When you think about investing, the first thing that probably comes to mind is your financial plan. While that’s understandable, don’t overlook the benefits of investing in your career.
Much like financial planning, investing in your career without established goals can lead you off track. Define your goals and then reassess them annually.
CREATE A PLAN
Develop a plan of action for problems or opportunities that come your way, and when they occur, approach your boss with at least two options for addressing them.
CHECK YOUR BALANCE SHEET
Tally your professional assets and liabilities. For instance, you may be great at paying attention to detail but less able to build consensus. Recognize your strengths, practice to overcome your weaknesses, and partner with those who have strengths you lack.
Invest time and money into gaining knowledge that could elevate you from experienced worker to trusted consultant. This could include pursuing formal certifications, training and degrees to informal learning via books, podcasts and mentors.
KNOW YOUR WORTH
Be prepared to market yourself throughout your career. Create an online and offline presence that helps people identify you as a strategic thinker and thought leader.
Similar to financial investing, you may need to take strategic risks. Voice your opinion, ask questions and take action to develop your reputation as a critical thinker who is willing to step outside of your comfort zone to seek solutions.
Expand your horizons by partnering with people who complement your strengths and can help you perfect them. Find and work with a mentor – perhaps someone outside your company or industry – and then do the same for others.
Build teams that provide people opportunities to excel and shine. By doing so, you’ll develop a reputation as an ambassador and strong leader.
At some point, you may need to make a case for a promotion. Be prepared to explain what you’re seeking, how it will benefit the company and why you deserve the extra responsibility and money.
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