There are not many characteristics you need to learn to be a New York Corporate. Some are relatively easy to master others will take practice.
Rule Number 1: Frustration. Primarily frustration will take place between the morning hours of 8:30 and 9:15 daily aka subway peek hour, where pressing your body against a complete stranger with more determination that you would ever think comfortable becomes routine. As a NYCC (New York City Corporate) a morning without a book banging against your cheekbone, handbag jammed into your lower lumbar or an armpit in your hairline is the recipe for a good day! All the lessons you've been taught to give way to fast moving vehicles will evaporate as you stand inches from a 6-foot death drop waiting for a 30-mile-an-hour train to scream by. Occasionally it will occur to you that a slight slip or a YouTube jump of excitement from a fellow commuter could end your life. But hey this is New York, didn't you come here live life in the fast late? To take risks? New York takes no prisoners, you chose to be here. Remember?
Rule Number 2: Bullshitting. Anyone with some experience in sales knows the art of bullshitting -- convince the person you are talking, emailing or yelling at that what you're saying is correct and will benefit them. Having worked in telesales I've got this part down pat. What New York Corporates have developed is a mechanism where bullshitting is limitless. There are no sense receptors. The layers of misconceptions and misinterpretations are so thick that all common sense and moral code (if there ever was any) is lost. Not only have my Wall St predicators created this murky mess they have somehow painted it with bright shinny colors. Blue, red and white stripes trimmed in gold attracting thirsty money hungry corporates from all over the world. We fly in like months, blinded by its light willing to give up everything for a desk in a midtown office, preferably with a view of the Hudson. It's the biggest Wall we have ever seen. We cling on for dear life scratching and scraping ourselves over The Wall, desperate to get it. Sometimes a rope is thrown over the edge from a well dress recruiter reciting rehearsed lines such as 'endless opportunities', 'big breaks' and 'compensation packages'. But more times than not the rope breaks and we are left deflated and exhausted in a $700 suit. The hardest part is that you know exactly what they are doing they are testing you, draining you, they're bull shitting you.
I'm unsure if it's the elation from the win or clear exhaustion that makes you smile for your first two months on the other side of The Wall. Even after experiencing the New York City tax deduction on your already deflated salary still you will smile.
Rule Number 3: Bragging. A Capital Markets position allows you chatter about bonds, options, equity-options, FX options, commodities futures, financial futures, equity futures and foreign futures. You can have an off handed chat over a martini about arbitrage trading, AMM trading, flex trading and their associated special handling codes and security suppressions. Why not compare CME requirements to ICE USA, ICE EU or NYSE over an average nespresso shot in a closet sized pantry? Better still discuss FINRAs latest statute, "it's no CFTC audit trail review," you could laugh! A Capital Markets email signature comes with bragging rights, known to the rest of the world as 'being a wanker'. If you didn't understand most or all of these abbreviations don't worry because we don't either. I mean how could you?! There are more financial acronyms then there are sequins on a Radio City Rocket leotard.
Now I'm no Michael Lewis but it doesn't take a genius to realize why Wall Street finance is so prestige and hard to get into, because no one leaves. Not because they love it but because they cant get out. Who would throw away the reward of an Investment Banking LinkedIn title, no one wants to climb that Wall again!