Let's Talk Balance: Career v. Trading

I’ve been wanting to do a writeup on the blogs for some time related to this topic… So here it goes. Feel free to drop some insight in the comments.

I’ve done incredibly well in my career path in a short amount of time after taking some trading L’s. But as I grow in my career, I feel like I’m leaving trading behind little by little. Curious to hear from the community on the topic of balancing a career & a love for trading.

The Long Part:
I work for a company in the specialty chemicals industry as a Project Facilitator. I wont bore you with details but to summarize, I’m responsible for keeping all departments on the same page throughout the process of onboarding new business. As one would imagine, this requires meetings. A lot of them.

Until ESSC, I had a manageable work load. My job was simple, take notes & follow up. Piece of cake…

After ESSC #1,
I took a much more active role in what I do from 8-5. I focused more on my work and less on my trading. I quickly noticed how much more accomplished I felt at the end of the day having spent more time on work than chasing green candles… & after ESSC #2, I became obsessed.

When I say obsessed, I mean going full F*ing throttle. I completely overhauled my system to maximize the value I was bringing to the table as the Project Facilitator. I recreated myself & I went 100% balls deep in my career (& still am).

I immediately saw change in my career, and in my life. I’m involved in business meetings at the executive level now. I’m not just doing “enough to make the team”… I’m giving it 100% of my mental capacity. Our organization went from 22 projects to 57 projects in our pipeline just in the last month, and things have been going great…

However, the past 2 weeks I’ve come to feel as if I’m falling behind as a member of this great community. I’m less involved with trading floor discussions, and more involved with work (even in the evenings). I keep making mistakes with the trades I do make, and I keep staying out of plays that would have been successful. I’m taking 2 steps forward & 2.5 steps back.

While, yes, I’m ecstatic about my advancements in my career, there’s a part of me that longs for balance. I love my job, sure, but I’ll never love it like I love trading.

Surely I can manage to have both… Right?

If you read all of that, cheers. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic below.


Trade when you’re bored or have extra time. If you’re suddenly really busy and can’t monitor your trades then close any risky soon-to-expire positions and focus on the work which is at least guaranteed to give some return, rather than just a chance at profit. It feels kinda nice having only longer-term boomer positions and focusing on the more pressing shit in your life. Market will be here still when you’re done (probably).


It sounds like you feel guilty for finding fulfillment in something other than trading. Since you don’t have/want to dedicate as much time to trading, I’d recommend switching your trading style up (less aggressive, more diversified like ETS/bluechips, and swing trading), that way you’re still getting some return like dag said, but you’re not putting your portfolio in a bad spot by lack of management. I’m glad you’re finding your job to be more fulfilling!


I think for a balance, you could focus more on medium to longer term swing trades that don’t require you to watch the chart occassionally.

For example, I found that despac puts have been quite reliable. You know roughly what date the NAV floor is removed. You set a Limit Buy on a decent fill for puts and then wait. Once filled, you set a Limit Sell and you also know roughly when to expect that to be filled (when the NAV floor is removed). Maybe set a little more conservative on the profit-taking side, and just let it rest and check back once the catalyst is over.

Or with this Russian-Ukraine crisis, one thing I did was take a longer-dated (April) SPY put in the week leading up to the invasion that I meant to hold through the war. Ultimately, I did close it prematurely (before the actual invasion) due to my desire to maximize profits and more actively manage my entries and exits. However, it turned out that I would’ve profited more from the SPY put if only I had continued holding it instead when I sold it, i.e. let the swing play play out instead of micromanaging.

So maybe you could turn your trading focus into finding these types of plays where it can be more dragged out and less micromanage-y during the day. Plays where you can peacefully set Limit Buys and Limit Sells and forget (and hopefully turns out ok).


@dag @notmisa @Kevin Thanks for the insight. I’m certainly going to work towards a different trading style.


Thanks for posting this and thanks to those who gave advice. I’m in school now, graduating next year and re-entering the workforce. School gives me the opportunity to be on my laptop all day and check my trading app pretty regularly, and I’ve come to love trading. However, that ability to almost always monitor the market will be going away when I land a position (especially being a new employee, don’t wanna be distracted).

Hoping you’ll update this once you find a style that suits your circumstances, because I’ll probably have to adopt something similar.


Absolutely. I’ll update this thread as I explore more trading styles that I find to be successful. I recommend browsing the swing trades DD section of the forums. I leafed through this section last night and found the thought process of the contributors interesting and will continue to study this trading style moving forward.