If working full weekends and pulling frequent all-nighters sounds unappealing, a career on Wall Street is perhaps not your best prospect. Historically, the quality of working conditions for junior employees at top financial institutions has been something of a secondary consideration, given the notoriously competitive culture and sizable compensation involved. But as DealBook reports, the times may be changing for future financial services professionals. A memo sent to Bank of America Merrill Lynch employees last week recommended that the firm’s analysts and associates take off four weekend days each month.
This effort to improve the work experience for junior bankers follows several similar initiatives on the part of other major Wall Street banks—such as Goldman Sachs, which created a “junior banker task force” last year, and JPMorgan Chase, which plans to ramp up staff hires to help share the workload. DealBook suggests that this attention given to junior analysts and associates marks “the latest sign that Wall Street banks are taking a critical look at the hard-charging culture of these jobs.” The banks are perhaps hoping to attract young talent that has in recent years turned to other high-paying industries in which a greater emphasis is placed on work-life balance, such as the tech sector.
“It’s a generational shift,” commented one former analyst, asking, “Does it really make sense for me to do something I really don’t love and don’t really care about, working 90 hours a week? It really doesn’t make sense. Banks are starting to realize that.” Still, if you are among those who are inherently drawn to the intensity and focus of a banking career, the guarantee of one-day weekends may present a sufficient enough perk to rival the tech industry’s staff massage sessions.