I've been restless lately and have been contemplating a job/career change and would really appreciate any advice I can get. My background: Educational background is in Quantitative Finance (Masters from a well known university). I work for the largest derivatives exchange in the world out of the Chicago office. I don't want to name the company because of my completely irrational fear that my boss is a member here (you know which company I'm taking about). I work in a valuation/risk role I have experience working with everything but equity derivatives. Unfortunately, my role keeps me pretty insulated from our customers (aka you guys) and I haven't had the chance to learn about all the different career opportunities that are out there. My Problem: I see no growth in the current role I'm in. I've explored other opportunities within my company but just don't see any growth. Also, we have a lot of people who have been "grandfathered in" to managerial positions and I honestly think it would take me 10+ years or more to get there. Basically, regardless of my performance, I'll have to wait for these guys to retire. What I really want: I want to one day trade my own account and be my own boss. I know it's a long ways away, but want to get started while I'm still young and not married. Since it's going to take a lot of money to get there, I want to earn that cash while getting experience that will eventually help me. I've thought about working for prop shops, but I'm not entirely sure how this would work. Do they pay a salary + % of profits? Would someone be kind enough to give me a quick explanation? Also, I'm assuming these jobs are pretty hard to get? I do have some floor trader connections and from what they told me, I'd have to clerk for someone before they even consider backing me. And before anyone suggests, I don't want to be a quant analyst writing and testing code. I want to day/position trade manually. Thanks for reading and responding to my post!