Your day job is the perfect training ground for your trading career. Whether you're a 9-5 office worker or a barista at a café - or something in between - you'll have picked up skills along the way that can help you excel at trading. Think time management, high-pressure situations and self-discipline - even if you think those don't apply to your job, chances are they probably do. Take a look at how your existing skillset in your day job can make you a better trader...
How Your Day Job Can Make You a Better Trader
1. If your day job involves stress
- You're likely to be good at coping with high-pressure situations
Whether this is dealing with high-profile clients or a queue for your coffee that goes out the door, chances are that if your day job involves a lot of stress, you'll be able to easily transfer your stress management skills to trading. With forex trading, your money is at risk, and so it's essential you're good at dealing with stressful situations - calmly, rationally and practically. Being able to cope well under pressure is a key part of trading - so if this is already something you're good at, you're one step ahead!
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2. If your day job involves waiting
- You're likely to be patient while trading
Your day job might involve waiting on clients to get back to you, waiting for your colleagues to finish a task before you can start yours, or waiting around between films before you can serve customers popcorn at the cinema. Either way - waiting can be harnessed to your advantage!
A trader has to be patient. By waiting for the market to show you what it wants to do, a trader allows time for the market's bias and trend to reveal itself. For instance, the price of a stock is trending down, and an impatient trader tries to force a long position just as the price seems to be reversing course and moving up. Waiting for the price action to continue shows that it is indeed turning around and entering a downtrend.
Keep in mind, though, that "waiting" doesn't simply mean not trading. Waiting means studying the current market conditions and the trader's or investor's options in particular security and scenario. It also means having the patience to decide whether it is the right time or not to execute a trade.
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3. If your day job involves numbers
- You're likely to find the numerical side of trading a piece of cake
Calculating the price of coffee or cake. Dealing with a lot of spreadsheets. Managing someone else's finances. Numbers are a big part of many day jobs - and the chances are, if you find working with numbers easy, you'll find that area of trading easy too. Maybe reading charts will come easily to you, or you'll be able to read - and understand - forex quotes quickly. It also means you'll be one step ahead when it comes to keeping track of your own finances, too: by learning to keep accurate records of your trading activity, you can get a better idea of why some trades work out and some don't, and you'll be on top of your bank balance and trading account balance. Ultimately, this will help you to take advantage of opportunities and avoid making mistakes.
4. If your day job involves making quick decisions
- You're likely to be good at effective decision-making while trading
Maybe you're in a management position, undertaking evaluation and risk assessment to make decisions about the business, your staff, or the building you work in. Maybe you're used to leading your team of retail or customer service staff, splitting up break times and deciding when to call in someone else to help when it's busy.
Put simply, if your day job involves making quick decisions - and evaluating, assessing and analysing - these are all great skills to transfer to forex trading. You'll be able to analyse your charts effectively and carefully, placing trades after assessing your risk - and because you're used to making these decisions quickly at work, chances are you'll be able to know exactly when to place the trade.
5. If your day job involves organisational skills
- You're likely to be good at organising your trading - your strategy, your day job, and much more
A day job can teach you high-level organisational skills to prioritise and allocate your time effectively. This might be planning life admin around days when you're not on shift, or organising your workload effectively when you're on holiday from the office. This could be organising and documenting your store's stock, organising high-profile events - or organising your team's office supplies. These skills are crucial to good trading practice - not only will being organised help you fit your trading around your day job, but it will also help you in your trading itself. You'll be able to organise an effective trading plan, a schedule, and a good workspace.
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