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50 things you'll need to sacrifice if you want to make it in banking

Watch out

1. Sleep

Heard of the 'Magic Roundabout'? No? Familiarize yourself, especially if you plan to work as a junior in M&A.

2. Lunch 

It's supposedly for wimps...

In fact, you will probably have lunch. Banks like Goldman have impressive cafeterias for this exact purpose. But you will probably have a quick lunch and may not leave the building or your desk in order to purchase and consumer it.

3. Midweek sorties with old friends

There'll be none of that. Old friends who work in government-type jobs might be meeting up for midweek drinks. You will have drinks with the team, or not at all.

4. Midweek sorties without any friends

Most banks will feed you if you work late enough into the evening. Grocery shopping will become a thing of the past.

5. Saturday mornings in the countryside

You'll be in bed, or at work.

6. Saturday afternoons in a onesie in front of the TV

You'll be at work, or trying to meet up with the old friends who invited you out during the week.

7. Sunday afternoons being vigorous in the open air

You'll be in a onesie in front of the TV, trying to prepare for the week ahead.

8. Visits to your parents

Like the Chinese, your parents may need to enforce visits if they're to see you at all.

9. Visits to your grandparents

You will see them even less than your parents.

10. Quality time with your siblings

You will see them as much as your parents, unless they move into your apartment and start trying to borrow money on the assumption that you're rich.

11. Easy banter at parties

As Deutsche Bank CEO Anshu Jain observed, people may stop talking when they find you work in banking.

12. Invitations to parties 

Non-banking friends will stop inviting you when they find you work all the time and usually drop out at the last moment.

13. Invitations to protest marches 

While university friends are bonding at marches to protest against austerity, you'll be getting cabs and expensing your meals.

14. Invitations to become the godparent to the child of your university friend who has married his nice liberal girlfriend

Instead, he will choose your mutual friend who works in the 3rd sector. You will be invited to become godparent to the child of the university friend without much money who foresees you becoming wealthy in future and whose wife is ambivalent about your career choice.

15. Your own nice liberal girlfriend/boyfriend

They'll meet someone else at a protest march.

16. Your own nice-but-needy girlfriend/boyfriend

You won't have time for them.

17. Your own highly desirable girlfriend/boyfriend

They'll meet someone else at a protest march.

18. Any opportunity to use your $$$ carbon-framed bike as it was intended

It will mostly stay propped up in the hall.

19. Your beard 

Only Lloyd Blankfein is allowed one.

20. Your moustache

Only Frank Quattrone is allowed one.

21. Your brown shoes 

Leading indicator that you will not succeed in finance.

22. Your non-leather uppers

No one wears canvas shoes, unless they work at Barclays.  

23. Your ebullient Facebook personality 

You will become fearful of anyone finding your Facebook self. 

24. Your ebullient Twitter personality

You will become fearful of anyone finding your Twitter self. 

25. Your Pinterest collection of photographs of attractive analysts

Scrap this immediately.

26. Your Pinterest collection of photographs of exhausted associates


27. Your dislike of Mumford & Sons

After several months working under artificial lighting and taking the subway/tube late at night or early in the morning, their blend of cheery-but-meaningful folksy music will seem the perfect antidote to your day at work.

28. Your dislike of smooth men from continental Europe

They will be plentiful, especially if you're in London.

29. Your fear of flying

Try hypnosis.

30. Your fear of group-think

Try hypnosis.

31. Your modest chuckle

Start working on your partner-laugh.

32. Your modesty

Think of yourself as "excelling" and "performing exceptionally well."

33. Your enduring appreciation of marijuana

There will be random drug tests. Marijuana remains in the body for up to 13 days.

34. Your enduring appreciation of carbohydrates 

You will get fat, carbohydrates will contribute to this.

35. Your dog

You work for a bank, not for Google, not for Facebook.

36. Your parrot

Parrots are more demanding pets than dogs. See 34.

37. Your red underwear

Flesh-coloured is preferable, according to UBS. 

38. Your love of garlic

Eating garlic is unwise, according to UBS. 

39. Your love of onions

Eating onions is unwise, according to UBS.

40. Your giant toenails

Foot talons are inappropriate, according to UBS. 

41.  Your deep-seated unwillingness to stand naked in the company gymnasium

Take your lead from Lloyd Blankfein. 

42. Your hope that your daughter will become a banker too

Laura Dimon, Caroline Gorman, Nellie Diamond - none are bankers.

43. Your love of gardening

Stephen Hester only got to tend his topiary a few times a year.

44. Your dual life as a Hindu monk 

So you thought you could combine a job on Wall Street with living in a monastery? It won't work long term.

45. Your intention to be incredibly mindful at all times 

You will not have time be totally mindful of your Excel spreadsheet or Bloomberg terminal.

46. Your preference for multi-syllabic word use 

Tone it down. Especially if you're on the trading floor.

47. Your dislike of alcohol

If you work in sales, you will be expected to drink with clients. If you work in trading, you will be expected to drink with brokers.

48. Your dislike of caffeine

Peppermint tea is inadequate as a stimulant.

49. Your belief that your body is a temple

There will be burgers. There will also be Krispy Kremes.

50. Your search for meaning

You may not find your banking job too meaningful - unless you repeat to yourself the words of Nobel prize winner Robert Schiller, who last year told finance graduates that, "Finance, at its best, does not merely manage risk, but also acts as the steward of society’s assets and an advocate of its deepest goals." Remember that.



AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • V
    19 October 2013

    Sacrifice your life other than work :)

  • ML
    ML Veteran
    19 October 2013

    You soule add: 51. Your self respect 52. And most importantly: your time. Years will pass while you will be staring at your Pitch/ model thinking of the next deadline, working hard to get through the next promotion round. And time is a non renewable resource...

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