Many traders, aspiring and active, hold the dream of being a full time trader. The reality is, to reach the level of proficiency, experience, and capital required to live the dream takes many, many years. Don’t kid yourself; for some this could be decades.
In the meantime, you’re accountable to pay the bills, service the mortgage, feed the family, educate and entertain the kids; you know the drill. So, how are you going to achieve this?
For many it will be through that dreaded ‘J’ word, a job; “workin’ for the man”. As much as you may yearn for release from the shackles of employment, and can’t wait to tell the boss you ‘no longer need their services’, don’t do it just yet.
The dream of independence through trading will become reality, as long as you think long term, plan properly, and act accordingly. In the meantime, use what you’ve been given. A job has hidden value, over and above the obvious pay cheque.
You probably have a good idea of the behavioural and psychological attributes needed to be a successful ‘full time’ trader. Qualities such as:
Persistence & Determination
Planning and Goal Setting
The list goes on. So, how will you develop and refine these traits?
If you have a job and work for an employer, you’re well placed. Have a look at the Position Description for your current role. Check under headings such as Experience, Knowledge, etc. Anything look familiar? If you’re self-employed, you’ll have a good idea of the qualities required to carry on your business, and what you expect from your employees.
How do you measure up currently?
If you’re falling short in a couple of areas, find opportunities within your current role to test and improve them.
If you reckon you’ve got your current job licked, have a look at other roles that will allow you to develop and grow in the soft skills required to be a successful full time trader. Be bold and apply for new roles, even consider a mid-term career change.
Look back at your previous roles. Identify the qualities these roles required for success, and how they might translate into those required for your future position of independent trader.
Some employers are fantastic in the training they provide. When given the opportunity, absorb all you can. Of course, ensure it benefits your current role, but always re-frame it in your mind as to how it could benefit your trading life. Naturally, you can seek out your own training for specific areas.
The opportunities that a ‘Day Job’ can offer in identifying and developing the qualities you know you’ll need in the future as an independent trader are gold, don’t overlook it’s value.
You know your longer-term objective. Use what you’ve got to act tactically in the short to medium term to gain what you need along the way. It’s a long journey.
Use your time wisely.