Four Ways to Invest in Yourself to Advance your Career

never stop learning

I recently made an investment.  It is high-yield with low-risk.  And, if I follow through on it, it will pay in dividends.

I invested in myself.

Sounds cliché, but I decided to step back from my day-to-day work life and identify areas of professional growth.  Then, I sought out ways to advance my knowledge and position in these areas.  The last part of my investment is to share and apply what I learned.

Investment #1—I’m Investing in my Business and Industry Knowledge

I decided that I wanted to grow in my knowledge of current, year 2020, business topics and trends. So, I started listening to popular podcasts from this year.  I like the recommendations of Emily Delbridge of The Balance Small Business called nine business podcasts for 2020.  A few noteworthy ones include: NPR’s The Indicator (short, nine-minute episodes about business and the economy), Apple’s BizChix (advice for female entrepreneurs) and Apple’s $100 MBA which was awarded Best of ITunes (a podcast offering practical business advice).

Another way to invest in industry knowledge is through reading books. I personally love to read and just don’t take enough time to do it.    Inc.com recommends sixteen new business books to read in 2020.  A few titles that catch my eye include: Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual by Jacko Willink, Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say and What You Don’t, by L. David Marquet, and No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram, by Sarah Frier.

As I build my industry knowledge, I think about how the topics apply to my own career and company and actively share this new knowledge.  I post content to industry organizations and LinkedIn groups and share ideas with colleagues and superiors.  

Investment #2: I’m Investing in my Networking

We know that it is not easy to network during a pandemic, but interestingly, this time can be a good opportunity to connect. It’s a great time to see how someone is doing.  Dorie Clark, author of Entrepreneurial You says, “The pandemic provides a ready-made context to reach out to people.  In your initial inquiry, simply let the person know you are thinking about them and ask how they’re doing. If you get a response, that opens the door for you to provide an update on your situation.”  Network simply to build a relationship without a personal agenda.  This investment can pay future dividends.

Kathryn Vasel of CNN Business suggests ways to network from home.  These include attending virtual gatherings on MeetUp and/or visiting your college’s alumni association. Creating and sharing content on LinkedIn is always an excellent networking idea.

Investment #3: I’m Investing in my Skill Development

At a certain point in any career, professionals can come to a stalemate.  We may start to feel like our skills are outdated. Sometimes we don’t even know what is out there to learn without doing some research.  If you are considering taking online business courses or classes, check out Coursera. This site links to business courses offered through top universities.  Some are free skills courses and others are for credit towards an MBA.  The four main course categories include: Leadership and Management, Marketing, Finance, and Entrepreneurship.  Udemy is another popular site for business courses.  Its bestselling courses include: An Entire MBA in One Course, The Complete Financial Analyst course 2019, and The Complete Investment Banking Course of 2019.  Even taking just one course can distinguish you as a subject matter expert in your field.

Investment #4: I’m Investing in my own Mental Health

In today’s competitive environment, it’s very easy to “power through” without taking time to refresh. Take a mental health day when needed. Take a walk mid-day.  Do things you love to do outside of work.  Feeling refreshed and energized will pay off.

At Artemis Consultants, we know a company’s biggest assets are its people.  YOU are an asset to your workplace.  So, invest in yourself because you are an investment that pays high dividends.

Do you take the time to invest in yourself?  Please share more ideas below.

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