Beware, the grass is not always greener
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Beware, the grass is not always greener


For all the opprobrium tossed at bankers in recent years, there are still plenty of people that admire the lifestyle. But we bankers (and ex-bankers) are humans too, and can’t help peeking over the side of the fence.

Now that the craziness of Sevens is over and the Easter exodus is in full swing, I decided to enjoy a hollowed-out Lan Kwai Fong to meet up with an old friend of mine. This chum, who was always missing from Hong Kong during the holidays, surprised me with a call to say he would actually be around for Easter.

For hours he sat me down and droned on about how burned out he was — physically and mentally. Attendance on conference calls and business trips over weekends, as well as the usual flexible definition of "normal working hours" had exhausted him to the point that he decided at the last minute to cancel his flight to Langkawi.

So fed up is he, that he’s considering a change of career. “Do you know any buyside shop that’s hiring? Their working hours can’t be as crazy as mine, right?” he said, with a nervous grin.

Funny. It was only a few days ago that my asset manager friend asked me about a job vacancy at an investment bank. “We have to do all-nighters and suffer lost weekends too, but they get compensated better, right?” he said.

Well folks, want a piece of advice from Taipan? Resist the temptation to peer over the fence — your grass is green enough already.