If you're a junior in an investment and you're feeling a bit exhausted, the good news is that things do generally get better. The bad news is that this isn't always the case, and that they may subsequently get worse.
Emolument.com, the real time pay benchmarking site has been asking visitors about their work-life balance. 625 people in the front office have responded and we've plotted their answers by nationality of bank and rank of employee below.
As the chart shows, Emolument's results suggest life in banking typically improves with seniority. At most banks, for example, managing directors (MDs) are unanimously happy with their work life balance. At Swiss banks, directors are unanimously happy (Emolument doesn't have figures for Swiss banks' MDs). However, there are anomalies.
At British banks, for example, analysts say they have a far easier time than associates, vice presidents (VPs) and directors - possibly as a result of moves by the likes of Barclays to empower juniors to report seniors who overwork them. However, it looks like the grind has simply been shifted to the levels immediately above them.
At U.S. banks, it seems that analysts and directors bear the strain, while VPs and directors have a more leisurely time.
At French banks you probably wouldn't want to be analyst. But nor would you want to be an MD.
And at German and Swiss banks the strain seems less, and appears to be more equably distributed.
Emolument's figures are too general to be infallible - there will almost certainly be pockets of U.S. banks where analysts are unutterably happy and MDs are exhausted, but they provide a rough guide of what's to come. If you want an easier life as you progress, choose where you work with care.
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