I spent a few years working in the finance industry before deciding to take the plunge into trading.
I was looking for something more than the standard 9 to 5 job and trading certainly gives you that.
What I like about trading is the constant need to improve and to learn. You are always researching new products or various market events looking to find pockets of edge where you can make money.
Just like a professional sports person if you stop training you will fall behind.
In other jobs it can be very easy to sit back and go through the motions but in here there is no hiding. Your profit & loss determines how well you are doing and if you are not putting in the work it will be very easy to see.
One of the best pieces of advice I have received since joining is to have a plan for everything you do. You should keep a detailed diary and structure your day so that you are prepared for every session.
The work load can get quite hectic at times so if you do not have a good structure in place you will fall behind.
When it comes to trading various products or sessions I would always look back over my notes from the previous day and I would write up a trading plan for the session ahead. I find that having a plan in place and trading it helps me justify the loser (You are going to have to accept that you are going to have losers in this job and a lot of them).
The mental strength to be able to get over bad trades and adjust quickly to changing market conditions is what sets the top traders apart from the rest in here.
If I have had a poor trading session I will usually take a break and go for a run or to the gym if I have been at my desk for a long stretch or else I will look to watch another trader for a bit.
When you are trading well you never want to leave your desk. The best way to describe it would be to compare it to going on a good run in golf where you have strung a few good holes together and you cannot wait to get on the next tee box and try to keep the run going. You cannot get that feeling from a normal 9 to 5 job and for me nothing beats that feeling.