Careers in finance are fun and rewarding. If you want to win you have to arrive prepared and ready to roll. The specific type of job doesn't matter. You can be a banker, broker, analyst, manager, whatever, but in general you need to have "what it takes." Let's discuss the most common types of employee you'll find nowadays on Wall Street.
Here are three main types of people drawn to careers in financial services.
Type 1: The Angel
. The conscientious, hardworking, intelligent person who insists on taking care of the client and delivering the highest quality service. This person is scrupulously honest and insists on strict adherence to laws, regulations, and the highest standards of ethical behavior.
Type 2: The Predator
. The lying, thieving, conniving, backstabbing, manipulative, egotistical jerk. This person would sell their own mother down the river for a fast buck and epitomizes the "I'll be gone, you'll be gone" (IBG/YBG) absence of concern for the long-term effects of their actions on the health of clients and the industry.
Type 3: The Preppie
. The spoiled, airheaded, condescending trust-fund baby who had their high six-figure first job handed to them after sleeping their way through four years in the Ivy League. This person is amused at anyone who has to work hard for a living as such things are so declasse for someone at their level.
Now that we've identified the three types of people you're most likely to meet in your Wall Street career, let's discuss their typical career paths.
Angels are immediately identified for eventual termination. They are given plenty of grunt work to keep them busy, the results of which will always be claimed by the other two types. They are widely viewed as weak and unfit for employment in finance, and will never earn anyone's respect with the way they do their jobs. Their honesty and devotion to detail quickly prove to be career liabilities because they pose a threat to the chicanery of their managers.
Predators are initially successful based on their ability to lie, bluff, and bully their way around clients and the office. The more successful ones will ally with a Preppie to network their way up the ladder and gang up on Angels for fun. They predominate in sales but can also be found in management if they can ride the coattails of a well-regarded Preppie. They earn the respect of others by abusing and firing Angels and by outmaneuvering other Predators.
Preppies are the most successful of the three archetypes. Their extensive family connections will steer huge amounts of business to their employer as a matter of course, with little to no effort necessary. They show up late to meetings and vacation for months at a time because they know there will be plenty of Angels back at the office to do their work for them as long a few Predators are left behind to yell at them. It's okay if they fall asleep on the job because they always have an Angel at hand to take notes for them and explain what they missed. Preppies intermarry primarily with each other to extend their bloodlines, but sometimes the more adventurous among them will deign to marry a genetically healthy Predator (based on looks and personality). They usually rise to the top on the back of work done by Angels and Predators. Preppies are the star performers of Wall Street and darlings of the social scene in major metropolitan areas.
If you are a Preppie, you don't need to read my blog. All of your career insights will come from family members. If you are a Predator, you'll probably read my blog just to claim my ideas as your own so you can score a promotion (go to hell, jackass). If you're an Angel, for Pete's sake don't spend longer than a year or two working for Predators and Preppies. Start your own business and outperform them in life.