Research by American academic and ex-Goldman Sachs banker Alexandra Michel suggests the long hours people working in banking become internalized. There is no escape. Even if you leave the industry, you’ll replicate those hours elsewhere.
This seems to have been the experience of Rameet Chawla, an ex-Merrill Lynch analyst who left the bank in in 2007. Like so many others, Chawla quit banking because he couldn’t ‘fit into the corporate world’, had a problem with authority figures, and ‘couldn’t get out of bed at 9am for meetings.’
Nowadays, Chawla gets out of bed at 11am. But this doesn't mean he's dropped out.
A profile of Chawla in the New York Post discloses that he now works junior banker hours at Fueled, the app development company he started. Unshackled from corporatism, Chawla has engineered his own daily schedule to include 14 hours of work (in two seven hour shifts, seemingly back to back), one hour for waking and unwinding, two hours for socializing and eating, and seven hours for sleeping.
“I go to bed at 4am every day, but I sleep for seven hours,” Chawla told the Urban Beardsmen website (‘a content source for the bearded lifestyle’). “And then I allow an hour for getting up, grooming the beard, and going to work.”
Chawla is, at least, earning more than if he’d stayed in banking and submitted to the whims of an authoritarian managing director: Fueled is worth an estimated $30m. He also gets to dress how he likes. And he likes to dress like a taller, hairier, hipstier version of Prince. “I dress less like a 31-year old from Manhattan and more like a gentleman from the 1940s Vienna era,” Chawla says, adding, “My beard is part of my identity.”
From banking to baking: “People are jumping out of investment banking at an unbelievable rate”
Sad quotes from ex-bankers working themselves to death in new industries
Advice for bankers changing careers in their 40s