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How to Not Look Like You Have a Hangover at Work – Pomade, Fade, Shave and Gatorade

For investment bankers and any brokerage professional in general, drinking is very much part of the job. Bankers may actually be secondary in loosely professionally linked binge drinking to the trading floor and commercial real estate guys. We have alluded to this in a terrible short story we but together earlier.

From company and client open bar events to planned and unplanned nights out, bankers will find themselves at overpriced watering holes all seven days of the week.

The problem is that bankers also work all seven days of the week and looking presentable is very key.

Most banks have one or two analysts/associates who like to live in the moment and likely have no savings. Despite this, they are usually the envy of the pit as well as the favorites of the MDs who wish to live vicariously through the purple dress shirt and Patagonia vest nonsense.

You will find that these professionals are also strong presenters and natural client facing employees who are well suited for relationship management beyond the VP level should their analytical skills be up to par.

However, one of the biggest keys to success that holds true for them is perception – admiration for their communication skills and thoughtful analysis is anchored by their image. They cannot pull this image off without 100% looking the part.

No matter how many drinks they have the night before and how late the night goes, they come in with incredible hair, bright eyes and articulate speech.

This isn’t an endorsement for inebriation throughout the week – but know that when the time comes that you do have a tipple on a Tuesday when you ought not to, you still have to come in the next day looking like a million bucks. Alcohol means that you will have to take extra precautions.

When you drink, no one in the office should know unless you choose to disclose that you have a hangover. All demonstrated weakness should be strategic. If you walk in with disheveled hair and no shave, it should be because you want to send a message, not because you are tired and you need an Asprin.

Dress for the job you want so that people will take you seriously – and this guide will teach you how, even after a 2AM return trip from Cactus Club Cafe after 15 gin and tonics.

Executive Summary

Pomade
Fade
Electric Razor
Manual Razor
Pressed Shirts
Visine/Eye Drops
Gatorade

Banker Hair

As tough as it is when your head is pounding, spend the 5 minutes required to get all of these checkboxes out of the way. Short of having an unmissable meeting (in which case you really should not have been drinking), it is better to come in 15 minutes late looking fine than showing up on time looking like you got hit by a truck. The latter stands out while the former does not.

Hair is the first thing people notice in spotting someone who was out and about the night before. If you slept for four hours and have a numb head, it is easy to be unkempt. Extra water and a good pomade will keep your hair shiny and composed. Pomade is manly – it is traditionally made from bear fat.

For those with curly hair, it seems to become extra unruly days after a big night out. Keep your haircuts high and tight with a decent fade if you do not want to spend a lot of time managing it. Haircuts once every three weeks are recommended and they certainly do not have to be expensive. You can get a good fade with a $10 barber because a fade is a ridiculously easy cut. If they screw it up find the next $10 barber. With cheap barbers you can leave bigger tips and they may take a liking to you and give you tips and free hair product.

A good shave is also key. Random bits of stubble are giveaways for the more attentive VP. An electric razor handles the area around your mouth and chin well but the curvature does less favorably under the chin and under the sideburns. Use a manual razor for those unloved parts.

Iron or Non-Iron

Frumpy shirts are another way of looking unprofessional. You need to iron/steam your shirts, but if you are lazy, buying a non-iron shirt is an acceptable substitute. Be warned, the cut for non-iron shirts is never as good and is more of an option for larger framed individuals.

After the hair (and before the hair if you have a tight haircut), the eyes are the biggest red flag for the tippling analyst – and you can’t hide it. Or so you thought.

Getting Rid of Red Hangover Eyes

Visine or eye drops from the local pharmacist is the supreme solution for getting rid of the redness and giving your face a little sparkle sparkle.

Another hack if you have women in your life is make-up. You would be surprised as an ignorant man, but make-up is not a massive industry for no reason. Your girlfriend/friends/mother may be a lot uglier than you think.

Anyone with a deft touch can give you a look where no one would suspect you have anything on your face. If you start putting on smoky eyeshadow and paint your eyebrows you are going too far.

The last thing is replenishing drinks. This is a night before precaution. If you go home blasted make sure you drink a jug of something with electrolytes before you go to bed. Keep a fridge stocked and your mental capabilities will be far better the day after. This is very important if you are asked to do intensive calculations or speak to something technical.

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Matt
ex investment banking associate
https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-walker-ssh/

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