We all want to be that trader who kicks back on his yacht and has nothing to worry about each day except winning a few trades and buying the best margarita mix. But for most of us, that is a pipe dream, at least for now! Unless you are already rich, you probably are working a day job. Whether it is a full-time or part-time job, it can put some major obstacles in your path when it comes to trading. It wears you down, for one, taking a real toll on your energy. The other problem is that it tends to overlap with your trading schedule in inconvenient ways. In fact, you may find that the majority of good trades take place right in the middle of your work day.
This poses a serious quandary for a trader who is trying to get ahead. When you start to make the leap from testing to live trading and begin running into these obstacles, you can feel very discouraged. You may also feel tempted into making some rash and irresponsible choices. It is hard to know what to do in a situation like this, because you really are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you put your trading first and your day job second, you could find yourself out of a job. But if you put your day job first forever and your trading second, how will you ever get anywhere? How will you make the profits you need to achieve your dream of trading full-time?
There are no simple right or wrong answers here, and the best practices for trading binary options with a day job can vary quite a bit depending on the type of job you work. The situation for a floor manager at a retail store is very different from the situation of a human resources manager working in an office. A construction worker faces different obstacles than a telemarketer. A teacher will face different struggles than a plumber, and so on.
One thing we can do, though, is go over a list of do’s and don’ts. Some decisions are always a really bad idea. Other ideas may help out just about anyone. And we can also talk about some specific ways you might be able to manage your daily responsibilities, depending on your profession and workplace.
When trading with a day job, do not:
- Quit your day job. Unless you are rich and feeling very comfortable, you should absolutely not under any circumstances quit your day job to dedicate all your time to trading! Your day job may be a pain, but it is putting food on your table and money into your trading account. Right now, you want money going into your account, not coming out of it. This is critical until you have gained enough momentum that you can pay your expenses out of trading and still keep growing your account at a reasonable rate.
- Push yourself too hard. You will be pushing yourself hard, no doubt about that. But you can easily overdo it. And if you do, you will get burned out really fast. When that happens, both your trading and your day job will suffer, and you will not excel at either. Give yourself leisure time and make plenty of time for adequate rest. It may seem impossible, but it is better to progress slowly than it is to blow up because you were burning the candle at both ends.
- Shirk your duties. If there is a way you can trade while you are on the job, by all means, go for it. But do not do so at the expense of your duties. If you allow trading to utterly subsume your day job, your boss and coworkers will start noticing sooner or later. When they do, you will have a whole new source of stress, and that is assuming you manage to keep your job.
- Tell everyone you are trading. In some workplaces, it may be all right to talk about trading, but in others, it may be an incredibly bad idea. Just think how bosses react if they discover you are job hunting. In some cases, it is enough to get you fired. If you are trying to learn how to trade for a living, you are in a sense job hunting. Your boss probably will not like it. Trading also tends to intimidate people. Others may make the assumption that you are participating in a scam, and may lose respect for you.
- Lie about what you are doing. It is one thing to trade while pretending you are not trading, if you can get away with it. It is another to tell your boss you need a few hours to work on a special project, and then use that time to trade binary options. While these lies may seem harmless at first, they are bound to catch up with you. They reflect badly on your character, and may cost you your job. Don’t forget that a lot of companies have software set up to keep tabs on what their employees are up to. If you say you were working on a special project, and the IT department notices you were trading, it will get back to your boss.
- Trade during distracting times. Not only is it a bad idea to let your trading distract you from your day job duties, but you also do not want your day job to distract you during a trade! If there is a lot going on at work, it is best to leave your binary options trading at home.
- Rely on auto-trading and copy-trading. Both of these are helpful tools, used in moderation, and they can certainly help you to trade when you are juggling other tasks. But they cannot do the work for you. If you lean on them too heavily, you will find yourself quickly losing money. Remember, if this really worked, all your co-workers would be daytraders too.
When trading with a day job, do:
- Trade on your desktop or laptop if you can. It is generally easier to trade well on a larger screen, so if you have this option available to you, take it. Use your mobile only if you have to.
- Take advantage of dead periods. A lot of jobs entail a lot of dead time. If you are paid by the hour or you are on a salary, you are not being paid specifically for productivity. You are literally being compensated for your time. And in some businesses, that may mean hours on end when you are not doing anything except sitting. If this isn’t you, you cannot take advantage of it, but if it is, you may actually have plenty of time to trade at work. A lot of people estimate they only really work for 3-6 hours of the 8 they are required to be present for!
- Use your lunch break. Lunch breaks are more enforced dead time in a lot of industries. Some jobs may allow you to work through lunch and go home early, but for many it is a legal issue, and you have to stop working for half an hour to an hour. Use that time the way you would if you could work through lunch and go home early. Bring your research and testing with you to work, and do it during your lunch break. Reclaim that hour! There are no consequences for doing so, only benefits.
- Try to trade passively if that helps. You might try choosing longer expiry times for example that make it less likely you will need to take action in the middle of a trade while you are on the job.
- Renegotiate aspects of your schedule if it helps you out. If you have a job where you can come and go when you want to, as long as the work gets done and you clock the right number of hours, you might benefit from coming in earlier or later on certain days. This could help you trade around your work hours or get set up for trading at work. You might show up an hour early to get a trade going and then get back to work, or you might use it to get some work done early so you can spend more time trading later in the workday.
A lot of situations are hard to work out, but not impossible, and if you are willing to make some changes to your routines, you may very well find you can trade and work at the same time without disrupting life for your bosses or coworkers. The key is just to make sure that at no point of time you are losing the essential balance between your two jobs.
What do you do if you absolutely cannot trade during the workday? That is a tough situation. Here are a few ideas:
- Consider a change. Maybe a different company with a different culture would be more conducive to life as a part-time binary options trader.
- Look for trading opportunities that take place outside of your work hours. You may be able to trade overnight with the help of alerts (and still get your sleep), or you might do well with shorter expiry times. If you participate in 60 Second trades for example, and you only trade outside of work hours, you never have to worry about monitoring trades at the office.
- Keep learning. Even if you cannot figure out a way to trade and work now, one thing you can do is keep researching and testing outside of work hours. Keep saving up money. That way when you do finally find a way to trade while working, you will be ready. If you have to, you can always try starting out slow. Just take a few trades a month. Over time, you hopefully will be able to take more trades.
Juggling a full-time or even part-time job with binary options trading is very challenging in any circumstance, even if you work a job where you are given a fair degree of freedom with how you use your time and your internet connection. It is even tougher if you have a job where you actually work all 8 hours of your workday, or you are constantly being monitored. With some creativity and determination, you still may find a way to make things work. And if you cannot now, you may be able to in the future. One thing is certain in life as it is in the markets, and that is that circumstances will change. Position yourself as best you can to capitalize on that change when it happens.
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