Random Thoughts on the Millennial Generation

This post is unstructured.

We’re nearing year two of blogging. By blogging we mean 95%+ of the content you’re reading is written from an iPhone or iPad during transit.

However… with that backdrop we have noticed a few interesting trends rising from the younger generation. Some of them are good and some of them are bad so don’t take it the wrong way if you’re part of the younger generation.

1) Over Thinking: Maybe this is due to information overload. Maybe this is due to technology and the constant brain stimulus. Maybe this is due to twitter and facebook. Who knows. One thing is for certain, many of the younger men and women out there seem to over think their actions to an extreme extent. A classic one is this:

“Hi, I love the blog I want to work on Wall Street should I major in XXX or Finance?”

We know what you’re getting at. Will I be seen as *smarter* if I major in something besides finance?

The answer is always going to be no.

This is because logic is always going to prevail. If you want to work in finance… But you major in something other than finance… How does an interviewer know you’re actually interested in finance? By majoring in something unrelated to finance, then attempting to work in finance, the recruiter is going to read your resume and say “this candidate has no direction”.

*Your resume is not going to be read by an MD, it is going to be read by HR. 9 times out of 10 the person who makes the hiring decision won’t read your resume until you walk into the interview room!*

2) Cart Before the Horse: Another one that is on the upward trend. This is where a young person is incredibly motivated and is constantly asking “What is the next step”. Using this blog as an example again lets look at the following frequent request:

“How do I get into PE/HF/exit opportunity once I am in [sell side job]”

Well… Are you already on Wall Street? Did you get ranked at the top of your class? Do you even know what type of work you like? Why are you preparing for a job when you don’t even have the credentials to obtain an interview yet?

It doesn’t make sense.

Please note that neither the over thinking piece or the cart before the horse piece is an insult. It is an observation of how spinning your wheels can cause serious damage to your career. To put the nail in the coffin lets compare this to game as well.

“How do I plan my first/second/third date?”

Again, do you have an iPhone full of phone numbers already? Do you have 3-4 dates lined up already? Is this something that is going to happen in the near term?

Ambition is great. Being illogical will get you nowhere.

“You cannot troubleshoot if there is nothing to troubleshoot in the first place”

3) Inequality: This one is probably the most interesting. While most kids graduate and immediately complain about things that they cannot control… we’ve noticed that there is an immense gap between those that get it and those that don’t. What does this mean? More inequality is on the horizon. If you’re on the correct side of this equation, we would happily bet money that you’ll become a millionaire. 

“If we split world wealth equally amongst everyone… In a single lifespan the same inequality would occur”

In similar fashion lets use this blog as an example.

Over the past year or two we’ve helped several people obtain jobs on Wall Street. The punch-line? The time it took them to land a job was roughly a month or two.

Why? They were qualified. This is in-line with point one and two, there are two people who ask for help 1) the guy who is unorganized and 2) the guy who has put in the work improving where he can at the moment. You can guess who gets the job.

With that in mind it should tell you something. If you’re actually qualified (ie: you correctly built your resume up) you’re likely going to get traction quickly so don’t hesitate to start contacting people. Similarly, if your resume would never get traction in the first place it is probably time to shift gears. Now. Just because you are not qualified today does not mean that you can’t be more qualified tomorrow.

Finally, we believe anyone can make this shift in mindset. If you’re currently spinning wheels (on the wrong side of the inequality issue) stop and ask yourself “is this what I should be working on”. All three will tie together. Focus on the present… current skills improve… the “next step” shows up… focus on the next task… improve skills… now you’re ahead of your peers… focus on the present tasks…etc.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results”

4) Nervousness or Entitlement: This is somewhat similar to the inequality comment. Essentially, when someone in their early 20s/late teens asks for advice he is either 1) over confident with minimal accomplishments and is entitled or 2) has weaker than normal social skills but an outstanding list of accomplishments that he has trouble selling.

With that in mind here are our suggestions:

Overconfidence/Entitlement: This one is becoming a classic… Thinks he/she can fix the economy, fix politics and become a prolific investor based on his non-experience with practically everything. It’s odd because even millionaires don’t believe they can predict the economy or political changes and yet with a BA in “not going to get a job degree” they think they have a right to an opinion. Either way, we still believe anyone can turn it around so if you’re in this camp the solution is to simply keep your opinions to yourself and get to work on that resume because real life experience cannot be faked. Fake it till you make it means try to get to the next level. It does not mean irrational self confidence based on zero merit. Unless you were given a silver spoon… everyone starts at the bottom so you should act as such. Put your head down and grind.

Nervousness/Weaker Social Skills: You’re lacking in salesmanship because you’ve focused so much time on building that perfect paper resume. This will be fine through your first 1-2 years on the job but as soon as you get your job we suggest you switch gears. Focus heavily on being the politician in the office because you don’t want to learn the truth the hard way… Politics over performance. Why? When you start competing at the top, performance is relatively equal. The #10 guy at the 5th best university in the USA is going to be able to do the job just as well as the #15 guy from the 4th best university in the USA. The difference is going to be this: who does the group like more as a person?

We don’t even have to say it, since the message is implied. But our money is always going to be on guy number two since you can fix social skills but you can’t fix stupidity.

5) Thirsty: This one is the first game specific observation. Young guys appear to be incredibly thirsty. It seems that more and more men are getting married younger, balding earlier and are jumping through hoops for the chance to talk to a 4. Maybe all of these things are related but if you think you *might* be putting women on a pedestal then we are 100% confident that you are. In-line with the inequality comment for job applicants, this applies to the dating scene as well, everything is flowing to the top.

Concluding Remarks: None of this should be taken to heart since anything can be fixed but these five observations are the most prevalent. If you’re looking to improve your life and you’re a millennial you should take a long hard look at each observation. Focus on what can be done today and you’ll be a successful American male. This alone should prevent you from dumpster diving.

Comments

  1. Agreed says

    “You cannot troubleshoot if there is nothing to troubleshoot in the first place”

    I have noticed this also, I recently landed an internship and my first course of action is how to get a return offer. The other guys that landed internships are asking how to leverage their new internship for a full time job somewhere else.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      That is classic and typical. That would be equivalent to planning for private equity/hedge fund interviews when you’re about to get a F-you bonus…

      Not smart.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Not sure if that is true and to be honest not really interested at all.

      Both parties (democrat and republican) get their funding from the same major companies so… Arguing about politics is pretty much for people who enjoy wasting their time.

      Don’t care about politics one bit, only care about things that can be controlled.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      No comment. The only thing we have disclosed is that you need at least 3+ years of experience to contribute to the blog since the attrition rate is ~80%+ at year 3.

      Burn out, get fired, can’t make the cut etc.

      Rare exceptions will be made but that’s the minimum. We’ve had some luck getting much older contributors and have had a good amount of people reach out to contribute over the past year or so. Still a work in progress of course.

      As you can tell, the goal here is to simply inform (Wall Street, personal finance tricks) and help people avoid bad decisions (ie: game, life, health etc.)

  2. S. Braxton says

    As part of the Millennial generation, I couldn’t agree more.

    I do have to ask, though, where this perception comes from, since I don’t imagine you’d run into the typical hoi polloi that would embody a Millennial in your day to day. Do you see them in interviews, asking questions here, the kids of your colleagues and friends, or are you basing the above on something else?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Interviews (entry level) and observations during nightlife.

      Interviews are the most particular as the ones that get hired typically have bad to terrible social skills but amazing paper resumes. This is clearly fixable. The other side of the fence is people sending resumes in that have a zero percent chance of ever obtaining an interview. It is an odd either or situation.

      Nightlife is easily observed due to living in a high traffic city.

  3. Jackson says

    “This is because logic is always going to prevail. If you want to work in finance… But you major in something other than finance… How does an interviewer know you’re actually interested in finance? By majoring in something unrelated to finance, then attempting to work in finance, the recruiter is going to read your resume and say “this candidate has no direction”.”

    Honestly poor advice.

    Go and look at wall street classes at any banks, people study all sorts of subjects. The biggest thing you can do to give yourself a solid chance in front office finance is 1) Go to a reputable brand name uni 2) Study anything you want but you must absolutely excel i.e get top grades 3) Do an internship in the division you want to work in (preferably get an offer) 4) Sharpen your excel skills and maybe VBA if you’re going for very quant heavy trading related roles.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      All due respect your response only works outside the usa. The best way again is outlined in the post

      1) top business school
      2) top GPA in finance
      3) apply for internships

      Wash rinse repeat.

      We are not saying you cannot make it without a degree in finance but this is the cookie cutter most efficient way for you to get into an investment bank. The days of “majoring in anything you like” are completely dead. If a resume with political science and no finance background hits my desk for an internship it will not make it to a phone interview. Not a chance.

      It is likely different in other markets, but in the USA that is simply how it works.

      Go major in finance at a top 10-20 university, get the right classes, get top grades and you will get A LOT more traction.

      Just the way it is.

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