Career: Goldman Sachs’ vacation policy

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This is a joke!

I love the idea that a bunch of disgruntled junior analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. went to their bosses with a carefully reasoned presentation saying, like, “we work 100 hours a week and we’re dying,” and Goldman’s senior exectuives said “thank you for speaking up, we take this seriously, we’re going to think about this and get back to you,” and they thought about it, and their conclusion was that Goldman’s senior partners need unlimited vacations:

Goldman Sachs gives senior managers a new perk: 'Flexible vacation' policy

Goldman Sachs has told its most senior bankers they will be allowed to take as much holiday as they want so they can “rest and recharge”. 

Under a new “flexible vacation” scheme introduced from May 1, partners and managing directors will be free to “take time off when needed without a fixed vacation day entitlement”, the Wall Street bank told staff in a memo last month.

More junior bankers, who will still be entitled to take only a fixed number of paid days off, have been given a minimum of two extra days of holiday per year. …

The changes follow scrutiny of Goldman’s working practices last year when a group of junior investment banking analysts told management they were working in “inhumane” conditions, clocking up an average of 95 hours a week with five hours of sleep a night. …

“As we continue to take care of our people at every stage of their careers and focus on the experience of our partners and managing directors, we are pleased to announce enhancements and changes to our global vacation program designed to further support time off to rest and recharge,” [Goldman’s memo] said.

Goldman Sachs Gives Unlimited Vacation to Top Bosses

I love it. I assume that if you’ve made partner at Goldman you are not going to just laze around the beach all summer; nobody in a position to make use of this is going to abuse it.

I will say! If you run a lucrative financial partnership and you find yourself “focusing on the experience” of your junior employees, that’s a decent position to be in. The implication there is that there’s too much work, the junior people are working too hard, and so the partners are making too much money. Great! If you run a lucrative financial partnership and you find yourself “focusing on the experience” of your partners, something has gone wrong. Having a good partnership experience is the point of the partnership! Obviously Goldman Sachs is not an actual partnership anymore; it is a publicly traded corporation with “partner” as something of a courtesy title. Apparently the partner experience needs some work.