The City Game of Snakes & Ladders

Snakes & Ladders

There are some days when I want to climb the corporate ladder to success quicker than Brady Dougan, and other days when a snake crosses my path and I become desperate to join my friends for Pimms o’clock. Shame - just when I was doing so well.

Investment Banks can easily be compared to an '80s board game. To win you need to play the game, and to play the game, you need to know the rules. These are the basics:

Rule 1
Get to work when it’s dark then you will be 'on time'. You should be fresh, alert and ready to roll, and in the event that you had a night on the town and are hungover, still drunk, or feel like death, you still need to get there. 9-5 doesn’t exist in the City.

Rule  2
Leave the Office when it’s dark then you will leave 'on time'. It doesn’t matter that your friends have been in the pub for four hours previous. 9-5 doesn’t exist in the City.

Rule  3
Don’t take lunch, ever. 'Lunch hour' is just a phrase - don’t adhere to it under any circumstances. You will only find yourself having long lunches when you are at home - redundant.

Rule 4
How to Dress - the things the corporate handbook doesn’t tell you but the path to promotion does. No sun-dresses, earrings, makeup, floaty skirts, neck scarves, trendy belts, bangles, pendants, chiffon, or anything floral. Suits are strongly advised. If in doubt, choose grey pinstripe. Suppress the inner SJP inside you, always.

Rule  5
Don’t get drunk at the Christmas party. It is an extension of your professional behaviour. This is not an occasion to let your hair down and tell you boss you thought he was scary in the beginning. He is not drunk and will definitely remember all antics. Avoid at all costs. Make your excuse up now as to why you won’t be attending this year’s, or any other year’s for that matter.

And if you do go, just make sure you draw the line at karaoke.

Learn from the mistakes of others.

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