Are You Investing Enough In Your Career?
We spend a LOT of money on school. Undergrad, grad, tutors, teachers etc. And then we get into the workforce and…somehow our interest in investing in ourselves is often driven by what the company has to offer.
- Interested in project management? (Not really) Here’s a course for you!
- Want to become smart in Excel? (NEVER!) Here’s an online training.
- Want some guidance? Here’s a company assigned “mentor” (who also reviews your work and is responsible for your raise. How truthful are you with them? Exactly).
When was the last time you really invested in your career?
But honestly – when was the last time you invested time and money into yourself and your dreams for how you spend over 3,000 hours a year? (Yes, that is how much time we spend at work every year. Big, no?)
It’s probably been awhile. (If not, bravo! More power to you).
And that’s ok. It happens. But the truth is, that the biggest gains in your career – from what to do next to HOW to do it, often come from putting some skin in the game.
That’s always been the truth for me. For YEARS I struggled with what to do with myself, what I wanted to be when I grew up (even though I was in my 30’s), what would magically change in my life if I could just figure out that thing. You know, that thing that I love that I don’t know about yet? That thing?
I spent a lot of time talking about it, bitching about it, and not really DOING anything about finding or identifying it. Any career development I did was mostly in service of a career that I didn’t want instead of one that I did.
Then I had an epiphany: I wasn’t making progress because I wasn’t serious about changing my career.
Nothing had changed because I wasn’t actually investing anything into making that change happen. I kept thinking: I can figure this out on my own. I can make this happen for myself! Something will happen….probably…at some point. Is it time for happy hour already?
And guess what? NOTHING happened.
That’s right – nothing happened. Glad you were sitting down for that completely shocking statement, right?
I had to accept that I couldn’t figure this out on my own and that I had to ask for help. And I had to accept that I’d probably have to put some skin in the game.
So, I took a risk.
I signed up for coaching certification. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a coach, I was a little leery of plunking down $9K on a skill set that wasn’t necessarily going to be my future…but I found myself interested in coaching, I knew I needed help (and I’d get some coaching as part of this program) and I knew that sometimes being interested and curious about something is enough to open doors to new opportunities.
I rolled the dice (Ok, I rolled the dice after talking to people and doing a lot of research, I’m not totally crazy!).
And it worked. I’m a full-time coach with a busy practice now, and I LOVE what I do.
The road to get here was … interesting. First I was just fascinated by coaching and was looking for ways to do it in my organization. Then I wanted to coach men to date better (this was after a series of bad dates) and then I wanted to coach women like me…who knew there was something more profound out there in their work, but didn’t know what. Along the way I tried to start a business helping educators (that failed) and a blog for women (that also failed). But the point is that NONE of that would have happened had I not taken a risk. And I was willing to push past fear and really dig deep to learn because I had invested 9K! And that was plenty motivation for me.
So what risk are you going to take? I’m not suggesting that you go out and spend a ton of money, but I am suggesting that you sign up for something that has always interested you and that you want to pursue further.
Here are some options:
- Have a favorite author or guru? See if they offer a class or an online training and then…take it!
- Love a speaker or get inspired by someone over Twitter or Facebook? Find out where they are speaking next and attend that conference.
- Want to learn to write a blog or start a business? Take a course at your local community center or sign up for an online writing class. Many of these are inexpensive and taught by folks who are passionate about what they do, and that passion is electric.
- Or, go back to school? Maybe take a class on the side and see if it leads you anywhere. Yoga certification, crossfit, theatre, improv…anything that sounds interesting to you!
- And of course, there is this. For anyone who wants more career happiness.
The point here is that it almost doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do SOMETHING to make you happy in your job and stretch your limits. Something that feels like you aren’t just investing in a job, but instead are investing in a career.
When you do that and invest time and money, you’d be surprised how quickly you get unstuck and onto a path that feels powerful. And engaging, and rewarding, and sometimes a little pain in the ass, but mostly very very awesome.
I want that for you – now go out and have some fun!
Want to join a career happiness revolution? Sign up for Christie’s class here! It’s going to rock your world and may involve cake.