A few years ago I came to a realization that my career was not taking off because I was not investing in myself. My career had stagnated and I saw many people with my same experience get promotions and moving up the ladder in their chosen career. When you become more valuable to the organization you get promotions and additional opportunities. I was not becoming more valuable as I was not continuing my education and learning. I began to ask myself a few questions.
Where do I want to go?
What skills do I need to develop?
Who can help me get there?
We can start simply with a few questions about your reading habits. Are you currently reading anything? If you are not reading currently you should start. Reading is a simple and economical way to invest in yourself. If you are reading, what are you reading? Working in Information Technology for over fifteen years I have realized how important having good data can be. The same is true for our minds. If we don’t consume good data we not improving our mind. Look for some positive non-fiction material for you today.
I have been a fan of audio books for a long time. Whenever you are on the go there are many good options to have something to listen to. Darren Hardy the publisher of Success Magazine has mentioned how we can turn our cars into “Rolling Universities” with this type of material.
Podcasts and online radio programs have exploded over the years. I have been a big fan of them for years. A couple of favorites of mine are Michael Hyatt’s This is Your Life and Dan Miller’s 48 Day’s Podcast. Both of these podcasts share many good tips for your career and life. No matter what you are interested in you should be able to find one that is your interest or skill you are looking to develop.
There are groups out there to help you invest in yourself and group in many areas. I have been involved with Toastmasters for many years. If you are not familiar with Toastmasters, it is an organization that helps develop speaking and leadership skills. Other groups, you might consider if you want to grow your network and meet other people are your local chamber and networking groups.
When I was gaining experience in the Information Technology field I began to have people ask me questions about their career. At the time, I thought I was just sharing advice, but then I started to learn more about coaching. I realized what I was doing was coaching people with their careers. So started to put together my coaching business.
I had never started a business before and I didn’t know where to start. I contacted Debbie Marshall from Thrive Consulting. She coached me in taking the proper steps to get my business up and running. Coaching can be in many fields beyond business and career coaching. Just recently I was at an event where I met Dr. Dallas Demmitt who is a “Listening Coach.” Dallas is currently working with Chick-Fil-a to train many of their operators and staff.
Training is something that takes many different forms today. We still have the in-person training that you can get to develop and invest in yourself. With the ever changing technology, we can get training at virtually anytime and in any location. Online training providers such as Udemy have options for learning anything from highly technical skills to leadership and communication. I suggest you try out a few different approached to see what works best for you.
Are we going back to science class? No, but as you learn things and develop new skills you need to experiment and try things out. Be careful to learn too much and never try anything. I have been this person before that wants to read about starting a business but too scared to do it. Take steps to get in the game.