It’s been 6 months since I started as a trainee trader at Positive Equity. Considering the hard work and long days, the time has flown. The first month or two was spent on market research, reading books, innovating products and getting used to life on the trading floor. We started out with a trainee class of 7 and it was emphasised at the start about the importance of working together, competing with and helping one another if any of us wanted to make it to the live markets.

The research and work at the start is something no one wants to do and along with the unsociable hours and limited start off pay make up the negatives of the job. These are counterbalanced by what I find are the perks of the job: Trading itself – you will know almost straight away if this is something you want to do and enjoying the job is something a lot of people aren’t able to say.

Relaxed management style – they have been through this process many times and know exactly what you are going through, they know how tough it is and how hard you are working. Therefore activities like 5 aside football, running, going to the gym or even taking a 30-minute rest in the chill-out room are not only accepted but encouraged as they are essential to keep you going during the day.

Good workplace – it’s an environment where you are surrounded by people with very similar interests, hobbies, and characteristics. Everyone is competitive, hard-working and helpful who want to succeed and see others succeed.

The sacrifices and hard work are necessary to try to learn about and crack the markets. A sense of reward was felt when we finally got on the sim. This is a familiar theme in this job with every day, week and month broken into small goals and targets that feel great when you complete them. The sim process starts with getting used to the software and practicing execution, getting in and out of trades. Markets were then given to us one by one where we spent (and still spend) days and weeks trying to master them. It’s a long process which starts with learning execution skills and above all, discipline while losing a lot of money, which you will inevitably.

You then start trying to gradually cut out the losers and lose less money while looking for ways and techniques to make some. Stats-keeping then becomes vital and is an important part of the job at the beginning (and also later down the line) to see where your strengths and weaknesses are.  This month our first targets have been set and we will keep looking to hit these while improving every day to hopefully get on to the live markets soon.

The best advice I can give to any wannabe trader is beware of the absolute commitment this job takes. But if you are willing to work extremely hard, you could end up in a future job that is lucrative and one that you will enjoy doing day in day out.