I am salesman in an investment bank. I do not want to return to my existence pre-COVID. The relentless client entertainment consumes your social life.
Investment banks are filled with salespeople stretched so thin their skin is almost translucent. In a normal year I am so exhausted that I look gray on a good day. My suits are tired from nights drinking expensive wine. I am permeated with an aroma of aftershave and ethanol.
I've been doing this for long enough that when it gets to the weekend, I'm sick of socializing. My job is being the life and soul of the party: I work more than 10 hours a day and am out with clients in the evening. There's no option to tired and moose. Life on expenses wears thin. When you're in your 30s, the most important thing is eight hours sleep.
Pre-COVID, I had a strategy. I tried to meet clients early and to explain that the food has eaten up my entertainment budget and we can't go on for drinks. This doesn't always go down well - British clients expect an all-nighter.
This socializing rarely involves women. You can spot bankers entertaining clients from miles off: on one side of the table there'll be men in surprisingly bad suits; on the other, more men (maybe a token woman) in "smart casual" - jeans, shirts and a blazer. These are the clients. They're all portfolio managers; they're several notches higher than me on the dating stakes.
So, while you might think that working in banking is good for your social life and will raise your dating capital, it really won't. You're too exhausted to date, and potential dates just aren't interested. There's no kudos in banking now. Sometimes I say I work in film instead.
Jason Jones is the pseudonym of a salesperson in a U.S. investment bank.
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