Work Life Balance in Finance

Morgan Stanley JbCgvA
Jun 3 56 Comments

Is this something that is achievable? On average I think I put in around 50-60 hours a week and I'm sure a lot more people put in more hours than I do, but I don't know if I suck at finding balance, but after working these kinds of hours I don't want to workout, hangout with friends or even go out. I've heard of people working out at 5 am before work but does this really energize people? I feel like my physical and mental health is slowly taking a hit from working these kinds of hours. I want to do what I'm doing for the next couple of years. It really is a great opportunity and I like the people that I'm working with, but I just don't know if this will be possible given the way I've been living my life. How do you all find balance?

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TOP 56 Comments
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Uber / Mgmt
      Tony 1

      Uber Mgmt

      PRE
      Uber, Gametime, Apple, Goldman Sachs, 3M, Medtronic, SendGrid, Sphero
      Tony 1more
      God I hate people like you.
      Jun 3
    • Uber Uberer
      Its mutual 😄
      Jun 3
    • Google / Eng
      SWE-π

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      SWE-πmore
      I hate both of you
      Jun 3
    • Uber himu00
      I love you all!
      Jun 3
    • Uber Uberer
      @himu00, you won our hearts buddy
      Jun 3
    • Clover Health sses
      It was sarcasm.
      Jun 3
    • Expedia Kennewick
      I’m kinda curious because I thought tech compensation sucks in finance. Seems like it’s not worth the 50-60 hour weeks
      Jun 4
    • Pegasystems happyjalap
      You'll look 70 when you're 40. Totally worth it.
      Jun 4
  • Intuit / Eng
    BigChalupa

    Intuit Eng

    PRE
    Cubic
    BIO
    Engineer with over 35 years of experience in the industry.
    BigChalupamore
    The beauty of working out at 5 AM is that once you are done you are done for the day. The thing is, if you do not want to work that many hours per week, then do not do it. If you keep doing it, it will become expected of you. Sometimes, you have to make your own work life balance.
    Jun 3 0
  • PayPal / Eng kkalvish
    I used to work in finance and left for Tech. Wlb is def better in the valley
    Jun 3 0
  • New TKOTC
    Don't focus on balance, focus on fulfillment. Obviously friends and health are important to you and your job is getting in the way. Time to talk to your leadership team to see if they are willing to scale back your hours and see if that helps, it might not and you might prefer working longer hours. When I was younger I did +60hrs a week and wore "burn out" as a badge of honor. I was really dumb in my youth. Be prepared to walk. If you like the work at Morgan Stanley you can always work for a subcontractor that allows better hours while still doing the work. Who knows, pay might even be better.
    Jun 3 0
  • HERE BshU54
    Not in Finance, but I've had times in my life where wlb was similar during a period where I was studying for a promotion test or investing in a particular project's completion. If you're finding this is a long term trend, take a deeper look at those hours you're working. Are those 50-60 PRODUCTIVE hours? Try batching your work (ex. making calls together at a certain time, documenting discussions at a certain time) so there's less context switching between tasks. There are different times of day when our energy is more able to focus on certain things. From what I've read thus far, first few hours are better for highly analytical/problem solving. After lunch switch to mindless, repetitive tasks. Later on the day, focus on creative things.
    Jun 3 0
  • Twitter / Finance
    CPxo07

    Twitter Finance

    PRE
    PwC
    CPxo07more
    I think that's pretty normal hours even for industry. I usually work around 50 hours a week, 45 if I'm lucky, but never really anything below 45 hours.
    Jun 3 0
  • IMC Ontm61
    I work in prop trading and work at most 40 hours a week. You just need an employer that respects your time/life.
    Jun 3 3
    • Microsoft doodooo
      Are you swe at imc?
      Jun 3
    • IMC Ontm61
      Yes
      Jun 3
    • Microsoft doodooo
      Would you mind sharing what tc growth looks like for new hires? Im interested in swe there
      Jun 3
  • FactSet dtlamek
    FactSet has amazing WLB for software engineers. I work like 35 hours to be honest
    Jun 3 3
    • Goldman Sachs gACr23
      TC, yoe?
      Jun 3
    • FactSet dtlamek
      Oh terrible TC, 93k with 2 yoe. But that's promotion + starting salary, they might be offering more for seniors
      Jun 3
    • FactSet QAiE55
      I can vouch for Factset. It is an amazing company for wlb. Tech stack is old unless you are in a good team. I worked 50+ hours
      when I started, now its 35. Real working hours are even less.
      Jun 3
  • REI tjx01
    Quit
    Jun 3 0
  • Snapchat / Other
    random000

    Snapchat Other

    PRE
    Dropbox, Facebook
    random000more
    P.S not a rest and vester here so only way to find balance was to GTFO of finance! Finally achieved WLB on the other side 😃
    Jun 3 5
    • New snt321
      Where did you transfer to?
      Jun 3
    • Snapchat / Other
      random000

      Snapchat Other

      PRE
      Dropbox, Facebook
      random000more
      Eng
      Jun 3
    • New snt321
      I’m considering something along those lines myself. I’ll message you separately
      Jun 3
    • Netflix MOzm25
      How did you go from finance to Eng?
      Jun 4
    • Snapchat / Other
      random000

      Snapchat Other

      PRE
      Dropbox, Facebook
      random000more
      MOzm25, sent you a pm
      Jun 4
  • Symantec powerlkk
    U in equity research? 60 hrs is low for banking
    Jun 3 0
  • Hulu / Design dzgn_rulez
    Sounds normal for tech. The other industries call that feeling “burn out”.

    Exercise can help as long as you are getting enough sleep and have a decent diet.
    Jun 3 0
  • Cadence / HR szbX52
    I would try (try) reducing your hours. Turn off the phone in the evening. I know finance people have their quarter end periods and work crazy hours. The finance people in my team seem to keep good hours. Arrive closer to 9. Leave by 5. Not sure if they are working at home. Working out early has its benefits. We are looking at using a new service called Headspace to help with work burnout and mindfulness. Hope something like that would help.
    Jun 3 0
  • Nvidia / Finance
    fininja

    Nvidia Finance

    PRE
    NVIDIA
    fininjamore
    Hours sound about right. Is that average hours per week? Any hell weeks that you have to put in 100 hours and slow weeks?
    Jun 3 0
  • People's United Financial / Finance
    erEG72

    People's United Financial Finance

    PRE
    CIT Bank, Wells Fargo
    BIO
    Commercial Lending professional
    erEG72more
    In the same boat. Been working in finance for 12+ years and want to move to tech in the Boston area. Any tips/connections greatly appreciated.
    Jun 4 0
  • IBM olkh
    Hey bud, atleast you can take your TC to the grave when you drop dead. Keep grinding for that money , it's our only purpose in life
    Jun 4 0
  • Twitch HBtB81
    Why do finance folks work this many hours?
    Jun 4 1
    • AIG / Product
      Raging

      AIG Product

      PRE
      Deloitte Digital
      BIO
      Counseling CxOs for AI-first strategy !
      Ragingmore
      Poor culture.
      Poor effectiveness due to dated tech stack.
      Risk aversion.
      Jun 5
  • New snt321
    I’m I’m Finance / Accounting at a fast growing startup and have almost zero WLB. Mainly because the company is terrible at adequately staffing the department. Getting to a point where it’s either 1) give me more staff, 2) give me a fat raise, or 3) I’m GTFO
    Jun 3 1
    • Snapchat / Other
      random000

      Snapchat Other

      PRE
      Dropbox, Facebook
      random000more
      GTFO. #1 and 2 don’t happen in FinTech
      Jun 4
  • AIG / Product
    Raging

    AIG Product

    PRE
    Deloitte Digital
    BIO
    Counseling CxOs for AI-first strategy !
    Ragingmore
    Are you married or single? Asking as that plays a role into this.

    Get efficient.
    Get effective.
    Focus on losing your job.
    Reinvest every hour gained in finding a passive income source or just doing purposeful things.
    Jun 5 0
  • 1- what part of finance at MS? I-banking? Equity research?

    2- TC or GTFO

    3- it’s pretty standard, I’m in corporate finance and I put in 50+. It’s a lot of BS once your in house though.
    Jun 4 0
  • Roku .
    Should be Work Life Harmony according to Bezos
    Jun 3 0
  • Symantec powerlkk
    Investment banking?
    Jun 3 0
  • Seal Software GreySeal
    I find it does help but you need to do it for awhile to get the benefits.
    Jun 3 0
  • Snapchat / Other
    random000

    Snapchat Other

    PRE
    Dropbox, Facebook
    random000more
    Doesn’t exist unless you are a rest and vester and can stay around until the top chief (supporting this behavior) is out...
    Jun 3 4
    • New / Finance SpinCycles
      Rest and vest doesn't exist in finance
      Jun 4
    • Snapchat / Other
      random000

      Snapchat Other

      PRE
      Dropbox, Facebook
      random000more
      It sure does! Seen it at 3 different tech companies ;-)
      Jun 4
    • New / Finance SpinCycles
      Wow, color me surprised. Just to be clear, you're referring to a finance professional who somehow got a meaningful portion of equity at a tech company and is now just kicking back waiting for it to vest? My understanding of "rest and vest" was that a large tech company acquires a small one and pays the founders in equity then sticks them in an office somewhere to twiddle their thumbs until it vests and they leave.
      Jun 5
    • Snapchat / Other
      random000

      Snapchat Other

      PRE
      Dropbox, Facebook
      random000more
      Yup — seen many ppl at the top get large equity then kick back and let the ppl below them do all the work. It’s also a game of survivor, they promote and keep their allies in the inner circle (also rest and vesters) and then let all the hard working ppl at the bottom slave away.
      Jun 5
  • New / Finance SpinCycles
    Finding work life balance in finance is entirely dependent of what function of finance you work in. There are plenty of back office roles where you can consistently work 40 - 45 hours a week. If you're working in any transaction based role (IB, PE, Corp Dev) you will absolutely not find better balance than your current set up. What is your current role?
    Jun 5 0
  • Year end and quaterly report number crunching may require 18 hr work days including weekends
    Jun 4 0
  • Shapeways / Eng TAeI38
    I know people go into investment banking for a few years only and then move on to other things. I guess that’s one way to achieve WLB? Are you in sales?
    Jun 4 0
  • Kaspersky Lab aye dais
    I worked in finance before, you need to build your career to work less. Make it to SVP level, and then move into support role to stay in cruise control.
    Or you can move to LA branch :)
    Jun 4 0
  • Wells Fargo / IT
    kioF84

    Wells Fargo IT

    BIO
    Technology architect specializing in data, applications, business and security.
    kioF84more
    I am not hourly and do not count hours. I do work from home as much as possible to offset extra work hours so I do not waste my time commuting. I also have a work smartphone which helps me balance my workload, even though it may appear to others I am a workaholic. If I can eliminate dozens of emails even on weeknights and weekends, it is worth it. Another trick is limiting meetings to 30 minutes and only attending what is necessary. I decline the majority of meetings I am sent. I aggressively manage my calendar daily and do not waste time.
    Jun 4 0
  • WeWork / Eng vMuB14
    Come to WeWork. 30-35 hours is unofficially acceptable here.
    Jun 4 0
  • New
    slushie

    New

    PRE
    Google
    slushiemore
    Wow is that normal in every finance? Or IBs only?
    Jun 3 0

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