“Invest in yourself.” Strategic, career-minded individuals believe professional development is important, which means they invest in their growth. If you’re one of them, you know it matters that you have faith in your ability to produce results. However, you also recognize the need to maintain your value at a high level over time.
When you view professional development from the standpoint of boosting your career success, this philosophy makes perfect sense. It centers on what presents you to prospective employers as a valuable asset for their company. That professional growth doesn’t happen by accident, of course. You hold the responsibility for planning and achieving it.
“It’s a small price to pay, but investing a little extra effort into the life you choose will move you from average — where all the competition is — to the top.” ― Richie Norton
What “Invest in Yourself” Means & Why It’s Important
Sometimes it means putting money to work on your behalf, but it often touches on more than money. In many cases, “invest in yourself” means devoting time and energy to upping your game in employers’ eyes. That is, you work steadily to make sure you have more value to offer employers tomorrow than you did today.
You can find a huge number of publications that address the topic of self-driven professional and personal development. I’m offering just one example for now, an article titled “3 Simple Ways to Invest in Yourself and Change Your LIfe.”
As author Scuderi states, “The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.”
The article lists these key pieces:
- Develop your skills.
- Explore your creative side.
- Nurture your mind and body.
So Where are We Going with This?
For this post, I’m interested in #1 on the above list. Moreover, I should make clear that I’m not thinking in terms of basic skills. For example, if you’re a senior manager or executive, you mastered those long ago. These days you need to focus on higher-level aspects, such as world-class team leadership or profit increases.
That higher focus enables you to enhance your value to employers. It helps keep you from doing the professional equivalent of treading water. It also reduces the chance that you will get blindsided by changes in your field or industry.
I Practice What I Preach about Invest in Yourself
In effect, I put my money where my mouth is. When I urge clients to put energy into their professional growth, I’m speaking from experience. Since starting my business long ago, I’ve invested both time and money in training and education to increase my expertise.
I won’t list all the certifications I’ve earned over the years. That might put you to sleep–it’s a long list! What’s more, in a few instances, I’ve acquired a new certification to replace one that’s outdated. Keeping up with what’s current and trending in your field increases your value.
I recently completed my latest achievement, which gives me great satisfaction. I can now describe myself as a Certified Career Storyteller! The program required hard work, but I learned a lot about presenting my clients’ value in a compelling way. One of the professional associations I belong to, Career Directors International, sponsors this program and many others for its members.
Where Do You Look for Professional Development Help?
This brings me to a final point. If your field or industry has associations you can join, look carefully at the options. Join one or more that make good sense in terms of the value they offer versus the investment you’d make. High-quality, affordable training ranks high on my list of required member benefits.
Once you’ve added value to your offerings with professional development, make sure you share that value in your résumé and LinkedIn profile. That tells potential employers you are serious about being the best you can be. (P.S. I can help you with this part of the puzzle! Just give me a call at 508-263-9454 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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