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Tips for Trading with a Full-time Job
No doubt about it: Finding time for trading with a full-time job is tricky.
But it’s an important topic to discuss because so many beginner investors have full-time jobs, school, and family obligations that make it difficult to carve out time for trading.
Does this mean you shouldn’t try trading until you have fewer responsibilities? Absolutely not.
There will never be a perfect time when your schedule magically clears. You need to make time.
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Follow these tips for trading with a full-time job to help maximize your limited time:
- Acknowledge the challenge. Don’t try to pretend that it will be easy to become a successful trader with a full-time job. It will be challenging. You’ll need to carve out time, make sacrifices, and maybe even lose out on a little sleep to make it happen.
However, it can be worth it. The short-term difficulty as you establish yourself as a trader can have long-term, far-reaching, positive effects in the long run. Remember: Many of today’s most successful traders started out while holding full-time jobs.
- Make an intention to carve out trading time. Have you ever heard the phrase “action follows intention”? The idea behind this adage is that before you can achieve something, you need to start with the intention to make it happen.
With that wisdom in mind, the first step you can take toward making time and space in your schedule for trading is making a firm decision that you want to make time. It may seem like a small step, but it’s an important one that can establish trading as a priority in your life.
- Map out goals and milestones. Setting specific goals is proven to help you achieve more. If you’re not familiar with Goal Setting Theory, check out this post by Tim Sykes.
So think about it: Why do you want to be a trader? Is it because you want to pay off your mortgage, or buy a boat, or send your kids to private school? Maybe you want to teach your kids to trade stocks too, there’s no right or wrong here.
By setting extremely specific goals for what you hope to achieve, you can take targeted action toward them and break them down into smaller milestones. You’ll also create a powerful source of inspiration for yourself.
- Figure out a routine. Take a long, hard look at your schedule and decide where you can make time for your all-important studying, stock chart analysis, and executing trades.
For example: If you have a 9-to-5 job, it’s likely that much of your studying and research will take place early or late in the day. It’s important to establish a time schedule for devoting yourself to trading and to adhere to it religiously.
Without making yourself accountable, it’s too easy to slack off. Let your family and friends know what times are reserved for trading; this can help you avoid distractions.
- Don’t waste time. Yes, working a full-time job can take up a lot of your time. But chances are you’re not making the most of every minute off the clock. We all have time-wasting habits, like mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or binge-watching Netflix. What are yours?
Take stock of the bad habits that hold your time hostage, then try to cut some out or at least reduce the time they devour. By simply watching a few fewer episodes of the latest show, or reducing your social media time, you’ll clear up a significant chunk of time for trading.
- Find an accountability partner. It can be tough to stay self-motivated as a trader, particularly when you’re still in the early stages of your career.
You might not be making many profits, and you might get frustrated by how little time you have if you’re working a full-time job in addition to trading. Don’t be afraid to ask for support via an accountability partner.
An accountability partner could be a trading buddy, but it could also be a friend or a family member. Have this person check in with you on a regular basis — daily or weekly — to see how you’re doing with your trading. Just knowing that someone is checking in can help you stay on task.
- Stick with it. Becoming a great trader doesn’t happen overnight. Your success as a trader is typically a direct result of consistent hard work.
It might be a struggle to make time for trading, particularly if you’re working a full-time job. But by being consistent and building up your “experience” account, you’re forming a strong foundation as a trader that could one day become a bigger part of your career.
Trading with a full-time job isn’t easy — but it’s possible. It’s something that many of today’s most successful traders did (and some still do). If they can do it, so can you.
By making shifts in your schedule and prioritizing your trading career, you can form the positive habits and routines to help increase your chances of success over time.
What’s your favorite tip for trading with a full-time job?