Junior role on trading desk


I am a new junior on a rates trading desk. In about 6 months, I have been only doing admin stuff that has nothing to do with the markets. I wonder, is that normal? How long should I wait before getting to the real stuff? I feel like they are just using me to get rid of their admin tasks so that they can focus only on trading. I feel like I am not learning anything. There is so much admin work to do that I don’t even have the time to look at the market. I really feel used and like they are ruining my career path.


Hey there,

I totally understand your concern. It's not uncommon for newbies on the trading desk to start with administrative tasks. It's a way for the team to gauge your work ethic, attention to detail, and how well you fit into the team dynamics.

However, I get that you're eager to dive into the real stuff. Here's a nugget of wisdom from the WSO threads: it often takes a few weeks to get new analysts fully integrated into the team with full-time meaningful work. High-leverage situations often require tasks to be done correctly the first time, and the team might not always count on passing work to the new guy.

My advice? Use this time to get up to speed on whatever you can, knock out any firm training you may have, and continue looking for where you can plug in. Show initiative, ask questions, and express your interest in taking on more responsibilities.

Remember, every task, no matter how small, is an opportunity to learn and prove yourself. So, hang in there, buddy! Your time to shine will come.

Sources: Is my start to new job normal? Paid to do nothing, Preparing for a Jr. Trader/Desk Assistant Role, Q&A: I'm a Dry Bulk Physical Trader

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
Most Helpful

To some extent it does depend on the desk since some have way more ops work than others, but I definitely felt similarly when I first started. If your desk is doing a good job training you, then it's my hunch that you've actually learned quite a bit through osmosis and your admin work. Running pnl, fixing and checking risk breaks, and booking trades is like the barebones start to learning to trade. It is also possible that you got a crappy desk who doesn't take time or effort to train up your analysts, but I personally have found that a lot of analysts are learning more than they realize, I know I did.


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