Wall Street is a stressful place, and everyone has their own coping mechanism.
To get a sense of how bankers are dealing with the long nights, the deadlines etc. eFinancialCareers conducted a survey with 14 activities (and an “other”) that respondents might be using to loosen up.
Most people responded with fairly mundane things like, exercising, watching TV and spending time with family.
But of the 86 people that used the “other” column, 1/4 of them said they drink or do drugs to relieve stress.
Breaking down the numbers, an interesting pattern appears. Roughly 17% of respondents with fewer than four years of experience on the Street said they drink or do drugs to handle stress. The number balloons to 30% for financial services employees with more than five years of experience. Seniority – and responsibility – take their toll…
“The money isn’t always enough to drown out the stress,” said one VP at a U.S. investment bank who admitted their habits have increased. “On those days, you get creative.”
“Taking pills all day to make you faster means you have to drink at night to slow down,” said another veteran investment banker. Adderall, a prescription amphetamine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is his drug of choice.
The message here could either be ‘get out while your young’ or ‘it takes time to figure out how to enjoy yourself…’ It depends on your social values, really.
That said: The survey also showed that the 2nd most popular coping mechanism was prayer, and the older a banker gets, the more likely it is that they’ll use it.
So maybe Wall Streeters have a ‘Come to Jesus Moment’ later in life?
Leave your thoughts on this in the comments.