If you work on building yourself as an asset – constantly adding new skills, new friendships and new approaches, you are building inherent value in yourself, value that you can carry from job to job within your current career or that you can take with you if a great opportunity presents itself.
Why is investing in yourself is more important than investing in your career? There are several strong reasons.
First, you retain that personal value regardless of what happens in your career. Let’s say you work for ten years at a company and it goes under. If you spent all of your time investing solely in your career, you’re likely up the creek. If you spent your time investing in yourself, you’ve got the personal assets and contacts needed to quickly move on from there.
Second, investing in yourself often overlaps with career investment. For example, look at making contacts at this weeks Business Wealth Summit. Having a huge network of people can help you in your current career, but can help you greatly in making the leap to something completely different. My own personal network of people was key in enabling me to start the Thornhill Wealth Forumnearly five years ago and develop the most wonderful relationships and friends. Something I could not have done in the workplace.
Third, it greatly expands your potential horizons and hands you countless little opportunities. If you’ve built value in yourself, you don’t have to spend your time merely looking straight ahead at the next move within your career path. Many, many other avenues open up to you – sideways leaps within your career to something different, perhaps a giant leap in your current career, or a jump to something entirely different. If you’ve made yourself valuable, those alternative choices open up.
Fourth, it allows you to center around the true values in your life. Investing in your career means you stay late at the office every night so that you have the best chances of advancing in your career, Investing in yourself means you do what’s most valuable to you – spending time with your family, building a larger network of people, improving yourself, and learning new things.
If you want to truly succeed, you need to be more than just a warm body filling a slot in a company and cranking out work product. To become more than that, you need to invest in yourself first, not in whatever might give you another inch in whatever happens to be your current career path.
Remember, it’s you that provides value to your spouse and your children, not your career. If your company shuts down and your career path blows away, ask yourself what’s really left over and use that as your guide.