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# IB in the US - how many days off per year on average?

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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  10 Aug 2008, 18:30
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I didn't read all the posts fully (math exam coming up - doh!), but I do agree with one of edwarise's points: the concept doing long hours for the sake of doing long hours is plainly ridiculous. I think you can spend time more efficiently in the office and not stay till 2am every day (I'm talking about the big picture here, I do realise that there are specific cases).

Also, receiving a holiday package and not taking it, not because you don't have time (I understand that), but because it's not in the culture to take all your holidays is just silly (I'm criticizing the culture here, not the people who do it; I'd most probably do the same). I get the impression from the posts that I read here on this forum that you tend to have that a lot in IB, more particularly in the US, and I don't agree with that. Yes, I know IB is a "take it or leave it" thing, yes I know it's an investment to jump to something else, yes I might not be cut for IB, but I'm just trying to make a global point here.

Feel free to correct me though on these 2 points if you feel that I'm wrong about them.

To give a personal example, my bank has 2 main M&A offices, one in Brussels and one in Amsterdam. The cultural difference is quite striking: the Brussels team tends to work fairly relaxed hours (60 hours per week tending to be the average); on the other hand, the guys is Amsterdam work their bollocks off - 90 hours per week or more is not uncommon. However, every time I worked for the Amsterdam team (me being in the Brussels office), what struck me the most was the inefficiency and the time waste. These guys KNEW that they were going to be in the office till midnight anyway, so they tended to take their time more. Obviously this is a generalisation, but globally I think it's a fairly accurate description. Does this sound familiar to anyone? (would like to have some feedback from other people)

In conclusion, my point is that while I do realise that IB is hard work, I think it's worth noticing that corporate culture in some IB departments is nonsense.

PS: for the record, while I was in Amsterdam I continued to work 60 - 70 hours per week, and everybody was happy with my work.

PPS: I apologise for the poorly written post; I do hope I got my main point through though.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  10 Aug 2008, 20:26
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There's something that's really bothering me here. Those of you who have been around the board for a while know that I don't like it when BS is perpetuated around here. For example, I've always hated it when people say things like "hey that's a great GMAT score, now just go write some stellar essays (as if that's easy to do) and you're getting in to the school of your choice!" I can hardly control my upchucking reflex just reading what I just typed.

I've posted dozens of messages about banking life, and it really bothers me when people perpetuate myths, rumors and just plain incorrect information. People at investment banks do not work until 2AM every day on a regular basis. I've never met or even heard of anyone who claims this. People do not work longer hours for the sake of staying longer. In fact, the people that I know (I can only base this on my personal experience and interactions) who work for banks are encouraged to take advantage of downtime, because frankly it is rare. When someone is able to leave at 6PM, I always tell them "great, enjoy yourself". I've had the same response when I've had the chance to leave early.

Now, I realize that myths persist about bankers at the associate level working 100+ week after week. I'm going to say it, flat out, this is not true. THIS IS FALSE. THIS IS A LOAD OF BUNK. Again, I've covered this in multiple threads, but associates do not regularly work 100+ hours a week. Now analysts, some of them do regularly work 80-90+ hours a week. I've seen it. I've suggested in other threads that somewhere between 60-80 hours is normal at the associate level. This can depend a lot on the practice group your are in, the deal flow, your location, and in large part who you're working for (this can make a huge difference).

For those that want to do a little data analysis of their own, I would suggest http://www.bankersball.com. It's a website where bankers go to commiserate - and generally the attitude leans towards comedy and cynicism about banking. You can take the site as you will, but they have a section on salary surveys and compensation reports. Now, the data is self-reported by people who browse the site, and you need to enter your own salary information to access the website, the I find the data to be extremely credible and accurate. The compensation report on banking now has over 5000 entries, with data on compensation, perks, benefits, whether they are happy, and for the purposes of this discussion, hours (again, all self-reported). If you filter the list for associates, you'll see that people reporting sub-50 hours work weeks outnumber those reporting 91+ hours (the lower and upper limits). Just by eyeballing, responses for 61-70 and 71-80 hours per week are by far the most common. Again, this data is self-reported but I find it to be highly credible because 1) it's anonymous, so there's no reason to lie, 2) it's a bunch of bankers reporting among themselves so there's really no point in trying to lie about it and 3) it is completely consistent with what I have observed myself and what I've learned from my friends.

So, here are things that I am quite comfortable dismissing as pure bunk, lies, falsehoods and trickeration, whether they be purposeful lies or simply misstatements that people mindlessly perpetuate.

1. Bankers at the associate level regularly work 100+ hours per week. No. Certainly, I'll agree that most bankers have put in 100 hour weeks at some point, but somewhere between 60-80 hours is where the vast majority of folks fall (can't really help it if some outlier decides they want to work 100+ hours every week, but the same could be said of entrepreneurs or even hairdressers). Now analysts, maybe. I wouldn't be shocked.

2. Bankers at the associate level regularly work until 2AM (or 3AM or 4AM, I've heard a lot of silly crap). False. IB associates get in between 9-10AM usually (let's call it 9:30) and stay until 9-10PM. Obviously, there are thousands of individuals out there and everyone has their own schedule, but I'm confident that most people are not sitting around at midnight regularly to score points for face-time. If the stuff you're working on isn't time sensitive, there's no reason to say into the middle of the night. In fact, earlier in the summer one of the VPs noticed I was working very hard; when handing me a new project he said specifically that there was no reason to stay late to get this done (again, it makes a huge difference who you work for). Now analysts, well that's another story. I've seen first hand this summer that it really does suck to be an analyst.

3. Bankers stay long hours for the sake of working longer hours. This just doesn't make any sense to me. The people that I work with (my friends around the street confirm the same) are happy when someone is able to take off early. Nobody is generating work or trying to extend their time in the office. People work hard enough that the concept of face-time is just unnecessary (now, if you leave at 5PM every day you will stick out like a sore thumb). People always ask whether you need to stay late or come in on weekends, and are legitimately happy for you (even the senior people are happy for you) when you don't. Now, this is definitely predicated on working hard regularly, and being someone that they can count on.

4. That working harder is better than working smarter. This was something that edwarise suggested multiple times. The suggestion that working harder and working smarter are diametrically opposed, to quote Mike Tyson, is just ludicrisp. Working smarter is definitely well respected among bankers. You're always told to not reinvent the wheel and to fully utilize your support network; and if you're smart enough to develop a new business area or type of financing, you'll be rewarded as a genius. However, working hard is important as well. Edwarise suggested that he could do his job in 4-5 hours a day - the question then becomes well why doesn't he work just as smart and do twice as much? For bankers, there's always another client that can be wooed or another financial instrument that could be developed. If you're smart and efficient, you an get in on more deals, learn a lot more, get promoted more quickly and make tons more money. Why do people think that you need to be a slacker to work smarter? A lot of the most successful people out there work smarter and harder (just off the top of my head, I recall Donald Trump talking about how sleep is a waste of time, and Jack Welch talking about work-life trade-offs rather than work-life balance).

Anyhow, the discussion will be more useful if we can cut through the BS. I encourage people who are interested to check out the data at Banker's Ball. Less than 1 in 10 report working 91+ hours a week (eyeballing tell me it's like 1/20 or maybe 5%), and way more report working less than 50 hours in an average week.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  11 Aug 2008, 04:37
Great post, Pelihu, kudos.

These myths are hard to get rid of though, because they are constantly perpetuated - on this forum and even in this topic. Anyway, thanks for the info and the website.

Last thing, what is your view on the holidays issue I mentioned?
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  11 Aug 2008, 07:51
pelihu wrote:
4. That working harder is better than working smarter. This was something that edwarise suggested multiple times. The suggestion that working harder and working smarter are diametrically opposed, to quote Mike Tyson, is just ludicrisp. Working smarter is definitely well respected among bankers. You're always told to not reinvent the wheel and to fully utilize your support network; and if you're smart enough to develop a new business area or type of financing, you'll be rewarded as a genius. However, working hard is important as well. Edwarise suggested that he could do his job in 4-5 hours a day - the question then becomes well why doesn't he work just as smart and do twice as much? For bankers, there's always another client that can be wooed or another financial instrument that could be developed. If you're smart and efficient, you an get in on more deals, learn a lot more, get promoted more quickly and make tons more money. Why do people think that you need to be a slacker to work smarter? A lot of the most successful people out there work smarter and harder (just off the top of my head, I recall Donald Trump talking about how sleep is a waste of time, and Jack Welch talking about work-life trade-offs rather than work-life balance).

I hate the term that one should "work smarter, not harder". Most of the people I know and have worked with who say "work smarter, not harder" are trying to make up for their lack of work ethic and usually are not very smart. Pelihu is correct in saying both are more appreciated by companies. Do both and one is better in the long run.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  11 Aug 2008, 08:08

It's a study published by Wichita State University regarding the use of fonts and what psychological message each conveys.

http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usab ... Shaikh.pdf

pelihu wrote:
aceman626 wrote:

If I'm not mistaken, the guys in the book are post MBA associates, just like what most ppl want to be here. I think the tone of the book might be overly negative, but the actual things they did, such as making pitch books all the time, waiting around for the printing, scrutinizing fonts and minute details, hectic traveling....i don't think that's made up right?

Ahh, printing. Back in my law firm days, I remember a deal (IB securities offering) where we went to the printers. Just one time though; by that point banks and law firms had started doing their printing in-house. In order to produce things like pitch books and prospectuses they needed to use professional type-setting and actual cameras because desktop graphics and printing technology wasn't good enough; these days you just PDF it and have your in-house guys print and bind it for you. Bankers do not go to the printers any more (at least I haven't heard of any); however it is a good idea to maintain good relations with the in-house graphics/printing department. That, like many of the other stories in the book are totally anachronistic; for example the whole rigmarole about salaries isn't really applicable now that the big banks are all public and the stories about recruitment bear no resemblance to what I experienced first hand from 20+ banks.

Making pitch books all the time? Well, they aren't paying associates hundreds of thousands of dollars to sit around, so if you aren't doing live deals you're trying to drum up business by pitching deals. I will say that pitches often aren't the most time sensitive things; so if you're working on a pitch you probably aren't working all hours of the day and night (unless it's a pitch in response to a request, which probably means its a lot closer to a deal). Scrutinizing fonts and details is definitely part of the job, but I'd assume it is part of the job for any business where attention to detail is critical to the work and a reflection of quality (not to mention a selling point). If you can't make all the fonts the same size, can you be counted on to get all the decimal places, formulas and calculations right?

It's a funny book, with elements of truth, but it's not an accurate depiction of day-to-day life for bankers. If you happened to hit a deer on your way to work on Monday, would you describe, as part of your daily commute, hitting a deer? Most of the stories in this book should be viewed this way.

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**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$. GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings SVP Joined: 31 Jul 2006 Posts: 2304 Schools: Darden Followers: 40 Kudos [?]: 442 [10] , given: 0 Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink] 11 Aug 2008, 11:47 10 This post received KUDOS Audio wrote: Great post, Pelihu, kudos. These myths are hard to get rid of though, because they are constantly perpetuated - on this forum and even in this topic. Anyway, thanks for the info and the website. Last thing, what is your view on the holidays issue I mentioned? Thanks. Regarding vacation time (holiday to you crazy Europeans), I think you really need to think about it based on the level of the people in question. Life is much different for an analyst than it is for an MD. Here's how I see it. Analyst (college graduates, usually 2 year program) - These people just aren't going to be taking much vacation. Many of the horror stories about banking come from this level. They generally work a couple more hours per day than associates, they work most weekends, they get work dumped on them at 9PM on a Friday night. The flip side is that in average years get get paid 3-4x more than other college graduates. I think of it as a sprint for these folks. It's two years, after which they are in prime position to transition to a hedge fund or private equity (4 out of the 4 2nd years in my group went on to top PE firms earlier in the summer); and of course they are prime candidates for busniess school after a few years. We all hate them because they will be filling lots of seats at Harvard, Wharton, Columbia et. al.; but it helps to remember how hard they have to work as analysts. It's crazy for these people to plan vacations because they have no control over the flow of a deal, and in order for more senior people to accomodate clients and deadlines, someone has to do the grunt work. As their two year program winds up, a lot of analysts do take vacation time, so really it's one year with little to no vacation. It's funny how people come to attribute a banker's entire career to equal the lives of first year analysts. Associate (MBAs and a few promoted analysts) - I think these people do take vacation time. Whether they can get in 3-4 weeks per year depends a lot on their practice group, the people they work with, how busy things and their own preferences. I think it has relatively little effect on career progression - in other words people who take vacation will not be blackballed for promotions, they are responsible for making sure deals don't get f'd up because of their vacation. I think it would be highly unusual for someone at this level to take 3 consecutive weeks off; it's just too much of a break and would really screw things up because of ramp-up and ramp-down time. Just think about the work that these people do - they are responsible for getting deals done, and it's impossible to predict when things will heat up. People at this level are much more likely to take a few days at a time, extend some weekends, maybe take a week during slow times. For example, August is considered a slow period and I'm on a deal where several people will be taking the entire week off next week. People seem to be planning for it, but ultimately associates are responsible for getting the work done. I think that as associates learn their roles, get used to the people they are working with how deals flow they are able to extracate themselves from work for a little R&R. For example, my full-time associate buddy for the summer is taking 2+ weeks for his wedding & honeymoon, and it seems perfectly normal. VP (what associates become after 3 1/2 years): These people are responsible for executing deals that are brought in my more senior bankers (some manage their own clients as well). These people seem to travel a lot (varies greatly with practice area of course), pitching ideas, meeting with clients and negotiating and executing transactions. This is also the level where people really have to decide whether they want to make a career out of banking by developing their own client base - associates can be promoted to VP by doing a good job with what they are given, but VPs probably need to branch out to get promoted. VPs can and do take vacation time. I've also observed that VPs close to being considered for promotion tend to work their asses off (no different thank law, consulting, or most other professions I believe). As with most service industries, bankers must accomodate their clients, but VPs have a lot of control over when meetings and things take place, and thus have some control over planning their vacations. VPs sometimes have late nights, but generally leave earlier than associates (who in turn usually leave before analysts). This isn't some sort of face-time conspiracy; VPs can hand off certain work to associates, and associates to analysts (sucks to be at the bottom of this pile). At this level, it really starts to be more of a personal decision of when and how much vacation to take. It's also at this level that people can leave banking and jump to other gigs at a pretty high level (a VP title from a bulge bracket carries substantial weight). SVP/Director (what VPs become after 3-4 years): SVP and director are exactly the same thing, just different titles at different firms. These people have full control over their schedules. They can take as much vacation time as they feel like. A couple of the SVPs around here leave before 6:30 every day. One is out on vacation right now for two weeks. At this level, it's really up to the individual to decide how much work they want to take on. Many spend their days flying around schmoozing with old customers and courting new ones. On rare ocassions they might get their hands dirty executing a deal, but not often because that's what they have VPs for. Their jobs involve planning, strategy, thinking up new financial instruments and new sectors to target. It's hard to generalize too much because these people really set their own schedules. Some work from home a lot and some are on the road all the time. I think they can take as much vacation as they feel like, and some do while others don't. MD: These people do whatever they feel like doing. One of the MDs here has a big 4 PE firm as a client. He's in the office about 5 days a month, and his work consists of playing golf at exclusive clubs, dining at top restaurants and traveling to resorts around the world for conferences and things like that. I'm pretty sure he takes home an 8 figure salary as well. Again, it's impossible to generalize at this level. I've heard of some MDs that still keep the hours they did while they were analysts. I have heard of many firms establishing branch offices in places because an MD decided he wanted to live there - so essntially their entire job is a vacation. So, that's about it. I agree completely that first-year analysts probably average less than 5 days of vacation; but many second-year analysts do take vacation as their program winds up. Keep in mind that they are only in it for two years. People at other levels can and do take vacations, but how that breaks down depends a lot on the individual. For example, I personally don't like to be gone for weeks at a time. Among other things I have a couple of dogs to take care of, but I also don't like the hassle of making sure all my responsibilites are covered while I'm gone. I'm usually happy most happy with a couple of days tacked on to a weeked; and I'm always happy when I return home. Even when I was working for myself, I never took extended breaks, and I don't believe I will if I go into banking full-time. I think the important thing to remember is that at the associate level, as you learn about your role and plan ahead, you can take vacation time; and of course that's even more true at levels beyond. You can't just look at analysts and assume all bankers are sutck like that for the rest of their careers. When choosing a career, it's silly to just look at what life will be like during your first or second year on the job. SVP Joined: 11 Mar 2008 Posts: 1634 Location: Southern California Schools: Chicago (dinged), Tuck (November), Columbia (RD) Followers: 8 Kudos [?]: 187 [0], given: 0 Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink] 11 Aug 2008, 12:30 pelihu wrote: I have heard of many firms establishing branch offices in places because an MD decided he wanted to live there - so essntially their entire job is a vacation. DLJ's Beverly Hills office? _________________ Check out the new Career Forum http://gmatclub.com/forum/133 Current Student Joined: 14 Apr 2008 Posts: 453 Schools: F2010 - HBS (R1 - denied w/o interview ), INSEAD (R1 - admitted), Wharton (R1 - waitlisted & ding), Ivey (R2 - admitted w/ 60% tuition) WE 1: 3.5yrs as a Strategy Consultant - Big 4 Followers: 13 Kudos [?]: 35 [0], given: 16 Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink] 11 Aug 2008, 12:37 Pelihu -- thanks for the detailed insight you continue to provide into the IB world. It is invaluable for those of us with no first hand knowledge of that environment. _________________ INSEAD Sept 2010 Interview Invite Nov 5, 2009 Admit & Matriculating Wharton Sept 2010 Interview Invite Oct 30, 2009 Waitlisted & Ding Harvard Sept 2010 Ding without Interview Ivey May 2010 Interview Invite Nov 23, 2009 Admit +$$

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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  11 Aug 2008, 12:43
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Audio wrote:
These guys KNEW that they were going to be in the office till midnight anyway, so they tended to take their time more. Obviously this is a generalisation, but globally I think it's a fairly accurate description. Does this sound familiar to anyone? (would like to have some feedback from other people)

I'm not in IB, but I definitively noticed this attitude among people who stay late. The idea is "if the boss wants me to stay late, I will, but I'm not busting my ass for 12 hours straight".

RF
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  11 Aug 2008, 12:45
Again another great post. However, I have a question concerning your sources: do you conclude the above based on your personal experience? Because if I remember well you're based on the west coast; this bears the question: is there a significant cultural difference between say NYC and SF/LA on that point of view? Of course, as you mention, it depends on the bank, the team and the individual, but if you take a helicopter-view is there a difference?

I personally heard that it was more hectic in NYC; basically working in a "hub" such as LA/SF (I'm not implying that your company in particular is a hub, but the main offices of a lot of banks are in NYC from what I gather) is a tradeoff between career and time for yourself: more time, less chances of promotion / high salaries.

Anyway, thanks for your great input! You're one of my favourite contributors to this forum.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  11 Aug 2008, 17:27
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I’d like a say a few words to continue our discussion.

To pelihu

1. Time and money.
pelihu wrote:
However, working hard is important as well. Edwarise suggested that he could do his job in 4-5 hours a day - the question then becomes well why doesn't he work just as smart and do twice as much? For bankers, there's always another client that can be wooed or another financial instrument that could be developed. If you're smart and efficient, you an get in on more deals, learn a lot more, get promoted more quickly and make tons more money.

Did I understand you right that you are thinking that all the time should be devoted to work and money? Why do you think so?

For me it’s not the true. I usually reject about 50% of projects which I get (because they are not interested for me, they don’t give me useful experience and connections for future, I have not time or I just don’t want to execute them).

2. Question # 3.
pelihu wrote:
Did you really use cooks as an example of passion and hard work? Seriously? I watch the food network almost every day and I'm pretty damn sure it's easier to make it to the Major Leagues (as in baseball) than it is to make $5mm as a cook. For every cook that makes$5mm I'll be happy to point out 1000 or 10000 working at McDonald's, Olive Garden and your local diner. And seriously, is it passion that got them to the top, or is it a combination of things unrelated to their passion for cooking, like being photogenic and quite frankly really lucky? What if I'm plain looking and not very charismatic, vivacious or talented? Will passion for the job really be enough, or will it propel me into a rewarding career as a line cook at Outback Steakhouse? I have lots of friends who have a passion for literature (used to be an English major), and the most that passion will every get them is tenure at a small liberal arts college. Realistically, passion and dedication in most lines of work will not be enough to allow you to afford a house and lifestyle in Palo Alto.

I have just one question. I want to understand your better. Do you really believe that to be a good successful cook (or smb else) is worse than to be bad ordinary banker? Why? My idea was that it’s much better to make smth you are really love and where you can really contribute to the society with your abilities using them in a best possible way. And do it in a way you like whenever the fashion, culture and other people do it.

I think it’s normal for every industry – for every one successful banker there are hundreds who just spent their time and best ages for nothing. I’ve seen it many times. I’m sure that many people in the world make wrong decision about their designations, and IMHO it’s one of the biggest problems of the human race. It’s really so boring to speak with such unrealized people in their forties.

3. Could I ask you about something personal? Never mind to skip it if you wouldn’t like.

As I understand you are Chinese in original, but spent all your life in US. I feel you are quite American-oriented in your thinking, their values areclose to you. What do you think about greatest Chinese culture and traditions? Are they close to you? Do they affect to your life-style, values and life-decision making process?

Are there any contradictions between them (Chinese and American) from your point of view?

You wrote you was going to be back and develop own business in China. Are you thinking about it yet or decided concentrated on IB career in US?

Thank you very much!

To everybody
4. About working hard and smart.
I meant that working smart is being strongly oriented on your result and understand clearly what do you do right now and why do you do it. And think every moment about do you really need to do it, is now the best time for it and how you can do it better, faster and more efficient. Focusing on real results of any efforts (personal results, not anybody else!) not so easy as it may seems. Many years ago I decided to analyze every minute I spend and found out that 80 % of my working time are useless for me in general – it brought no performance, no satisfaction, no money in the end. If you spent 50 % of your working time really right – I would admire you as much as possible.

Another important thing is reflection. It’s persistent analysis of the way you go. Just an example. When I was I child I grew potato for surviving on 5 lands in 15 km area around place I lived. I worked really hard and might work harder and harder, but for what? For just another few kg of harvest? I found that it’s better to look for other opportunities to use my abilities. I began trade on market and so on. And then I always think what can I do better for me right now, how I can better use my talents? The main problem of long ladders in big companies is that they psychologically fetter many young people, who became oriented on one long way and reduce attention to the world around. They became reflect on yourself and think about opportunities around less and just wait critical points on the straight way to make next decision. And some people (I’ve meet these cases) even if their young decision were obviously wrong just endure for years hoping for better. That’s why I like such guys as pelihu (he is really close to me in many things) – who are not to be afraid of thinking deeply and changing wrong decisions as soon as possible.

Work harder is good, but for me analyzing every moment why you do smth and how to do it better is more difficult and harder than just spending tomorrow more hours than yesterday or to leave the office later than the next table guy.

I don’t know how hours affect promotion in US. It does obviously depend on country, industry, company and even persons and their culture. But my experience says that orientation on final results, taking your own hours and projects under your full control, being more independent in managing your work usually helps. When I was younger I usually went to office later and left earlier than others (ever than my directors) and despite it grew much faster than anybody else around. I think it may show your leadership, result orientation, confidence and self-sufficiency. Now I also like more subordinates who just take the task and manage it yourself, not trying to be always in a field of view. If someone stays later than others he does not manage his time right or he tries to impress by his diligence. I don’t like both types.

And no less important factor mentioned by Audio. Many people just wasting their time at office waiting for appropriate time to go without any sense for them or for the company. It’s obviously common thing.

6. Factors of success
What are the real factors of life success? Hours you spent of course important. But I think not last in the list are family (it can really stimulate and inspire as nothing else), hobbies (they can develop many traits which difficult to develop by other things), general development and education (which is really important for business, for example in communications or understanding global trends, understanding people better and so on), sport (good fit is obvious), character improvement, traveling and rest of mind (it opens your creativity and vision) and so on. Hours do not help with them, they prevent. How the best way to combine all the things? It’s very individual question, but the balance between many factors are important for success in any field.

I know one guy, he is multibillionaire (Forbes-100, 11-digit capital though he lost a few billions this year). He got his fortune in the last 5-6 years. I think he will never work 100-hours a week in his life. But he is really interesting person. He has not MBA or great education, he is not a genious, and he has never planned his ladder. But he look around and see current opportunities very well. He likes to think and take things into doubts. Really great guy.

I knew also some people who really got his fortune by spending all their lives in the office. Some of them are really successful. But for me they often are quite boring. It’s difficult to speak with them about smth interesting but cars, money and shops. They look like they’ve never thought or discussed about serious things. Just chatting for politeness. Many bankers I’m working with are that type. They sold their human development like Faust sold his soul.

7. Age and money.
I believe now that money in a young age when the personality is not strong yet may be a bad thing. Bad for the person of course. Maybe it’s very rare in Europe and not very common in US, but in my country a lot of people became multimillionaires and even billionaires very quickly, under their 30. I know a few. For many it has bad effect on personality and character. I can understand it because even I has big problems with the prou after some quick success. It really hurt later and I think you are always need to pay for it. So it’s not a easy question – do you really want it al right now? I know that all young people want as much as possible and as soon as possible, but maybe it is better to get most benefits later and get the greater life early. Also question for consideration. Anyway it’s better to be very accurate with huge money in young age.

8. Once upon a time I decided to think how I can motivate young men better. How to pay them lower wage but get the most efforts and all the juice? And I realized that the best way – to promise everything great in the future if they would work as hard as possible for modest money right now and a few years. In one great poem it was written “hopes nourish youth” – great words. And then I realized that it’s a common thing to exploit people for centuries. Give me all your life for 5 (10, 20…) years, forget everything and then you will be free/happy/respected/rich whatever. It’s common business principle to manage youth. In NBA managers say “Play 5 years for 1M, be good and discipline, and you will get 5. And then 10. And maybe after 1o years on the decline of your career you will get 20 if you would be the good guy. You are playing now much better than those who get 20 right now? You deserve more? You can get awful injury? It’s not your issues, stupid boy, believe us!”. ...“Look at this Partner, his life so great and happy, he almost does do nothing and get millions! Do you want such a life? Do what we say and maybe sometime you’ll get it! You are ours!”. ...“Just 25 years in the army – it’s almost nothing! and see how big your pension will be! And what a respect! Isn’t it great?”.

In many industries this principle became dominant. And why in those industries there are not any trade unions? It’s contradicted with my previous point, but it’s also thing for consideration.

Sorry if I offence somebody, I don’t mean anything personal. I just like to speak with smart guys and discuss non obvious and interesting questions.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  11 Aug 2008, 21:57
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The last post hurt my brain...too long for one thing. No offense but if you are real (hoping its all a joke) and plan on applying to and attending a school in the US, do yourself and future classmates a favor brush up on your English skills. I am not trying to be rude or mean but 100% serious with this. I understand English is your second (maybe 3rd or 4th) language but trying to get through your post was painful.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  12 Aug 2008, 16:26
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Edwarise, I suggest you proof read your post, because that was a hard post to follow.

Pelihu, great post. May I ask what the weekend hours are like on average for associate and VP levels?
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  22 Oct 2008, 13:20
Pelihu: I applaud your patience. Your contributions to this forum are priceless! I couldn't find the strength to finish reading any of edwarise's posts.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  23 Oct 2008, 08:14
I haven't read the whole thread because it has some really long posts, but I wanted to point out that it depends on the bank as well as the city/country. I know of some smaller firms in New York where if they catch you not taking enough vacation they "encourage" you to not show up for a few days. One place had a fortune piece on them a coupple years ago where they cited an employee who was sent on safari for a month and told that if he showed up in the office he'd be fired. Not all banks buy into the crazy schedule, but I have a family friend who works over 100 hours per week and is in the office every sunday afternoon as well so you can definitely find both types.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  23 Oct 2008, 13:09
Sleepy wrote:
I haven't read the whole thread because it has some really long posts, but I wanted to point out that it depends on the bank as well as the city/country. I know of some smaller firms in New York where if they catch you not taking enough vacation they "encourage" you to not show up for a few days. One place had a fortune piece on them a coupple years ago where they cited an employee who was sent on safari for a month and told that if he showed up in the office he'd be fired. Not all banks buy into the crazy schedule, but I have a family friend who works over 100 hours per week and is in the office every sunday afternoon as well so you can definitely find both types.

Great story about the safari incident!

True, you have all types, but I guess that there are generalities that you can see: the London boys work on average less than in NY for example, and they have more holidays.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  24 Oct 2008, 03:26
I think I like the sound of this generality

Audio wrote:
Great story about the safari incident!

True, you have all types, but I guess that there are generalities that you can see: the London boys work on average less than in NY for example, and they have more holidays.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  24 Oct 2008, 06:23
bsd_lover wrote:
I think I like the sound of this generality

Audio wrote:
Great story about the safari incident!

True, you have all types, but I guess that there are generalities that you can see: the London boys work on average less than in NY for example, and they have more holidays.

Same thing here mate...

On a side note: recruiting for NY is extremely time-consuming over here, as opposed to recruiting for London, which is actually OK.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  07 Jan 2009, 22:21
I like the sound of this fact too

Audio wrote:
bsd_lover wrote:
I think I like the sound of this generality

Audio wrote:
Great story about the safari incident!

True, you have all types, but I guess that there are generalities that you can see: the London boys work on average less than in NY for example, and they have more holidays.

Same thing here mate...

On a side note: recruiting for NY is extremely time-consuming over here, as opposed to recruiting for London, which is actually OK.
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Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average? [#permalink]  03 Sep 2009, 08:23
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I worked as an analyst in IB straight out of undergrad. A couple of things-

Associates and analysts worked the same hours in my group and I think that's pretty much true everywhere. You don't get a break by entering as an associate.

The stories of the hours you will work are usually exaggerated. I did an occasional week over 100 hours, maybe one every 6 weeks or so, but my average was probably around 80. That means some weeks around 120 and some weeks around 70. You're probably looking at 12-14 hours a day, 5 days a week plus 4-8 hours on the weekend as a base case, and tack onto that depending on how busy you are. It is rare that you get an entire weekend off but it does happen once in a while.

But I think the reason they are exaggerated is that you can't understand how hard it is to pull off 80 or 90 hours week in and week out in a high stress environment unless you've done it. It really grinds on you.

Which brings me to my final point, which is a direct answer to the OP. You get 2 weeks of vacation and you can take all of it. Usually around the holidays and a week in the summer. It would be physically impossible to work at that pace without breaks and even the ultra hard asses that you meet do understand that. There is generally not much activity around those times of year anyway. There is a chance you'll get unlucky and get f'd up on a vacation, but that would be extreme.
Re: IB in the US - how many days off per year on average?   [#permalink] 03 Sep 2009, 08:23

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