6 Reasons Why Junior Bankers Should Never Skip After-Work Social Events
What is the first thing on your mind when you get to leave the office before midnight on Friday?
a) Meet up with friends in the city for drinks and then go to some nice restaurant to finally eat food that is served on a plate instead of a takeaway box in front of my screen
b) Run home to shower, change into comfy clothes, order nice food, and relax under a blanket on the couch watching Netflix
c) Go to an after-work social event with colleagues
At the first glance, option C seems dreadful! After a whole week of late nights in the office, who can be bothered to see colleagues on FRIDAY EVENING!? I understand — I have been there and I know this is the last thing on your mind.
However, keep in mind that these Friday after-work events do not happen very often, and when they do, they do not last very long because in most cases senior bankers have families and can’t stay very long anyways.
Just like you, Senior Bankers are tired after the whole week of travel, meetings, and socializing (mainly with clients), and all they want to do is run home on Friday evening. Sadly, this might be the first opportunity in a week when they get to see their kids before they go to bed or to have a warm meal with their wives or husbands. So, believe me, option C is not even in their “Top 10 things to do after work on Friday” but if they make an effort to attend an after-work event you should too.
So, as you can see there is a slim chance for this event to turn into a 4 am all-night out party, but this could be a rare opportunity for you to bond with senior bankers in a more relaxed and casual setting.
However, if you simply cannot be bothered to mingle with your colleagues, I would like to give you a little nudge and invite you to check out my 6 reasons why you should at least consider attending after-work social events:
1. BUILDING SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH SENIOR BANKERS
I hate to break it to you, but it is much easier to build a special relationship with a Senior Banker at one of these after-work events than spending hours in front of a computer building strip line profiles.
2. SENIOR BANKERS ARE ALSO PEOPLE — HIT THEM UP WITH SMALL TALK
I know it can be intimidating to approach a Managing Director unless you have thought about some challenging and interesting questions that are going to make you look smart and prepared. But remember, they are also people and the last thing they want to talk about outside of work is work-related stuff. So hit them up with some questions about their hobbies, weekend plans, or interesting summer destinations they have been to. Don’t be a stranger!
3. BONUS TIME
If you are still not convinced that relationship building with senior bankers is important then I just want to remind you that one of the MDs will be representing you at the round table when bonuses are assigned…so think hard next time you rather skip drinks with your colleagues.
4. PRACTICE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
If you are not a people person or have difficulties building relationships you might want to get some training on that or rethink if banking is for you, especially if you are a sector covering banker. The more senior you get, your true value to the firm will lie in your ability to build strong and long-lasting relationships with clients and internally, not in your modelling or ppt skills.
5. GET STAFFED ON LIVE DEALS
I know many junior bankers (including myself) that after 1–3 years of banking still never got to work on a live deal. It can be very frustrating working constantly on the pitch books or follow-up materials and never experiencing the thrill of closing a transaction or announcing an IPO. Well, if you didn’t know, usually MD is a gatekeeper and has a say on who gets staffed on a deal (not a staffer). So next time during after-work drinks it wouldn’t hurt to mention that you would love to be on the next live deal.
6. LEARN TO GATHER INTEL
After-work events are a perfect opportunity to hear stories and gather intel that generally no one talks about during normal office hours. Again, as you get more senior, you will gather intel from your clients (corporate and PEs) that will be priceless and highly rewarded internally. So, if you are serious about banking then you better start practicing now.
Let me know if I missed anything or if you were able to leverage any of these after-work-related events to build a stronger relationship with seniors?
After 20 years of professional tennis and 10+ years working in the finance and start-up industry, I now help busy, high-achieving bankers create a career and life beyond their wildest dreams!!!
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