Considering quitting sales&trading

I am currently in a tough situation, and I am sure many of you guys went through it so I hope to get some advice and hear opinions.

I've been in my fx sales role for about 6 months, and during this time I constantly felt stressed out and even got fear of the job itself, was told I am slow (speed is very important in flow business), got yelled at, and made many mistakes. In addition to that, I was moved to another country and work remotely, never saw most of the team in person, and I feel that interaction with my manager mostly consists of criticism, and I feel horrible. I feel that this job just consumed my whole life, I have mental issues, and I can't relax even on weekends and keep thinking how I can change my life.

I was told by other juniors it would get better but I don't feel like the situation is improving and considering moving to another industry as I feel like this job made me dislike finance and in general made me reconsider my values in life and understand that money can't buy happiness. I am working at least 11 hours per day without proper breaks (15-20 mins for lunch, and of course it's much better than IB hours but still not easy to do) and the thought that I can spend the next few years constantly staring at the screen, worrying about new client requests and having to tell the team when I need to take a 2 min break makes me want to give up.

I spent years trying to break into IB or S&T, wasn't very successful at first, worked at an information services company full-time after finishing my bachelor's (now I wish I could go back to that life) but then went back to school for finance master's, and finally got this "dream" job which I now hate and consider to leave. I am thinking about moving into a sales/bus development role in tech and hope to have a side hustle and even my own business in the future since I discovered that I do have the entrepreneurial spirit in me. I, just like many others, want to have a job that satisfied me, and I want to be happy. 

Was anyone in a similar situation? How did you deal with it? If you moved to another industry to pursue your passion, did you ever regret it?

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Comments (11)

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 20, 2021 - 7:18pm

I was lucky to have rotated on FX sales as an intern before I realized I hated the flow trading experience. Ended up committing to a completely different role in banking. If it's mentally excruciating then def try to quit, but I personally wouldn't quit unless I had an alternative exist.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Mar 21, 2021 - 1:03pm

Thank you for your support - I am looking into other options now and trying to tell myself that I have the power to change the situation and quit if I can't handle it anymore.

Mar 21, 2021 - 4:09pm

i'll admit, it takes a long time to learn the S&T flow business...all the little details...and you have to learn them to where it is instinctual...where "its obvious that if we swap x into y here, now, then z i 1 bp cheap to the abc because f just richened vs g"

this takes a long time....the seniors on the desk think like this intuitively now....but nobody had this when they first started.  The S&T business used to be like an preniceship...you would do boring tasks like book tickets and get coffee...answer phone calls and relay messages for YEARS before you were expected to understand some of this stuff..it was learning via osmosis, and that takes time (because none of this is taught in any college course....that wouldn't that have been nice...being able to learn without the pressure and stress of real money and split second decision making).

Anyway, yes, understand that it will take time...around 2 years for you to feel comfortable....4 years to become a consistently profitable in the business....it takes that long because you need lots of repetition..and some situations don't repeat very often....and you ust be exposed to them organically when they occur in the real world....so it just takes time.  However, if you can last...it will be worthwhile in the end....the experience can be quite valuable.

Try your best to be efficient, not emotional...this also takes some getting used to....its not natural for most people....but it is doable.

also, don't forget to exercise....20-30 minutes every other day will do wonders for you brain.

just google it...you're welcome
  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Mar 29, 2021 - 5:15pm

Thank you for your advice! I understand that it takes a long time to become comfortable but it seems that my team (not everyone of course) expects me to be operational and pretty independent after several months...when I didn't have a chance to properly shadow and get the basics right. I consider this job a challenge but not the kind of challenge that I know I will be able to conquer, and it will be worth it and lead to a fulfilling career, at least it's how I feel at the moment. I am not sure if it's worth it to keep pushing if eventually when I think about it, I don't see myself building a career in this specific field, and I think I will be much happier somewhere else. Recently I have been thinking about business and strategy related roles more and more and even generating some ideas for my own business which I hope to start in a few years.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Mar 21, 2021 - 6:34pm

Hang in there. This has been a very difficult time for many of us due to covid. I've been working remotely for about a year so it has been horrible. No REAL learning curve, virtually no exposure to the things that really matter. Its just been shitty.

I work flow as well and it is fast. But 6 months isn't really enough to gauge if you have what it takes. So don't count yourself out. Especially if you've been working remotely with a team you barely know.

Just remember that there's a reason that you got an offer over other applicants. Somebody saw something in you, even if you don't. Also remember that sometimes a team isn't a good fit. So maybe an alternative is to look to lateral or maybe find mentors that can guide you through the process. Just don't give up so soon!

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  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Mar 29, 2021 - 5:23pm

Thank you for your encouragement. I do indeed feel that my learning curve is not steep and that I reached some kind of plateau now. Regarding the mentor, I in fact joined the company mentoring programme and currently having weekly meetings with my mentor who is very supportive and offers several solutions for me. He helped me understand that the problem is not me but the situation. Also, regarding the business itself, the flow business model and the fact that I have to constantly check the chats without proper breaks and flexibility, frustrates and frightens me. I am just not willing to give up my "freedom" to get up and take a short walk without having to tell the whole team, to have a lunch break, and to actually read something without being constantly interrupted by all the requests and chat sounds...maybe it sounds strange but I often get very anxious when I see many things happening in all of the chats. Any advice of how to tackle this anxiety if you had a similar issue? maybe this job is really just not a good fit for me.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Mar 29, 2021 - 8:06pm

This is not related at all but curious to get your perspective. How does Rates sales compare to FX sales in terms of how fast paced it is? Have you had any exposure to that?

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Apr 26, 2021 - 3:58pm

I decided to leave in the end but will wait a bit as I am not able to quit now...although my mentor and some other friends suggested landing a new job before quitting. But I don't think it's feasible for me to continue working, look for jobs (while not being in the country), and do interviews. Will post an update once I have some progress. 

In general, I just feel that I don't belong and that I am not interested in the job at all. Nothing about it makes me excited at the moment. I understand that it is also a side effect of the pandemic and things will naturally get better once we are out of lockdown but at the same time pandemic made me think that I don't want to spend years doing something I don't like and not passionate about...

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