What jobs do these people have?
March 5, 2014 8:22 PM   Subscribe

The only suits I see on my commute are very young guys, recent-grad-looking, with trying-to-look-expensive shoes. What kind of jobs do they have? Are they paralegals? Entry-level-finance? (what would that even mean?)

I ride the BART (San Francisco area regional transit) to work every day. The standard morning-commute uniform for men of any age is jeans, khakis, or slacks, with print button down or shirt & tie, with-or-without jacket.

The *only* people I see wearing suits are these super-young-looking guys, like early twenties looking, in dark suits, white Oxford & tie, and shoes that really want to be expensive Italian leather but aren't. And there's not a small amount of these.

What do they do? Where do they work?
posted by colin_l to Work & Money (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Law firms and finance would be my first guesses.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:29 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Consultants (Deloitte, Accenture, Booz, etc) going to a client site.
posted by djb at 8:35 PM on March 5, 2014 [8 favorites]

High-end specialty sales (medical, pharma, lab equipment, computer networking.)
posted by gingerest at 8:37 PM on March 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

They are consultant grunt staff who are being charged out at $130+ an hour and need to look the part.
posted by samthemander at 8:40 PM on March 5, 2014

Fashion dudes? I work in Soho in NYC, and my morning commute is filled with them. I'm all for dudes wearing suits, no matter what the occasion.
posted by greta simone at 8:46 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

How nice are the suits? If expensive yet conservative, consultants. If cheap/old/ill-tailored, probably sales. (Though most sales types I'm familiar with dress down a notch from actual suits.) If dapper with lots of smart details, fashion or something swanky in the arts.
posted by Sara C. at 8:53 PM on March 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Most likely sales. Even people who work for food service and office supply and audio installation companies have these suit requirements - not just high-end. They often get a cheap, slicker look about them in general.
posted by Miko at 8:59 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd be a bit surprised if they're consultants en route to a client site. When I was wee lass consultant, we used a car service and booked it to the client.

Finance is my guess.
posted by 26.2 at 9:27 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Maybe some don't have jobs but are interviewing for them? As someone who used to herd interviewees, dark suits were/are so ubiquitous I would find myself rooting for the non-conformists in light gray or tan.
posted by lily_bart at 9:54 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Car rental agencies? Pharmaceutical sales?
posted by Dansaman at 9:57 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

What time are they commuting? Generally, though, I'd guess like documents and mail at law/finance, and courier-types. You ever see those dudes pushing carts of paper-boxes along the sidewalk between buildings for blocks? Those guys?
posted by rhizome at 10:27 PM on March 5, 2014

Sales/marketing department for any type of business, most likely start-ups.

You have to look professional to interact with the public and sell an image, but it kinda sucks, so it's mostly a young person's game.

Also a vague possibility of real estate.

Also a vaguer possibility of religious stuff. Funeral home? Missionaries? Something conservative and preppy like that.
posted by quincunx at 11:42 PM on March 5, 2014

Financial analysts that couldn't make it in NYC or Chicago. Or junior sales for biotechs, the only major tech domain in SF who would hire young sales people and require them to suit up. Suits are anathema anywhere else, even for the early-20's crowd.
posted by SakuraK at 12:51 AM on March 6, 2014

posted by trip and a half at 1:09 AM on March 6, 2014

This is a good and interesting thought experiment, but if you really wanted a definite answer, you could just politely ask a few of them.
posted by crawltopslow at 1:30 AM on March 6, 2014 [8 favorites]

The local subreddit for your city is a great place to ask questions like this :) x
posted by Mistress at 2:52 AM on March 6, 2014

I've worked at Bay Area law firms. These guys aren't working at a law firm.
posted by ewiar at 4:51 AM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've worked sales for a Bay Area tech company - those guys aren't start up / tech sales either. Some old line industries such as printing and office supplies still inexplicably expect their sales staff to wear suits though.

You could just ask a couple of them. You'll get an actual answer, instead of 30 guesses from Internet strangers that are not on that BART train with you.
posted by COD at 5:19 AM on March 6, 2014

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:45 AM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mormon missionaries!
posted by mareli at 6:29 AM on March 6, 2014

Mormon missionaries typically wear black suits, black ties, and a name tag.
posted by Miko at 6:38 AM on March 6, 2014

...and always travel in pairs, not typically on public transportation.
posted by Rash at 8:36 AM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you get an answer, report back!
posted by radioamy at 9:40 AM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

For long term accounting assignments, I've seen our Big 4 consultants both use public transportation, put only the young kids on the ground, and always wear suits.

Also could be banking. Customer facing requires more uniform dark suits.
posted by politikitty at 10:36 AM on March 6, 2014

I'm a recent college grad living in the SF Bay Area. The other day I went to a staffing agency and was startled to see a guy around my age wearing a full suit. I felt woefully underdressed in comparison.

These guys could be recent grads going to job interviews. Dressed to impress.... until their standards fall and they adjust into the more casual uniforms you described.
posted by myntu at 3:06 PM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

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