I’ll start off with the bad:
It’s a huge commitment. You’re going to have to miss (some) training sessions, holidays, hanging out with your friends midweek etc. You’re probably going to have to work harder and longer than most of your friends and almost definitely get paid less (for the first year anyway). Then there’s the uncertainty; not only because it’s a very hard industry to make it in but also because if you do make it then there are going to be days when you come in, work a 14 hour shift and do a lot of things right but end up going home down money and in a situation where you would have been better off staying in the scratcher.
Now the good:
I actually enjoy the job; how many people do you know that can say that? I know this sounds corny but; every morning I come in and it’s me against the markets. Something new is going to happen and then it’s a question of; can I adapt and apply what I have learned to this? Here it’s a case of; if I have an idea that I want to try; then I can. I have huge autonomy in my decisions. There is very little bureaucracy. The people who work here know what I’m going through and the struggles that I’m having and they are hugely helpful. Lastly, the lifestyle a few years down the line looks amazing.
Progress on the sim:
Every day on the simulator; I find out where I am an idiot. My goal is to be an idiot for a different reason today than I was yesterday.
The trainees start off with the goal of not getting annihilated, finding safe places and everything after that is a bonus. Then we learn a few places where there could be a bit of money either from some of the senior traders or from knocking our heads together. All the while we’re working on execution skills, taking hammerings and taking on new products and repeating the above process.
This is a process of refinement; cutting away all the useless punts (somewhere I personally struggle) that lose me money and only taking on the trades that in the long run are profitable. This distillation has gotten me to where I am now; 6 months down the line and with my first target. However, it’s also what’s going to hopefully take me to the next level and the level after that and the level after that… Innovate, reassess and then refine, this is what the job is for everyone and this is the sim.
This journey is not a sprint in any sense of the word. It is an absolute grind; the markets are going to pick you apart piece by piece and hopefully turn you into something better. It isn’t a test of intelligence; but rather an ability to adapt, go again when things have gone horribly wrong (they will) and most importantly learn from what has gone wrong.