31 Fantastic Pieces Of Advice For Surviving Your First Year On Wall Street

You’ve sat through recruiting sessions, and you’ve networked with bankers.

But you’re still completely unprepared for what it’s actually like to work on the street.

Business Insider is here to help.

We’ve put together a list of great advice from Wall Street legends, seasoned professionals and young analysts in order to prepare you for your first year on the street.

Maybe take notes if you want to.

You're going to be a burden during your first three months. Try to be a small one.

'For your first 3 months you will be a burden - just try to be a small burden. Don't spin your wheels, ever - Associates hate when their analyst is sitting there fumbling and stymied. Don't ask questions that you haven't at least tried to think through yourself - but once you've thought them through, don't be afraid to ask. Write down everything so you remember what you learned and don't have to ask again.'

Former analyst as boutique investment bank

Source: Business Insider

When you're networking with senior co-workers, direct the questions to them.

'When you're networking with senior people, always direct the questions to them. People in this industry are egotistical and they love talking about themselves. It will be a solid start to your networking.'

Male, 53, Hedge fund

If you want to acquire and keep your clients, don't only talk about the markets.

'I found other topics to discuss. And I found that when I ceased being a business bore -- and quit pushing my views about the market on everyone -- that people came to be more interested in any advice that I might have to give. At the time I was a broker starting out, and it helped me acquire clients. I think the same thing is true as a parent with your kids. If you give advice, it's not nearly as well received as when it's asked for.'

Julian Robertson, Founder of Tiger Management (a now defunct hedge fund)

Source: Fortune

Your job is to make your boss look good.

'As a young professional, your first job is to do what your superior wants you to do. Many trainees believe they have to show creativity right away to separate themselves from their peers. That distinction, though, often comes at the expense of what your manager needs to do her job. So deliver your work accurately and on time. Once you have gained credibility by fulfilling your superior's requests perfectly, she will welcome initiative on your part.'

Tierri Tierney Clark, former MD at investment bank division of Merrill Lync

Source: Smith College Alumnae Relations

Utilise the 'buddy system'. It's there for a reason.

'Nowadays lots of banks and firms set up new hires with a 'buddy' -- someone more experienced who works on a different desk. Ask them questions that you might not feel comfortable asking your own team.'

Male, MD at an Investment Bank

You're going to grow up super fast.

'Expect to 'grow up,' fast (particularly if you're joining right out of college). You'll be an adult, and exposed to exceptionally serious things, much sooner than you think.'

Richard, Executive Director/Vice President at Goldman Sachs

Source: Goldman Sachs

Don't just look for the next job. Look for what's going to build your career.

'When you're thinking about your next career move, don't just pick the next job that pops up, and don't pick the job that 'you're supposed to do.' You're looking to build a career so you want to go for what's right for you. If you're in wealth management realise that your skill set and interest is more geared towards investment banking -- make the jump.'

Male, 51, Wealth Management

If you want more responsibility, take a look at non-name brand boutique banks.

'Don't forget about boutique banks, especially if you want more responsibility and hands-on work right away. Most college kids jump at the bulge bracket banks, but there's something to be said for working at a boutique where you know everyone and you get to do real work.'

Female, 33, MD at Boutique Investment Bank

People will notice what you do when you're stressed out.

'My first month on the job, things started going badly in the P&L. When I went in to my boss for help, he asked, 'What do you think we should do here?' I wanted to sound totally in control, so I went right into this Chuck Yeager voice -- you know, The Right Stuff. I used my most fake-confident voice, and I gave it my best shot. He said, 'OK, that's a good idea.' It was smart of him to ask my opinion instead of telling me what to do. He knew that if my plan worked, I'd feel more confident. If it didn't work, the pressure on me would ease because he had endorsed my idea. Just as I was walking out of his office, he said, 'Oh, just one more thing. Why don't you walk to the men's room and throw cold water on your face? You're looking green.' So I learned two things: First, it's good to solicit your people's opinions before you give them yours. And second, your people will be very influenced by how you carry yourself under stress.'

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs

Source: Forbes

Go for the tough assignments.

'The best way to stand out is to take on the more challenging, perhaps less attractive, projects. If you show success completing them, senior personnel at your company will take notice and consider you for future important work.'

Tierri Tierney Clark, former MD at investment bank division of Merrill Lync

Source: Smith College Alumnae Relations

Try to get some sleep.

'Sleep... whenever you have the time.'

Male, 25, Former analyst at bulge bracket bank

You're not going to be the best. But that's not what you want out of your first job, anyway.

'You probably were the best student in your class. And you probably got straight A's in the hardest classes. But you're not going to be the best here. Not even close. And why would you want to be? If you're the best on your first day on the job, then there's no where for you to grow.'

Male, Managing director at a bulge bracket bank

If you read the footnotes in an annual report, you will do more than 100% of the people on Wall Street.

'The best advice I ever got was on an aeroplane. It was in my early days on Wall Street. I was flying to Chicago, and I sat next to an older guy. Anyway, I remember him as being an old guy, which means he may have been 40. He told me to read everything. If you get interested in a company and you read the annual report, he said, you will have done more than 98% of the people on Wall Street. And if you read the footnotes in the annual report you will have done more than 100% of the people on Wall Street. I realised right away that if I just literally read a company's annual report and the notes -- or better yet, two or three years of reports -- that I would know much more than others. '

Jim Rogers, Chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc.

Source: Forbes

You're not done fighting for opportunities.

'A lot of young kids come in with inflated egos because 'look! I got a job at Goldman Sachs!' and then expect to just cruise through. Get rid of that mindset as soon as possible. No one's going to hand you your next job. People either don't care about you, or they're competing with you. You have to go after future opportunities, not wait for them.'

Male, 43, Investment Bank

Don't pretend that you understand something if you actually don't.

'Never say you understand something if you don't; it is only a matter of time before you get found out!'

Nina, Associate in Equity Convertibles at Goldman Sachs

Source: Goldman Sachs

Be nice to assistants. Everyone's watching you.

'Don't forget to be nice to assistants and other people below you. You never know who's watching.'

Male, 51, Wealth Management

Don't forget your manners when networking... even on LinkedIn.

'Networking is not calling someone when you need help. I never accept LinkedIn requests from people who don't bother to write a personal message… If someone gets in touch because they knew me years ago or they have read my book and have a comment, then that's fine but make an effort to write a personal greeting!'

Moorad Choudhry, MD at RBS and Professor at Brunel University

Source: Business Because

Don't sleep with your boss.

'I've seen this happen to some friends. No one ever takes you seriously again -- no matter how good you are. Especially if you're a woman. Just don't do it.'

Female, 37, Investment Banking

Knowing what you don't know is more useful than being brilliant.

'Confucius said that real knowledge is knowing the extent of one's ignorance. Aristotle and Socrates said the same thing. ... Think of somebody who's been a professional tightrope walker for 20 years -- and has survived. He couldn't survive as a tightrope walker for 20 years unless he knows exactly what he knows and what he doesn't know. He's worked so hard at it, because he knows if he gets it wrong he won't survive. The survivors know.

Knowing what you don't know is more useful than being brilliant.'

Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

Source: The Wall Street Journal

No one wants to hear that you don't want to do something.

'And if you're going to tell me that you don't want to do this, and you don't want to do that, I would not want to hire you. I want to know what you want to do.'

Michael Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg LP

Source: Bloomberg TV

The bottom line is, know your stuff.

'You can read any self-help book or go to a college commencement if you want words of wisdom cloaked in some crazy metaphor. I say just know your stuff. Have a fire in you to improve yourself and others. And don't overlook the basics -- take courses on Excel, Access and Sharepoint!'

Dan, Associate at JP Morgan

Source: J. P. Morgan

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