Any college student or recent grad who studied business and is looking to make a lifelong career in a field like investment banking may dread their unfathomably long work days before they even get started.
Often referred to as "selling your soul," junior bankers (mostly recent college grads) tread on dangerous territory when it comes to work-life balance.
Recently, Wall Street's caught a lot of backlash regarding their youngest employees and the effects of job stress on their health and well-being.
Big bank Goldman Sachs, for example, changed its policy this past summer to no longer allow interns to stay in the office overnight. Bank of America released a statement recommending that their junior employees take off a minimum of four weekend days per moth.
But now, Citigroup is really changing the game in terms of time-off perks in the world of investment banking.
The company isn't just offering employees to take off a few hours or even a few days -- new programs allow junior bankers to take off an entire year.
Set to be revealed on March 16, 2016, Citigroup will initiate new programs that include the opportunity to leave the office for an entire year to focus on charity work, as well as the opportunity to participate in a four-week-long finance program in Kenya.
This dedication to service work is something that will particularly appeal to the millennial generation, who is so often encouraged to choose work and a career that fills them with a sense of deeper meaning (something that can be hard to find in the throes of Wall Street.)
The program will be targeted at incoming analysts.
Citigroup Chief Executive Michael Corbat explains:
"I want people to have family lives, personal lives. When I was a junior banker, it was a rite of passage in terms of how many hours you work. And I don't think it's how many hours you work. It's how productive are you and how good are you."
Nine incoming analysts for the company have already been chosen to participate in Citi's new program, which they will serve through Service Year (an organization that will coordinate them with a nonprofit in their network).
Throughout the year, the incoming analysts will be paid 60 percent of their Citi salary and will begin work at the bank immediately following the end of their service term.
Additionally, 12 junior employees are set to leave for Kenya next week to participate in the four-week-long business development program that Citi is offering there.
Both initiatives are a huge step in the direction of offering hardworking junior bankers an option to have a sense of life outside the dimly lit banks where they spend the majority of their days. The outlook of more change to come looks positive, as Ray McGuire, who runs Citigroup's corporate and investment bank said:
"These changes are just the beginning."
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