A large city like Madrid is similar to many others in that they all have working areas which are focused on international businesses and corporate structures. Careers in these fields include corporate lawyers, bankers and other financially-minded jobs. These often pay very well and offer exciting work but perhaps at the cost of a work/life balance. So what are these advantages and disadvantages?
If you have decided that one of these jobs is for you then the next step is to get some experience and then apply! In the case of large law firms, two week-long ‘vacation’ schemes are seen as a pre-requisite to joining a company. These demonstrate your commitment to the profession as well as giving the potential employee a chance to experience the work first-hand and see if it really is for them. Top grades are also needed, with some places using a filter to decline applications even before interview if the grades are not up to scratch. If yours are slightly lacking, make sure to bolster your CV with relevant work experience and details of extra-curricular activities done at school or at university.
The work itself
Films like Office Space have offered us both light-hearted and serious visions of working in a job like these, often with the protagonist suffering a mid-life crisis due to a lack of interest in the work. Whilst not everyone obviously experiences this, it is important to assess yourself and look at whether you’re really interested handling finances or just the financial rewards offered by the job! Work is not the only thing life is about, but it will be a significant part of your life. If you choose to work in the City but are not passionate about it, it is unlikely that you will be truly satisfied regardless of the big salary.
Large law firms or banks often come with a reputation for gruelling hours and giving employees very little ‘room to breathe’. This is a mixture of fact and fiction which should nevertheless be considered when applying for a job in the City. Some would argue that the sheer amount of money being paid to employees justifies the demands being placed upon them, however in my view this should never lead to exploitation. Obviously there will be times when the work is time-sensitive and an all-nighter or weekend jobs are necessary. But this does not seem to be the norm on a day-to-day level and you should not be concerned that the company in question will completely take over your life!
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