There are two types of people in the finance industry: those who work a lot and those who are unemployed.
In fact, long hours are a point of pride at banks and brokerages.
When asked if they would accept a "dream job" if it required working 100 hours a week, 29% of 510 respondents said "yes" in the FINS.com online question forum Sign or Decline.
Keep in mind there are only 168 hours in a week. If you factor in seven hours a day for sleep and one hour a day for commuting, that "dream job" would afford less than two hours a day for everything else -- eating, shoe shines, karaoke, etc.
Work-life balance in the industry has in many ways tipped towards work in the past decade, as technology and increasingly global markets stretched on-the-job hours for knowledge-based employees, according to the nonprofit Center for Work-Life Policy, a New York-based research and advocacy group.
Much of the time, the stretched schedules are accepted willingly, said Karen Sumberg, spokeswoman for the Center for Work-Life Policy.
"There is a sort of badge of honor around having that kind of a job where you are always needed and always on," she said.
The story is the same across all industries where workers are highly paid.
In 2007, the Center for Work-Life Policy surveyed almost 1,600 workers who earned more than $75,000 a year. A little less than half of the respondents worked more than 60 hours per week, including 10% who worked more than 80 hours per week.
Of the 110 respondents who worked in banking and finance, some 28% had "extreme jobs," which the Center defined as a position requiring more than 60 hours a week as well as factors such as unpredictable demands, travel and tight deadlines.
The majority of those surveyed by the Center for Work-Life Policy who worked more than 60 hours said that they loved their jobs and were hooked on the challenge and adrenaline rush.
But half of "extreme workers" said they wanted to quit within a year and the same number said their employers' demands made it impossible to have a satisfying sex life. Talk about tradeoffs.
What Would You Do?
Answer the question and see how you match up with the rest of the FINS community.
You've just been offered your dream job, but...you will have to work at least 100 hours per week -- even over the holidays.
Sign ...or... Decline
Write to Kyle Stock
Sign or Decline is a series of questions on FINS.com that ask what you would do for your dream job. Since launch, late last year, over 100,000 answers have been received and compiled in our database. Participate in Sign or Decline here.