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How to leave investment banking

I passed my probation! (Sometimes I just wish it would be socially acceptable and not viewed as egotistical at all to have a 25-piece marching band complete with 15-person dancing troupe who could krump, following me around, playing celebratory music and krumping whenever I achieve something or get a ‘thanks’ email from my director…that would be so awesome).

Anyway up until this point I’ve just felt like I was out on 6 months parole. I’m not sure why I was so insecure but maybe it was the trauma of my last probation assessment where my directors decided to pull a Rob Oakeshott on me and give me an hour of indeterminate feedback before announcing if I had passed.  

But now I have proof that I’ve been fully rehabilitated and am able to be re-integrated back into the community. Apart from the obvious increase in my Vitamin D levels, I can tell you that life outside the joint is pretty sweet. But you should be warned, there are some elements which are not so rosy and will take some readjusting. Firstly, there’s the hyperventilation and break out into sweats upon realisation that at 7pm the lights in the building turn off and you should have finished your work by that point. There’s also this thing called ‘time’ – there’s stacks of it on the outside and you just need to remember not to spend all of this ‘time’ just watching television – just because you haven’t seen television in so long, doesn’t mean you need to watch My Kitchen Rules every night and actually start engaging with it….it’s sad and you’re beyond that. Trust me.

Then there’s also the fact that during the years you’ve spent in banking, friends and family were the ones who suffered the most. They tried to visit you, but you were too caught up doing deals (or let’s face it, pitches) with the guys on the inside. And so upon release, be prepared for the fact that they may have moved on. In the time that you were in banking, they’ve found new friends, new family even and who knows they might have also found themselves locked up in another prison/firm. Going to see friends after banking, is a bit like taking your popular-in-the-80’s glam rock band, back on tour – you ‘update’ the band so that you’re all still hip and cool, by getting a ‘rad’ set of dreadlocks and maybe an accompanying reality TV show about your family showing how much your children disrespect you and don’t really care that you were a rock icon which completely undermines your “I’m a bat eating, hard arse death metal rock star” image, but at the end of the day it’s not hard for some fans to just see right through this, feel cheated because they just paid $150 to see you perform your ‘new stuff’ and subsequently end all contact. So you need to just be open and ready to hear them out. I try to also visit those that are still inside to give them hope. But you may even find that all of your friends are still incarcerated and can’t stop talking about “what this MD did” or “what this VP said”, so the best thing for you to do is listen carefully, nod then find some friends that finish regularly at 5pm…haha joking!

Anyway all jokes aside, I have also been getting a lot of questions since my jailbreak about how I did it. Whilst I’d love to say that all you need is a rock hammer and 20 years to tunnel your way out, it’s far less cool than that. The best thing I ever did was go on to I am more than happy to be the walking billboard for that company given how much hope it gave me of other things I could be doing….want to be a fashion buyer for a men’s sports label? Sure! Just apply! Want to provide strategic advice to someone starting a dog walking business? Go for it!

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not some “YOLO”, freaking emo shit advice. Consult, do research, think and just apply. You’re smart and you’re not going to make a bad decision (unlike the dumbarse person who decided that tattooing YOLO on themselves would be cool…). Anyway I think that’s enough crap for one day, but remember if you do get out, make sure you pick up the package I left you under a special hayfield in Buxton then pay a visit to Zihuatanejo, Mexico and you’ll find me on the beach fixing my boat….ok so Shawshank Redemption was recently on TV and this email may be highly derivative of that movie but what can I say? I have too much time and all my mates are still in the joint.

About Arani Satgunaseelan (78 Articles)
Corporate nerd. Wannabe blogger.

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