It’s no secret that investment banking can reduce keen, healthy 20-somethings into overweight husks of people with anxiety issues. It’s down to the hours, it’s down to the stress, the politics. Maybe protected weekends have helped, but juniors themselves suggest that it’s still tough slog and some are still collapsing with exhaustion.
14-hour days take their toll – not that tech is much better – and Alexandra Mitchell’s nine-year study of junior bankers identified a whole litany of ailments that hit people working in the sector. One poster on the Wall Street Oasis has some tips for survival, however, and it largely means taking control of your own health.
Firstly, and obviously, he says – eat well and exercise. Junior bankers live on takeaway, and barely have time to make it to the gym. Make it count. “You want either HIIT classes (or their self-directed equivalent, no need to think that this can only happen at Tone House or Barry’s) or a solid self-designed program rotating across the major muscle groups (e.g. one day each on legs, chest, and back where you’re blasting squats, bench, and deadlifts for 30-40 minutes),” he says. 4-5 intensive exercise sessions a week will keep you in shape, he says.
Secondly, you might not be given much of an opportunity for sleep, but when it’s there – take it. “Try one month of going straight to bed when you get home,” he wrote. “Coming back after an entire day sitting on your ass in a chair and sprawling on a couch or your bed to watch Netflix is not conducive to your health. It’s easy to let an easy night at the office where you got out at 9:30 end up affecting you just as negatively as a rough night where you left at 1:00 if on both nights you’re falling asleep at 1:30.”
Finally, look after your mental health. Not matter how bad the job gets, remember that it’s just a job. “It means that when you get the classic “Fw: RE: RE: re: FW: Re: Corrected numbers” at 8:50pm, instead of raging internally or letting another sliver of your soul slip into permanent oblivion, go back to your mental practice and center yourself.”
When you’re a junior banker you’re relatively disposable and definitely lacking in power. But don’t let yourself be railroaded by the job. “Your seniors care about getting the best work out of you. If you demonstrate that that best work comes when you take care of yourself, they won’t make any noise,” he says.
Separately, Google is tackling a new image problem. After a 3,000 word anti-diversity internal memo went viral, the tech giant has just appointed a new head of diversity, Danielle Brown, who has a big task ahead of her.
“I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate we’ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words,” she said in her first memo, according to Recode.
“Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google,” she added. “And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”
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