The intensity of working in investment banking isn’t for everyone. The pace of work in investment banking can be particularly difficult on women, who may want to start a family when they reach their 30’s. Many bankers leave after a few years to go into related fields such as management consulting or corporate finance.
Some large firms such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. MorganChase and Deutsche Bank have launched return-to-work programs to lure back senior executives who left investment banking due to work-life pressures. These programs offer a reduced work week and less travel (and reduced compensation), in an effort to tap into the experience and maturity of mid-level employees who initially left the industry.
Bottom line: yes, the money is attractive. But the demands of an investment banking job and the pace of the business are way too extreme if you go into it just for the money. To thrive in investment banking, you need to like the work itself, the number crunching, the digging for facts on a particular company, political jockeying within the firm, and the high octane environment of working with a pack of alpha males.
You’ll need topnotch analytical abilities, great people skills, stamina and a bit of luck to make a career of it. Not to mention the patience to put your personal life on the back burner for a few years. If all this sounds appealing to you, then investment banking might be the right choice.
For a more cynical and often humorous look at life inside investment banking, check out www.mergersandinquisitions.com