Is Investment Banking the Right Career Path for You? Exploring Motivations, Returns, and More

Feranmi Olaseinde

Hatched by Feranmi Olaseinde

Feb 24, 2024

4 min read


Is Investment Banking the Right Career Path for You? Exploring Motivations, Returns, and More


Choosing a career path is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. For many individuals, investment banking holds a certain allure due to its potential for high financial returns. However, it's essential to evaluate whether this field aligns with your motivations, values, and long-term goals. In this article, we will explore seven reasons why investment banking may not be the right fit for everyone and delve into the performance of pension funds in Q1 2023.

1. Money Isn't Everything:

While investment banking offers substantial financial rewards, it's important to recognize that money isn't the sole driving force behind a fulfilling career. Although not all investment bankers are solely motivated by money, the potential to earn a significant income often serves as a primary motivator in this field. If financial gain isn't a key driver for you, it might be worth considering alternative career paths that align more closely with your values and aspirations.

2. Harsh Working Conditions:

Investment banking is notorious for its demanding and high-pressure working environment. Long hours, tight deadlines, and intense competition are common features of this industry. If you value work-life balance, prefer a less stressful work environment, or thrive in a different type of workplace culture, investment banking might not be the best fit for you. It's crucial to assess your ability to handle the stress and rigor associated with this career path before pursuing it.

3. Limited Career Growth Opportunities:

While investment banking can provide lucrative financial rewards, it's important to consider the long-term career growth potential in this field. The hierarchical nature of many investment banks often means that advancement opportunities may be limited or highly competitive. If you have aspirations for rapid career progression or seek a dynamic and diverse professional trajectory, exploring alternative industries or roles that offer more flexibility and growth prospects may be worth considering.

4. Performance of Pension Funds:

In Q1 2023, NPF Pensions emerged as the frontrunner in terms of investment returns on their portfolios. As the pension fund administrator for the Nigerian Police Force, NPF Pensions showcased impressive performance during this period. This achievement highlights the importance of effective portfolio management and the potential for attractive returns in the pension fund industry. For individuals interested in finance and investment, exploring opportunities within pension fund management could be a viable alternative to investment banking.

5. Aligning Values with Investments:

Investment banking often involves working with diverse clients, including corporations involved in various industries. However, not all individuals resonate with the idea of supporting businesses that may conflict with their personal values or ethical beliefs. If you prioritize investing in companies that align with your values, such as those focused on sustainability or social impact, alternative career paths like impact investing or socially responsible investing may be more suitable for you.

6. Skill Set and Personality Fit:

Investment banking requires a unique set of skills, including analytical prowess, financial acumen, and excellent interpersonal abilities. Moreover, the fast-paced and competitive nature of the industry demands a certain personality type – one that thrives under pressure, remains resilient in the face of challenges, and possesses strong communication and negotiation skills. If these characteristics don't align with your natural abilities or personality traits, it may be worth exploring other career options where your skills and personality can shine.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Reflect on your motivations: Take the time to identify your core motivations and values. If financial gain is not your primary driver, consider alternative career paths that align more closely with your passions and aspirations.
  • 2. Research alternative industries: Explore other industries that offer attractive financial rewards, growth prospects, and work-life balance. Consider sectors like technology, healthcare, or entrepreneurship that may provide a more fulfilling career path for you.
  • 3. Seek mentorship and guidance: Connect with professionals who have experience in investment banking or alternative careers you're considering. Seek their guidance and insights to gain a better understanding of the pros and cons of each path and how they align with your goals.


While investment banking may hold allure for many due to its potential for financial rewards, it's essential to evaluate whether this career path aligns with your motivations, values, and long-term goals. By considering factors such as work-life balance, growth opportunities, and personal values, you can make an informed decision about whether investment banking is right for you. Remember to reflect on your motivations, explore alternative industries, and seek guidance from mentors as you navigate your career path.

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