Nearly 80% had a generalized hankering to do something different and a similar proportion said their current career was not their vocation. What did they want to do in the world outside banking? 7% wanted to go into the creative arts, 8% wanted to go into the media, 11% wanted to go into travel and tourism, and 20% wanted to go into a start-up. The largest proportion however - 32% of the financial services professionals surveyed - confessed to having no idea what sort of career they aspired to once they left banking.

They did, however, have a clear idea of the kind of lifestyle they wanted to lead. The largest proportion of respondents - 61% - said they wanted to get out of banking and pursue a hipsterish existence by 'living locally in a sustainable city with a loft apartment and a bike.' By comparison, the bankers had limited urge to dropout altogether - just 11% fancied 'living in a van, catching surf and climbing mountains' and only 13% fancied retiring to 'a cabin in the woods with lots of fresh air.'

Escape the City co-founder Dom Jackman said bankers tend to get burnt out, but they also find it hard to transition into something else because they're used to spending on luxuries.

People quitting Wall Street for a hipsterish loft-and-bike existence may find their preferred alternative more expensive than expected: loft apartments in New York City can be costly, as can fixed gear bikes.  Paying for both might be a challenge if you've left banking with no idea what you want to do next.


AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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