(Original post by Herr)
I have 3 kids, aged 16, 5 and the youngest who would be 1 in August. My youngest sees me more as a stranger tbh as I rarely ever see him awake. The 5 year old, it seems like the only time I have any meaningful conversation with her is when she gets her pocket money each week and shows me how much she had saved so she could get the "bonus" tbh it isn't easy as I have full custody of the younger 2. The 16 year old, I used to speak to her once every 2-5 years..... usually it was because her mother needed money. IB will make you immune to the feeling of missing someone in general, my ex-wife used to ask me whether I missed her and I would only realize it only when she asked.
As for drinking..... it depends a lot on who your manager is. It's quite the norm that after a big day, your boss may bring the entire team for drinks.... if it is a team of 5, it isn't unusual that the cost of the tab is around £1000 or so
In some BO roles the only drink you'll ever be having is the can of beer you be having when you arrive home (home because the pubs would have long been shut since you're done with work) While some usually in the M&A and CF roles, you will be going out a LOT, this is especially so if you have to work with clients from the Far East, worst are the clients from China, they will buy bottles of super expensive drinks on a quantum of 1 bottle per person.... if you dare to don't drink you can pretty much kiss your career good bye because no drink=no deal. When the deal nets the IB in the millions for fees..... you jolly well better be drinking and you better stand straight too because at the end of that drinking session the deal will be signed.
Entertainment, generally speaking it depends, in any sales role, you will be looking at loads of it, though it is quite rare that you'd be told to bring a client to a strip club, usually if it is in Europe or USA, it tends to stop at meals and maybe a couple of drinks.... but if you are sent to close a deal in Asia, particularly in China then that's where the floodgates will be wide open
In my 5 years of dealing with China, Taiwan and HK I've had to go to the following entertainment spots :-
i) A members only nightclub, where to be a member you have to have a networth of US$1bil, once in there Chivas Regal is the cheapest drink that is free flow off and drink as much as you could. In there there were pool tables, girls who come sit with you and hope for a big tip, karaoke machines, dance floor and generally a host of wealth people you could try to network with.... am told more deals are signed in that club than any other office buildings in Shanghai
ii) Lost count the number of expensive restaurants I've been to, some of them per head cost is upwards of £400 per person. Alas usually after that dinner you are still hungry because more talking than eating happens here and since it isn't you who would be paying the bill you generally can't tell them to shut up and eat first.
iii) The best thing about being sent to Asia.... part of the entertainment would almost always send you to a spa or massage place
You've never been to a spa until you've been to a good one in China.
iv) Strip clubs? LOL... what see no touch? In some cases you'll be brought to a very upscale brothel, there is one particular place in Shanghai nicknamed "Mao's bedroom" the difference between this and other brothels is all the girls there are virgin and uhhh your client who is trying to win big and had hired you to close the deal using you as the intermediary thinks you are losing it or starting to get tired, he would buy you a "gift" .... the excuse of "I have a gf" or "I'm married" won't work as you say no to a Chinaman and you say no to the entire deal.
v) You think of all the luxuries in the world, private jet, fast super-cars, yachts etc, chances are you'd be having your chance to play with one..... one of my then clients was the first in Asia to have a Buggati Veyron and because the car was bought in Germany and shipped to China, all the manuals and operation instructions were either in German or in English and no one knew how to operate it.... so there came to the rescue their investment banker who knew how to read English and German, so I had to read the entire manual and then tell them what each controls did in Mandarin.... LOL in the end he gave me the key and told me to drive him about and then show him. If you are into this type of things and lifestyle, then this is a wonderful sampler. But you need to be able to control your envy, if you're one of those typical on TSR underpriveleged ones who start moaning on how the rich have everything and can't hide their envy on people at private schools being better off than them, then IB might not be for you at all
Time becomes relative when you're in IB
GF... lol in my 1st 2 years of IB, I had 1 gf who I saw on average once a week... LOL usually just enough time for a dinner, movie, a shag and a rush off to work the next morning. I've lost count the number of times I told her we would meet up only to never show up, in fact that woman is still mad at me though it's been 12 years already that I once made reservations at a restaurant for her b-day and never showed up. That wasn't the only time obviously and the final straw was on Valentine's Day... I made a reservation, told her I'd meet her in the restaurant.. except I didn't....whoops.
Kids? Anyone can be a father... but eventually you will be forced to make a choice between your job and your kids. Your kids will eventually relate you "as that man who gives me money and pays for my bills" and believe it or not when you have kids, you and your colleagues will be comparing notes on who spoils their kids more. Using the excuse that you have kids to work less is very taboo but at the same time being seen as neglecting your kids is also taboo.
As for working hours, it will be LONG. Some will obviously be working longer than others. But it isn't all that bad if you have an understanding manager or supervisor like myself while with a big American IB based in London I told my supervisor I would need to leave at sharp 5 on every Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays because I had evening classes to attend... he said fine and sometimes would tell me to quickly leave if I was so much as 5 minutes past 5 still at the office... but it was on understanding that after class I would return to office and finish up anything that needed to be done before end of the day... and he didn't care if that meant I stayed on till 1am..... it was all on the basis of as long as work is done. The more senior you go, chances are you could get away with lesser hours without it adversely affecting you, usually once you become a senior associate and for as long as you don't start using it as an opportunity to doing lots of overseas work related travel, then it is a good opportunity to start a family.... though a rather understanding partner is essential and it isn't easy to find one who would understand it..... just ask my ex-wife why she left LOL.