In today’s fast-paced job market, you need to invest in yourself and your future career to stay relevant and ahead. Your career development is up to you, and it’s up to you to make it happen.
Get seven strategies that will help you do just that so you’ll get the jobs you deserve in the future.
I’ve spent years having no real career ambitions, just taking everything as it came along. I had no plans, goals, or mission; I felt like I wanted to achieve. Because I hit rock bottom going through the worst time of my life back in 2010 after being laid off, I woke up from my uninspiring career path and with a mission to help other people avoid going through similar experiences.
But because I had no idea how to get my message out and share it, I had to learn a whole new skill set, and I’ve never stopped since. Every year I want to build and invest in my personal as well as professional growth. Because I’ve been applying these seven easy ways to invest in myself and my future career, I have built an entirely new career path for myself.
What If You Don’t Invest?
The worst thing that will happen is you are going to be unfulfilled with what you’re doing, and your personal and professional growth will stagnate or maybe even decline. In addition to that, chances are you will see promotions go to your colleagues, and you’ll feel unappreciated by your employer.
That’s why investing in yourself is crucial if you want to succeed and create the career you want and deserve.
7 Easy Ways To Invest In Yourself And Your Future Career
#1 – PODCASTS
Listening to podcasts is, by far, one of the easiest ways for you to invest in your future career. Instead of listening to music whenever you’re on the go, put on a podcast that can inspire and help you navigate in your career.
There’s so much to learn from others sharing their stories and knowledge, so if you’re on a small budget, this is an excellent solution to help you grow.
Here are some of my favorite Podcasts.
- Pivot Podcast with Jenny Blake
- This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt
- The Go-Giver Podcast with Bob Burg
- The Charged Life with Brendon Burchard
- Happen to Your Career with Scott Anthony Barlow
#2 – BLOGS
Another inexpensive way to get career inspiration to help you move forward is by following some business or career-related blogs, like nielsreib.com you’re visiting now
Here are a few of my favorite resources.
- michaelhyatt.com – Win at Work. Succeed at Life.
- thegogiver.com – How to build relationships and make more sales the Go-Giver way.
- jennyblake.me – Career Development
- brendon.com – Live. Love. Matter.
- nielsreib.com – Your Career Strategist & Mentor 😉
#3 – BOOKS
Now, I have just recently come to appreciate books myself.
I’ve never been an avid reader, but last year one of my new year resolutions was to read a book a month, and I almost hit that target reading 11 books last year. I felt pretty good because I wouldn’t have read anything near that amount of books if it wasn’t because of the goal set. And all the inspiration, tools, and strategies I’ve learned from reading those books have helped me move forward, both professionally and personally.
This year the goal is to read 15 books.
You can find a list of my all-time favorite branding, leadership, and career books here.
*A tip I got from Michael Hyatt is to read a wide range of books, which will help you get a more broad perspective on life and your career.
#4 – ONLINE COURSES
Today you can find online courses on just about any subject you find interesting. Everything from how to train your dog to how to play the cello, be a better doubles partner playing tennis or how to leverage your LinkedIn presence and attract better career opportunities.
You’ve got plenty of options to attend online courses on sites like Coursera, Edx, alison.com, and Lynda.com (acquired by LinkedIn in April 2015) offer hundreds of courses that can help you invest in yourself and your future career.
Whether you want to build your tech skills creating apps, or you want to strengthen your managerial skills, then you’ve got plenty of opportunities to spend a few hours a week learning new skills and upping your game.
#5 – MENTOR/ COACH
Another great way to invest in yourself and your future career is by involving a mentor/coach to help you take the next steps in the direction you want to go.
When looking for a mentor/coach, it’s essential to find someone with whom you feel there’s great chemistry. Meet with the mentor/coach before you choose to work with them. That could of cause be either IRL or on Skype.
That’s why I offer a free call to test the waters before I dive into working with someone.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out what your next move should be, that’s why getting a mentor or coach can help boost your progress, and as a result, get you where you want to go faster.
#6 – BUILD ON YOUR STRENGTHS
Some people think you should focus more on improving your weaknesses than on your strengths to excel in your career.
I’m not one of them.
I believe you perform at your best when you do what you’re good at and like what do. It will not only help elevate your career opportunities, but it will also make you a happier and more productive colleague/employee when you’re spending more time using your strengths than trying to improve on your weaknesses.
If you’re not familiar with your strengths, you can take different tests that’ll help you define your top strengths.
I suggest you get the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book.
With the book, you’ll automatically get access to Clifton’s Strengths Finder test, materials, tools, and in-depth reports to help you better understand and benefit from your unique strengths.
I took the test for the first time about six years ago and recently retook it and got some exciting results, which have helped me hone in on where I need to focus and where I should delegate instead.
#7 – REFLECT, BE INTENTIONAL AND SET SHORT-TERM GOALS
Don’t get caught up in the hamster-wheel of life and career.
You need to have a more proactive and intentional approach to where you want to go, and one of the best ways you can do that in a fast-moving job market is to set short-term goals just one or two years out.
None of us knows what will happen five or ten years from now. With technology advancing at a pace so fast that we can’t see how the job market will be in just a few years from now, it doesn’t make much sense to set goals too many years out.
A great book to help you reflect, be intentional, and set short-term goals is Pivot – The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next Move by Jenny Blake. She takes you through all the steps and guides you through with a ton of exercises that’ll help you gain clarity and set you up for career success.
Another book I would recommend is ‘Great Work Great Career by Stephen Covey and Jennifer Colissimo.’ It builds on the same timeless principals as Stephen Covey’s bestseller ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People‘ – one of my favorite books of all time.
Final Thought on Investing In Yourself
As a result of taking one or more of these seven steps to invest in yourself and your future career, you will improve your chances of career success. Not only because you’ll be in charge and more intentional about your career path but also because you will grow as a person while you do these things.
Consequently, you’ll gain clarity on the career path you want to follow.
Don’t rely on your manager or boss when it comes to your professional growth. You are the one in the driver’s seat and at the wheel in control, so do what you got to do to get to where you want to go.
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