Stressful finance it a myth?

So, I have been working at my current job for good 6 months now. The “training” period was approx.2months until I was let loose and could decide how my workdays look like. And I have come to a conclusion: I don’t have a real job. My team and I work maybe 30% (even that is a generous figure) of the time. The situation is similar to my previous job. I worked 2,5 years for a major European CIB and there were weeks when we barely worked. The weirdest thing is that my managers keep thanking me for my “effort, dedication and input” which leaves me flabbergasted as most of my day is spend 1. drinking coffee with my colleagues 2. reading news. 3. studying for CFA. For example, this is an extreme example, but I have honestly done maybe 3 hours of work since Wednesday last week. There simply isn’t stuff to do. We are so overstaffed. And I at least respect the working hours by coming in early and leaving relatively late…but there are BSD FMs who show up around 9:30-10am and leave by 6pm. I honestly do not understand why are we paid so much to work so little (no, I ain’t no millionaire…when I say “a lot”, I’m referring to an average dude working with an average salary).

My teachers, when I was in school, kept telling me that “work in finance means long hours, good pay and stressful life…make sure you’re up for it”…so far I have only experienced the good salary. Long hours? Stressful work? No way.

My question is this…do any of you have similar experiences? Is my work experience so far an anomaly?

We used to have lots of non-working people like that around here… what happened is they all got fired when the company realized they weren’t doing anything…

With that being said, what matters is productivity, not necessarily hours or effort. In some roles, productivity and effort are closely tied. In other roles, productivity and hours are not that closely related. If you’re fulfilling an important function that is hard to transfer, then that’s better for you.

Also, don’t discount learning opportunities for early career stage. If you’re not doing anything, you’re also not getting skills that will help you advance.

Well to make it worse in about 55 minutes you’re not even going to be able post on AF. So, looks like you’re doing nothing is going to ramp up even more!

yep buddy. welcome to the club! once you get the charter. all you’ll do is chase tail.

I think it depends what you do…I have worked in Finance jobs where every second counts and your day needs to be efficient and productive. Most people will leave at 18:00 but they would have been productive 8.5h/9.

I have found in larger corporate and banks, that productivity is extremely low. People stay late for the hell of it and their work ethic and quality of work is useless. As Ohai said, the more you are not working, the less competitive you are for your next role. You need to bear in mind that your next role, or promotion, will expect you to have the skills that you are promoting on your CV and if you cannot do them - you will be found out very quickly when you get to a place that your work actually matters.

Never stop learning and if there is no work to do - revise past deals/scenarios that might be useful in future/ Learn how to produce financial models/ study CFA/CAIA/ Create pitch books etc.

Good luck!

What do you do when you are bored? Or does everyone just pretend to work?

I pretend to be working. But in reality I read newspapers or research papers. I also try to squeeze in 1-2h of studying every day if I’m on a Reading which requires a lot of reading and limited amounts of calculations. Quite frankly, I’m never bored. Sometimes I even feel rushed when I try to get all the stuff done. Once I’m done with CFA, I’ll start teaching myself to code at work.

Work on the PA

Most finance jobs are low value-add and therefore low compensation. CFA study is useful for the knowledge, since it is the number one best way to obtain everything you need to know about investments analysis. After you get the CFA, get out of finance and move on to greener pastures, like many at the top of the industry have done.

low value add huh? Get your own lunch franky

if i work super duper hard i can get my shit done in 3 hrs. at a leisurely pace around 5 hrs. sometimes it can get hectic, cuz there are month end crap, or quarterly crap, ad-hoc shit. but i just quicken my working pace for the typical stuff. i am usually out of the office 30 min after market closes. on my spare time, i like to go on af, go through daily shot on wsj, read most read news, read on sa, view hot pics on reddit.

i once worked at this consulting firm. where the amount of work varied a lot. some weeks were 0 billable hours, and sometimes we had like 40 billable hours. i think on avg i did 15 hrs of billable work. i was essentially paid my salary with 10 hrs of work.

What do you currently do?

mostly investment research market and co specific news, charts, quotes, summaries, etc.

but i do client info and pitchbook stuff as well, but they are typically more ad hoc and in aggregate. monthly performance attribution, daily cash flow.

So sell side but not really? What’s the classification of that kind of job?

its buy side, for an ria firm. we pay for sell side research but we do our own due dili.

It gets intense as I approach deadlines because I do a lot of comprehensive plans. I have to balance prospecting, case work, and business management. I pretty much work 10 - 5:30 on average. My official start time is 9 am but my 4 year old has a say in that… I take long lunches unless I’m working on a deadline. I do my CE studying after 9pm and now with the need for more intense focus on CFA stuff, I work 11pm - 1am. The 5 month old determines my start time late night. Since I’m self employed there isn’t a lot of stress beyond what I put on myself. All in, maybe 50 hours a week unless there’s a deadline then things get crazy.

Hey OP, I posted a topic on this not too long ago that may interest you. Here’s the link:

I’m not seeing the link. Can you try again please?

My first job in finance was stressful. We had daily deadlines and month end was insane. I moved over to my current job and got prob around a 50% total comp bump and only work 5-8 hours a week on average. I spend most of my time reading news and scrolling through my phone. At first I thought it was because I was new but I’ve noticed my coworkers doing the same thing. We have nothing to do for weeks at a time. It’s kinda maddening because I want to learn and gain skills, also sitting around pretending to be busy everyday is so mentally exhausting.

^hahah i love it. it reallty depends on the job you have. some places are land mines where they work u for the skae of work!