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  • Writer's pictureHannah Duncan

You know you work in finance when...

  • You address emails in order of workplace seniority

  • Slicked-back Elvis hair is an acceptable look on a middle-aged man

  • No watch is too flashy

  • The first email of the day must be sent before 8 am

  • Diversification means a mix of assets (not people)

  • You earn a six-figure salary but mostly eat meal deals at your desk

  • Your importance increases with the number of screens you have

  • Exercise is a standing desk

  • Doodles are only allowed if they are squares and lines

  • You look for an excuse to leave SteerCos early

  • ... Better still, delegate someone to sit in for you

  • You would swap any of your five-star holidays just to share a twin room at Davos once a year

  • Opening the door for your big boss gets you a point

  • But sharing a lift is intense... Unless you can quickly compliment a presentation and ask a question, you will regret that wasted opportunity for the rest of the week.

  • You manage a low-key addiction to coffee or Coke Zero (... or the other Coke)

  • You build up to leaving at 5:30 pm all day ... and then you don't

  • Nobody is allowed to criticize Excel. EVER.

  • Your beverage of choice is gin and tonic

  • .... But you're surprisingly picky about the gin. Monkey gin usually goes down well. Gordon's can f**k right off

  • Sometimes you have an Old Fashioned, for a treat. Or a Tom Collins

  • Getting blind drunk with your boss is a career milestone

  • Getting blind drunk with your bosses' boss means a promotion

  • Getting blind drunk with a group managing director is too far. Whatever you do, don't go into a dark corner with him

  • There is no greater respect than earning a CFA

  • The sight of a neon orange Monzo card brings a little bit of sick to your mouth

  • Your suits are bland, but your socks are jazzy

  • The working day ends with after-work drinks. Obviously.

  • You'd rather be slapped in the face than accused of emotional investing

  • It's ok to skip the ethics section of the CFA, right?

  • The words "dovish", "hawkish", "bearish", and "bullish" have nothing to do with animals

  • You describe someone by the region they worked in

    • ... APAC = long hours and feedback loops

    • ... Americas = crazy hours, no vacation days, loud

    • ... EMEA = quieter, seriouser, heavy pub culture

    • ... CEEMEA = Oil. Party animal.

  • Your credit card gets you into airport lounges

  • Quants are respected from a distance. They are too good at math to be approached.

  • You keep every goddamn expense receipt like it's one of your children. That flimsy bit of paper will survive sticky nights out, taxis, planes and laundry services before it reaches the accountant's desk intact.

  • You pay someone to wash and iron your shirts

  • You've never turned down a shot from your boss

  • ... But once or twice you've secretly poured it into a plant pot

  • You refer to pre-2008 as either the Golden Days or the Dark Days (the one you chose says something about your personality)

  • You know who Lewis Ranieri is

  • You've tried to unlock your front door with your key card

  • Somewhere around your desk, you have a toothbrush and a spare pair of shoes

  • You know someone is going to try to take the credit for your work

  • ... And you've already planned your counterattack

  • Casual Fridays is only for the bottom half of your outfit

  • You do small meetings in a different part of the office for a "change of scene"

  • You see Compliance as the bouncers of the bank ... and you try to get on the good side of one

  • You've worked until 2 am before

  • The memory of MiFID II gives you admin shivers

  • You have a question in a meeting, but you need to balance it against the risk that you might look stupid

  • You keep heels under your desk and a suit jacket on the back of your chair

  • Half of your inbox is excessively long-winded and formal. The other half is investment managers writing "Pls do".

  • You're not an introvert or an extravert, you're more of an investment manager or a relationship manager

  • You've climbed out of bed to join a Zoom meeting at 6 am (and just before you signed in, you probably muttered "f**cking APAC")

  • How good your bonus is depends on what your colleague got.

  • ... But you're not allowed to discuss it. So you just flare the number of fingers to each other under the desk

  • ... But ARE they telling the truth? Should YOU tell the truth? What if that bastard is lying... The mind games begin...

  • You know a genuine psychopath

  • Marketing rules are there to be ignored, right? Everybody likes a Calibre Sans PowerPoint in size 36

  • You think interns SHOULD be working late, at least until 6.45, ideally later...

  • It's fine to go clubbing during the week, as long as you're at your desk before 8.30 am the next day

  • Saturday is the new Friday, you can take it easy at work

Hope you like my list! If you've got any more to add, I'd love to hear them! Here are a few pics of my days working in finance 👇👇👇

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Nov 10, 2023

This should be a drinking game! 😂

Hannah Duncan
Hannah Duncan
Nov 10, 2023
Replying to

YES 🙌 - The ultimate "Never Have I Ever" to get finance professionals trollied ... not that they need it 😅

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