Wall Street and the stock exchange in general is notorious for its high-pressure environment which many people simply cannot deal with. This is why it is incredibly impressive that my good friend Michelle L Marquez has been able to survive in the industry for more than 20 years. All areas of the stock exchange have this notoriety from the arbitration guys to the fraud teams, the trading floor to the securities commission and it is an industry which will chew you up in no time. Michelle and I were part fo a group of friends at law school and if anyone was going to survive it was her, and this is how she did it.
This is an industry where there are no room or time for niceties, the language is direct and occasionally foul, and insults are part and parcel of the communication between everyone. Michelle was able to survive the stock exchange because she not only has very thick skin, but she has always been as good at giving it out as taking it. If anyone wants to survive the stock exchange, they must also have thick skin and not to take things too seriously.
Michelle used to always say that this is not an industry which you can survive alone and that is why she has always told us that without her friends within the stock exchange, she would never have got by. These contacts helped her with advice, as confidantes and also to do her the occasional favor when it was required. In the early days Michelle struggled a lot in making relationships and contacts but over time she was able to meet and network with key people in the industry who she could rely on.
The most infamous pastime of stock brokers and those within the industry is to work hard and party harder but this was something which Michelle made sure that she never got involved in. Over the years she saw a great many talented individuals who ended up partying far harder than they worked, and these were often the people who left shortly after they arrived. Michelle would socialize on a Thursday and Friday night, but her rule was never between Monday and Thursday. Longevity could never have been achieved without this mindset.
Ultimately this is a results driven industry and this is why Michelle would always place a huge amount of focus on her results. The world of finance is fast-paced and there is no time at all to carry people who aren’t delivering results. Michelle is a highly talented and intelligent individual who would always prioritize her own results over everything else. In doing this Michelle made herself a valuable asset to her firm and this is yet another reason why she was able to stay in the stock exchange for such a long time.