The 3 must-have traits for becoming a successful investment banker

Successful Traits of Investment Banker

Investment banking jobs are more than a nine to five gig, they’re a lifestyle. The hours are long, the stress is high and the competition is fierce. With so much on the line, everything you have can be used as an advantage, including your personality.

Certain types of personalities are better suited to high stress jobs like investment banking over others. Your resume might say you’re motivated and driven to succeed, but in this industry these two traits are not desired, they’re demanded. So, do you have the traits it takes to be successful in the investment banking world?

Work-First Mentality

You might think you’re ready to dedicate the majority of your days to your investment banking job, but are you ready to sacrifice your nights and weekends too? Although the industry has become much more flexible in the past few years, your social life will be taking a hit if you truly want to succeed. There will be times when you’ll have to cancel a weekend away or miss a dinner with friends due to last minute projects. It’s disappointing, but the hard work and dedication you put into an investment banking job will be rewarded both mentally and financially.

What it takes to become a successful investment banker


Hours and workload are unpredictable in the investment banking world. Client demands can come at any hour of the day, morning or night. If it’s high priority or an emergency, everything else you’re working on will have to be moved to the back burner. To deal with this, successful investment bankers have the ability to change gears quickly and efficiently without missing a beat. Most importantly, they do it without complaint. Staying flexible, even if you’re out of the office, will identify you to your superiors as someone who can be counted on to get it done.

Excellent Communication Skills

One of the many myths surrounding investment banking jobs is that you have to be great at numbers. The truth? Number skills aren’t as important as communication skills. Many of your responsibilities will actually revolve around communicating between your team and clients. Whether you’re an analyst or managing director, communicating ideas clearly and succinctly will go a long way towards keeping both your boss and client happy.

These three traits are by no means the only qualities needed to be successful in an investment banking job. If you’re going to commit almost one hundred percent of your attention to your work life, it’s necessary to be passionate about the industry. Choosing a career path should reflect both your personality and your passion, not just one or the other.

Ready to take on the investment banking industry? See who’s hiring.