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Investment banking is synonymous with big pay cheques and long working hours. As soon as you start your career in it, you will realise that you are being stretched in all directions, with no time for family or friends or personal tasks. Most veterans in investment banking express that they feel they are always short-changing something or someone throughout. It is always a race against time.
Having said that, the same veterans, to survive the mad rush, have come up with some coping mechanisms that help them balance their day, ensuring that they touch all spectrums of tasks, personal, professional etc…,
Listed below are some lifestyle hacks in personal and professional capacity, that will help you get joy, out of the most tasking regimes and demands, faced at a professional level by investment bankers.
- Get a solid support system, and outsource as many tasks as you can without guilt, for example, use laundry and iron services from professionals, rather than expecting your spouse or you to do it over weekends, or if you higher up the ladder, an assistant at work or a junior can be used for delegation of tasks.
- Do not intentionally drive around to work, it will only add to the frustration of daily tasks, use Uber, or hire a driver, given the traffic and road conditions, you will feel blessed with the extra time you get to concentrate on tasks before reaching work.
- Better still, stay closer to work, even if the rent is higher it will save you loads of time invested in travel.
- Invest in good housekeeping, you will have enough deadlines and last minute reports to work on, getting groceries and cleaning your house will always take a backseat. A good help at home will rejuvenate you to face the challenges of the days to come.
- Walk as much as you can, you will need the exercise with time if you have to visit a client, see if you can take the trains or metro, walk, let the fresh air clear your thoughts.
- If you insist on holding on to your car, break the routine, on some day’s drive, listen to music, choose non-traffic hours to get that fresh rush of adventure on the way to work, it will clear any jarred thoughts from the previous day.
- Keep in touch with friends from the same industry, someone who can understand your challenges and limitations.
- If possible, choose a partner who understands the demands of your work life, possibly someone who themselves don’t have very demanding schedules, or else matching up with each other will be a life long struggle.
- Find solitude with yourself, keep a reality check, know the demands of your job.
- Travel, even if it is in your hometown from time to time, short trips, and do them alone, to stay in touch with yourself.
- Exercise, regularly or whenever you can, simple yoga asana, help you maintain the equilibrium.
- Expectation Management, be prepared that your life over the next few years will be demanding, the good news is that the body adjusts to the demand effectively with time. So, until then know your outlet to cope with the demand, be it swimming, writing, sleeping, indulge in it, drift away from work a little while.
- Eat well, small regular meals, will keep your system running, you will have to work long hours, prepare for that, tea or coffee whatever keeps you going, do hydrate yourself. Avoid drinking (at least on working days J)
- Be pleasant to people at work.
- Find your sweet spot, associate with a firm that does the kind of business you enjoy.
- Stay sane, have a sense of humour, enjoy the kind of work you have chosen, don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Be a good listener, you will be surrounded by intelligent and bright people, learn quick, be smart and rise up the ladder soon, there is breathing space up there.
- Learn from every experience, learn not only from success but also from mistakes.
- Take regular naps, quality of sleep is important not the quantity.
- Learn how to improve your performance in everything, automate repetitive jobs, will save you some time.