Being an energy trader

'The energy transition is a theme of our generation'

The first time Joost de Jong came into contact with Northpool, he was still studying. “I met the company at the career days at Delft University in 2019. But I was still finishing my second master degree back then. I went to the event one year later and Trisha - one of my colleagues now - recognised me. ‘How did your thesis go?’ she said and she knew all about the subject I told her a year before. That made me feel really valued and I decided to try it out at Northpool.”

Many opportunities

Since June 2020 Joost has been working as an energy trader. “My first memory? Of course I remember all the big screens and sounds. But when you learn what all sounds mean you realize that you only have one pair of eyes and also a set of ears which you can use to process more information. That’s why we have the sounds for on the trader floor.” Joost sees the company is growing a lot and there is really a lot to do. “I get a huge feeling of opportunity and a bit of restlessness too. There is so much work and the market is so underdeveloped. So there are many opportunities that we still can discover. And for people joining the company like me in such a period it is really interesting to see where we can be in another two years from now.”

From junior to independent trader

After learning the basics of the energy market as a junior -what moves the market and what is the data that is used to make predictions- Joost was able to quickly sit in on the shifts and saw everything in action. “As a junior trader you will train in our own simulation environment just to get you ready for the real deal. You will start out small just with one or two contracts per country and for example the solar peak in Germany. And then you will realize that the market moves as soon as the sun comes up. From there you can expand. Step by step you become more independent until you are able to lead your own shifts and that’s a really gradual and nice process. I think you can go from junior trader to being an independent trader within a year.”

Joost then explains further. “When you are involved with money making decisions all the time you constantly ask yourself should I have bought or sold or should I have timed the market differently. But you have to realize that the most important thing is that you just have to be consistent. You can’t win every hour but if you are consistent then you do better in the long run. And also tomorrow will be another day so you can try again.”

Working on the future

As a trader Northpool wants you to be able to do every shift so you will need to see every shift regularly. Joost prefers the morning shift, it starts at 5.30am. “Before I came here I knew that power came out of the socket and that sometimes the wind blows and the sun shines and sometimes it doesn’t. But it affects the prizes a lot. Even more now than four years ago as we are building more and more wind turbines and putting more and more solar panels on roofs. And I think in the future it is going to move the price even more with such a high density of renewable production in every country. The energy transition is a theme of our generation and we are just a part of that. That's why working at a company like this really feels like working on the future.”