Given that August in banking is about as quiet as Bank Station on a Sunday morning, how can you put the next 29 days to great use and position yourself perfectly for a maximum payout come January?
There are several approaches here, one of which could probably be endorsed by this website; some of which are the opinion of this author alone.
Firstly, the by-the-book approach. This involves brushing off last year's cross evaluation and having another read through your feedback and constructive criticism as raised by your bosses and peers. Brush up on the clichés: give 110%; step up the plate, leverage the skillsets of your colleagues etc. etc. So far, so boring.
Then, there's the unorthodox approach. As there are few people around, try getting a sneak preview of staffing spreadsheets or internal documents on client priorities and strategic directions within the bank. Have a trawl of the shared hard drives.
In the process, you might discover that your bank is about to refocus away from the area you work in. In which case, you'd better start making nice with any other area which you think will take you, unless you are looking for a pink slip and some time off to practice your yoga.
Another might be to snoop on you seniors or the biggest clients of your desk. You'll be surprised what's available online to a resourceful and intelligent web-stalker. Check out the conferences they're talking at, or the dry industry pieces they've co-written. Don't under-estimate how flattered people are when they discover someone else they know (but never really had any time for previously) has taken an interest in their 10,000 word essay on the origins of the financial crisis.
Lastly, you could spend the whole time in the gym. There is generally thought to be a correlation between appearance and pay, particularly if you work in sales.
The author is an anonymous banker who has escaped to work in private equity.