Goldman Sachs has a new intern rule: Go home at midnight 

Banks have tried to create policies to restore some work-life balance for employees—JP Morgan made a color-coded spreadsheet to ensure that bankers take time off; Morgan Stanley seniors are supposed to remind their underlings to take weekends off; and Goldman Sachs started requiring junior bankers to take Saturdays off in 2013 (though apparently without reducing the overall workload).

Read the full article from Quartz here: Goldman Sachs has a new intern rule: Go home at midnight

I think the blurb sums up pretty well the shock I am feeling when I read this. I actually chose Commerce (basically the same as Business) as university study back when I was a wee lil lass out of high school. I majored in Marketing because I thought it was a creative job and I would get to come up with big fun ideas and events (more on this another time on how this is not the case at all). And well, after this article, I'm even more glad I didn't follow down the Finance path.

On the back of this article, it reminds me of a discussion I had with a friend the other day. He studies finances and has been an intern in a few big companies. I've also been a marketing intern in a few companies here and there. So the hot topic of discussion was how late interns/people in companies leave. Read on for this toasty discussion:

Him: But in the workplaces I've been in, the intern is always the last to leave because there's an expectation that you're young and you have to put in the hard yards that everyone else did in their junior years

Me: Nah on that point, I feel like that's propagated. like its a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because at Company X, I also felt I had to stay late to prove myself but people encouraged me to leave earlier.

And I actually think it's more impressive at work if someone is able to contribute a lot, get all their shit done, and not do ridiculous hours. It shows they're really good at balancing everythin.

Him: I know what you mean by it being self-fulfilling, but in some places its not. Like in a finance environment, the earliest you could possibly leave is like 8pm, just because a lot of work comes in after hours. I agree about leaving relatively on time is what you should aim, but then it can be relative to what's needed (and not expected) by the workplace

This post is just a personal reminder for myself, in case I read back on this one day, to never EXPECT anyone else to work overtime, work weekends, work extremely late hours or work in their own time. I know these situations sometimes can't be helped and I've done it myself. But it should never be ASSUMED that someone will do it and, if it has to be done, should be of their own prerogative.
The other issue in the office/corporate world is that, a lot of times, it IS of people's own prerogative. They want to stay late to finish of a project, add some touches to bring it to perfection or just to do extra work. From my times working and from what I have heard from others, interns and those in junior positions WANT to do more in order to excel, to get that leg up, to prove themselves better than others.
But the issue is that if some people start doing this, staying later and later, then others feel they need to do the same in return. Otherwise, the other might prove more impressive than them, accomplish more, be promoted above them. One time I expressed my anger about this issue, the fact that everyone and myself included felt like they NEEDED to stay late to do more work, to a close teammate at work. I asked "Why can't I just do normal hours and still get promoted?" And he said, "Because if you don't stay late, then someone else will and they will come out on top."
Of course though, in classic me fashion, I keep this steadfast belief that its possible to not slave away and still be a success. I have this belief that if you're talented enough and a genuine an asset, then you will do well. Granted, everyone has their own success which they will measure themselves against. And what I guess I consider a success is someone who is able to make a real contribution to a company they love, and is able to maintain a good work-life balance. And I really do think work-life balance is importance because no matter if you love your job, there are probably also other things equally important to you. Like your family or your friends or another passion. I feel like human beings are not one-tracked beings but love so many things and so many people.