Setting work life balance expectations

Jul 30 23 Comments

I'm a new grad joining Two Sigma. This will be my first full-time job (I've done internships before). Does anyone have any advice for setting work life balance expectations at trading firms/hedge funds? I don't want to fall into the trap of working 60 hour weeks like I did during some of my internships.

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TOP 23 Comments
  • New jSdO71
    Unfortunately, as a new grad with no experience, you are viewed almost everywhere as meat that can be pulverized from a work life balance perspective.

    The ability to negotiate work life balance stems from leverage, and leverage usually comes from a killer resume, published research, contacts, etc.

    So yeah, unless your dad is sitting on a hundred mil and willing to lend you his leverage, you are pretty much fucked unless you luck out and get a manager that respects people.

    Good news is two sigma has some clout to the brand, and so after a few years you will be one step closer to being able to negotiate “I work remote only”
    Jul 30 6
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      Isn’t it only reasonable? Your boss may need to ask you and you’re not around. Not cool
      Jul 30
    • New jSdO71
      If your boss expects you to literally station yourself physically next to him for the majority or the day in case he needs to ask you a question in the age of cell phones, your boss is either an egomaniac, playing the politics game, or ridiculously disorganized. Most managers are some combo of all three.

      And yes, really. Most managers have been treated like slaves/property their entire careers and so will push it down on to you.

      My advice is become very good at what you do, make sure your resume and your elevator pitch are always ready to go at a moments notice, and know exactly how long you want/need your employer on your resume so that you know exactly how much leverage your employer has on you at any time. Always know what your next career move is before you take the job. Save as much as you can.

      That is, if you want to have any sort of real independence beyond “my company let’s me work from home one day a week wow isn’t that kind of them let me chug a little more koolaid master”

      In 98% of situations, your employer and manager see you very specifically as a commodity whose value is to be maximized before being eventually discarded. Those are the facts my friend.
      Jul 30
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      Hippies have great wlb, you should all go hippie
      Jul 30
    • Two Sigma blarh
      Lmao this guy doesnt know what hes talking about. Dw op you'll be fine.
      Jul 30
    • PayPal
      🐲ninja

      PayPal

      PRE
      Google
      🐲ninjamore
      Looks like jSd has worked in worst culture companies and met worst managers so far in career. It’s not half that bad on average. Firstly, as new grad, you’re not held responsible as high as seniors so as long as you’ve friendly attitude and willing to put reasonable efforts learning things, you should be fine. If current company demands more than what you’re comfortable putting, just start LeetCoding. There are many good options around.
      Jul 30
  • Two Sigma NQwd27
    YMMV but in my experience it's pretty unlikely that you'll have 60 hour work weeks even as a new grad. Its more like 40-45.
    Jul 30 6
    • OP
      Which teams are you guys on and what's the WLB? I've heard during interviews people do about 9-6 but not sure if that's true.
      Jul 30
    • Ripple / Eng
      oekg25

      Ripple Eng

      PRE
      Two Sigma
      oekg25more
      OP, I was an engineer at TS. 40 hours is normal and overtime is not expected. The culture is not like most hedge funds. Very family oriented. Some support teams will be on call, but that's as bad as it gets. I could show up after my boss and leave before and no one said anything (of course that wasn't every day, and I still got in my 40 hours one way or another). Very flexible hours. You don't even need to take PTO to go to the doctor or run an errand. Don't worry about it. Offer to take someone to lunch to ask them questions, someone just a couple years more senior than you, and you'll learn quickly what the unspoken culture is like.
      Jul 30
    • OP
      When/how long since hire/why did you leave TS?
      Jul 30
    • Ripple / Eng
      oekg25

      Ripple Eng

      PRE
      Two Sigma
      oekg25more
      I worked there over 5 years, left less than a year ago to work on open source C++
      Jul 30
    • Northrop Grumman HowCouldYu
      It says you work at Ripple? tell me it ain’t so
      Aug 4
  • Two Sigma / Eng mgre
    Set an alarm to leave at 6 every day, very easy.

    Above reply doesn't really apply when you can easily move between fang companies...
    Jul 30 1
    • New jSdO71
      You can’t leave until you have at least two years at your first job, no matter who it’s for. Bad (most) managers know this and milk it.
      Jul 30
  • Chase DaimeJimon
    TC
    Jul 30 1
    • KPMG None!
      More than us
      Jul 30
  • Bloomberg bbg86
    TC
    Jul 30 0
  • You have to pay your dues, there's no way around it. So be prepared to suck it up for the first few years.

    Chances are, it won't be as bad as you think. Shit happens though, so be prepared and take it stoically.
    Jul 30 1
    • PayPal otshh
      This. If you have to ask, then you have no leverage for managing work/life balance expectations. Demonstrate your worth, then you can talk.
      Jul 30
  • ING Group / Finance UBwD66
    OP should expect to be there before your boss and leave afterwards
    Jul 30 1
    • New jSdO71
      Your boss setting your work schedule on an arbitrary, daily basis is the exact opposite of work life balance and is a sure way to make sure your life becomes completely work-centric
      Jul 30