"Bankers are hedonists. Traders are technicians"
As a trader with a bank, I want to address my colleagues in the investment banking division (IBD) who complain about how hard they work.
We all work hard in finance. I know that you sometimes work late. I know that you spent some of your youth in the office until 3am, but I know too - and so do you - that there are upsides to the job you do here.
While I am almost always on the desk, in IBD you get lunchbreaks and downtime while you wait for work to come in. I work intensely from 7am to 6.30pm, but I see you slide in at 10am, go to the gym and then have a one hour lunch with colleagues.
You are people pleasers. We are technicians. It's reflected in our roles and it's reflected in our lifestyles. Most people I know in trading these days have quantitative backgrounds and are interested in optimizing their performance. We go to bed early and we get up early. At weekends, we work out, take care of our health and spend time with our families. By comparison, a lot of the bankers I know are hedonists whose weekends are spent drinking and partying in fancy clubs and restaurants.
You are relationship people, so maybe this is to be expected, but don't complain about how hard you work. Markets businesses are filled with smart people who love their jobs. Just because we don’t talk about it, don't presume we don’t work hard. We are hard working technicians, and in many ways our jobs are far more gruelling than yours. It's just that you are so much more vocal about everything.
Enzo Fétique is a pseudonym of a trader in London
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