When is enough, well enough? Wall Street pay isn’t what it used to be (about half vs. 2007 by my observations), but the hours are still virtually the same. The desire for work life balance kicks in for different people at different times.

My client was burned out of the Wall Street game and needed a more creative position. He actually wanted to have dinner with his wife. So weird, right?

I know the feeling since I worked similar hours at Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse and hit the work life balance point at 10 years. My problem was I stayed on Wall Street for another 5, topic for another blog.

Let’ be fair though, some people can stay on Wall Street their entire working lives and have a great life, albeit working long hours.  More power to you!!

How do you achieve a work life balance and a rewarding career?

Maybe working in investment banking or another profession (consulting, etc.) with extreme hours is all you have ever known.  How do you even begin to imagine life outside of the glitter, gold (bitcoin), and bragging rights? What if you can’t drive a fancy car and order expensive champagne?

Hint: you may not need all you think you do to be happy. Everything I own in this world can fit into a sedan, and I have never been happier.

How do you secure that “Get Out of Jail Free” card when you may be unsure of your transferable skills, or at least how to express them on a resume, LinkedIn profile, and in conversations?

You change your mindset in favor of what is important to you 

Have you read Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why”?  Ever go deep inside to discover who you really are? If you asked your 5 best friends “If I quit investment banking tomorrow, what do you think I should do?” what response do you think you would get?

Because of COVID, we’re all on-demand, maybe replacing 2 hours of commuting with 3 hours of extra work daily. Until you determine your values and how your profession can enhance them (not destroy them), you will be miserable inside.

Plenty of resources are at your disposal including Myers Briggs personality assessments, Tony Robbins many books, career coaches, etc.  Maybe you need to downsize and reduce your expenses. Many confuse want and need.

My client was fed up with his 80+ hour work weeks

As a VP in investment banking, John found the hours were grueling. He had a wife that he barely saw, hobbies that went stale, and a dog whose name he forgot. He didn’t even like the industries of his clients, never mind his clients.

He was so creative and felt that banking was just a plug and chug industry for the glory of the gold (or bitcoin).

John didn’t know what to do. Burned out, frustrated and miserable, he called me.

We helped him discover his “Why”

I asked John to think about 20 stories from his personal or professional life that were significant to him. He picked his favorite 7. We then sat down and dissected all 7. I searched for common values among the stories.

We discovered that creativity and public recognition were the most frequent values across all stories. I then came up with 20 jobs that would fit both his skills and enable him to be creative and achieve public recognition.

We focused on 3 industries (tech, pharma, and media) and two job titles (Strategy Manager and FP&A Manager), none of which required extreme hours to make $200K. Not as much as investment banking, but good money, nevertheless.  He moved out of NYC, so the $200K went even farther.

Once John realized there was an “out”, his anxiety came way down. Breaking open your mind to new professional possibilities yields a sense of freedom.

Where is he now? He is the 2nd in charge of an innovation center of excellence within a well-known company. John makes about $200k annually but works 40 hours a week. He reinvigorated his relationship with his wife (yes, more sex) and started gardening again.

John found his why!

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