{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How do you emphasize the importance of work-life balance in your job search/ in interviews without coming off as not being a hard worker? Also, how can you tell if a company actually has a culture that supports work-life balance?", "post_id": "61a552b3360b270029474a3b", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 10, "bowl_id": "553769a790f5eebe1d2a0f92", "bowl_name": "Finance" }

How do you emphasize the importance of work-life balance in your job search/ in interviews without coming off as not being a hard worker? Also, how can you tell if a company actually has a culture that supports work-life balance?

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This is something you probably got to do a little research before you apply, whether from fishbowl itself, glassdoor, industry checks. Certain industries by design do not really offer “work-life balance”, eg investment banking, private equity, etc: - there is no point applying to such industries and expect it to change or state you will like it, you will come off as not being a hard worker - in other sectors, there may be some room to negotiate. In those case, you would have to leverage the interview to assess how the company measures success, by input or output driven. Ask about a typical day, and position it as trying to understand what is important to the company. Ask about crunch times, and what is value in crunch times (eg accuracy, volume of output, independence, escalation, etc). The combination of both will give you a sense of their culture and work-life. Even if they are okay with work-life balance, you will need to be output driven if you want to dictate control. I used to have a staff, he was so brilliant, he came in usually slightly earlier (about 30min), but he left very on time or even slightly earlier. His output was twice as high as his peers, and I had little issues with his work-life balance.

likesmart

Like what associate1 shared below, unlikely in IB. Reckon you are US based, in Asia that number goes up to 80-100hr / week average. You’d find better hours in trading / hedge funds / sales, but those have little job security as budget is very transparent. The nature of banking is that it has a high minimum quality, after that work is largely commoditized. You seldom see brilliant. My experience has largely been in FIG, but we had a RE associate legend, that he read through the land legislations, and pitch an acquisition based on repositioning office land (at US$8psf value) to retail land (at US$25psf value), and fought for stapled financing to be attached to the advisory document. The target was sitting on a few mixed used sites. He had a choice of work thereafter and left quite on time by Asia standards - 8 to 9pm daily. You would have to learn to stress cope in other ways, morning gyms / cross-fit, 30min dinner zoom calls with love ones. If you want to stay in the industry. Some of my peers have left the industry as associate and probably taking as high as 50% per cut, but are living more fulfilled lives. Others are at MDs and also living fulfilled lives. You would have to assess first what is important to you.

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At our level (junior) I wouldn’t expect WLB and top pay. If you prioritize WLB, you can essentially weed out highest paying jobs (IB/PE/HF) and apply to finance jobs one “tier” below. Those are much more likely to be open to WLB. I went from a chill job making <$150 to one of the above and it was night and day in terms of work hours.

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OP what do you do in commercial RE? I work in CRE at a REPE shop (sponsor) and average 30 hrs a week with 5 weeks PTO. There are firms out there with WLB. My comp is pretty good too for the amount I work.

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REITs, LifeCo, and family offices tend to offer better WLB. But that’s also speaking very very generally. Don’t think the asset type matters, but maybe the risk appetite does (core vs opportunistic). I would stay away from LPs/funds (the Ares, Oaktree, and CIMs of the world) because they’ll burn and churn you.

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