Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

"The millennials on my team refuse to pull their weight"

It's only the end of January and I am already exhausted. It's easy to forget how relentless working in investment banking can be during the Christmas break; the reality is tougher than a lot of people imagine. And it's not made any easier by the attitude of today's banking juniors.

I began my own career in finance over a decade ago and I have always tried to stay mindful of how fortunate I am. For a long time I wasn't even sure that I would make it into this industry - it was a hard struggle and I had to work very long hours in another job to get in. I know that there are no easy options, even outside of finance. Ever since I've been in banking, I've worked as long as I've needed to in order to win clients; that's not always easy in a European bank. My ethos is one reason I've been consistently promoted. 

The juniors on my team do not have this approach. The millennial generation do not carry their weight in banking. I see this every day; it makes my job harder still. Worse is the fact that the old school managing directors refuse to believe that the new analysts and associates are an issue. It's like a global warming effect: I have to work around lazy juniors, while the MDs refuse to believe they exist.

Not all young people are like this, but in the bank I work for the term 'millennial' has become synonymous with 'lazy and disinterested,' someone who sees no real purpose in working hard. Nor do millenials see any purpose in collaboration or empathy: they are quite happy to sit there wearing noise canceling headphones all day, to ignore everyone else while they do their work, and then leave. 

I appreciate that empathy may seem too much to ask when you're expecting people to work until 2am, but when I was a junior it wasn't like this. We also worked until the early mornings and we talked to each other, ate with each other, interacted with senior staff and jumped on emails together to help the team. I don't see this at all now. 

This new generation seems unsuited to working in an investment banking division. Their focus is 'work-life balance' and 'work hygiene' - getting work done with the minimum effort possible. They continuously take the shortest possible route to completing a task, even if that means producing work of lower quality, and they have no interest in work's intrinsic value. This is sad: being genuinely bothered about what you do can be a source of pleasure. It's also frustrating: I do care, I've done my share of all-nighters, and I am still having to work hard to compensate for those who don't want to.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available. Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

AUTHORDamian Mich Insider Comment
  • Da
    Daniel Opare
    2 February 2020

    This is a satirical peice surely?!

    "We also worked until the early mornings" - I'm sorry you had to do this to be deemed worthy of a promotion but don't begrudge those younger than you who have figured that we are supposed to 'work to live' not 'live to work'.

    The city will chew you up and then spit you out when they've finished with you. Why give your soul?

    I'm very competent and I do a good job but that is it. I leave as soon as I can and enjoy my life. I too get regular promotions. You should try it too.

  • Ha
    2 February 2020

    I think the way to approach the issue here isn't to generalize about a specific group of people, but rather consider the individuals who were hired into their positions. Work/life balance is a value that transcends generational distinction, which is why many companies have changed their approach in work culture to allow for more flexible work hours and less time dedicated to being in the office. I am sure you yourself value having time for family, friends, and keeping your personal life organized. I certainly understand your frustrations working with younger people who may not be putting in the same effort you do in your workplace - it breeds resentment, causes stress, and makes those who put in that extra effort less happy with their work environment. You have been promoted and seen upward movement in your company for your hard work, so recognize that your company values that kind of investment and enthusiasm and rewards you for it - it's reasonable to expect that those who do not show the same initiative will not be rewarded in the same way. It's not your responsibility to pick up the slack for others who are floundering or not putting in their best effort, but it is your responsibility to address with your direct manager how you're feeling about the change in your office's work culture, the lack of connection you feel with your new, younger coworkers, and promote a focus on hiring new employees who will maintain the culture you know the company wants. You may not be able to change the attitude and work ethic of others around you, but you can voice your opinion as a long standing, valued employee.

    (For perspective, I am a 32 year old woman working in Healthcare Operations covering the Metro NY Region and NJ. I have worked over the past 4 years with my company and have been promoted 3 times, from an entry level clinic administrative job to working alongside the RVP and Group level leadership.)

  • Oh
    Oh stop whining already
    2 February 2020

    I worked for 14 years doing anything and everything that was asked of me. Overtime, go teach this guy, go teach that girl, work through lunch, and hey we need help over here. Know what my reward was? Absolutely nothing and they promoted their friends. F*ck you dude

  • Em
    2 February 2020

    This is satire, right? There's no way some asshole dedicated his hard life of work siphoning money into rich people's pockets, then got mad when the youth don't care as much as he does about pointless and violent wealth funnelling.

  • ga
    2 February 2020

    Everyone knows that being too concerned or involved in your work can have serious consequences, so people are limiting themselves to as little and isolating themselves in the process, not exactly an ideal situation but quite frankly people are becoming wiser and staying out of conflict by limiting themselves to their task at hand. Quite frankly I do not blame them

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Articles
Latest Jobs

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.