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"The consulting industry requires many late nights—-often in cities where you know no one—-and for the socially inept, work is a place where you can get to know people very well and they can get to know you," says one avowed office dater.
Young people starting out in high-pressure industries like investment banking, the Internet, or medicine often find it can help to have a partner who can truly empathize with their demanding and often stressful careers.
They'll understand, because they're going through the same thing." With companies boasting a "work hard, play hard" culture and touting their work/life balance initiatives, it's not surprising that many employees are taking such a sporting attitude to heart. In such industries as management consulting and investment banking, new recruits fresh out of college or MBA programs join firms as classes. Social Outlet For many people, whether they like it or not, the office is not just a place to do work—it's also their primary social outlet.At many firms, classes go through training together—often in popular spring break locales such as Palm Beach, Florida—and engage in firm bonding or orientation events, where drinks flow freely and pairing off is inevitable."You just don't talk about it openly," says a former Merrill Lynch analyst. But it's pretty much known." Asset or Liability For those who have to travel a lot or work at client sites, the possibility of striking up a romance with someone on the same project can be an on-the-job liability—or an asset, depending on how it turns out.