Updated: Sep 29, 2020
We all know this. We make investments in ourselves, our children, our family and friends throughout our lifetime.
You hire a tutor when your child is struggling in a class.
You join a gym or get a personal trainer when you want to get back into shape, .
You probably have a financial planner, to work with you to make the best decisions for your financial future.
Maybe you have invested in a start-up to help a friend or family member
It feels great when you begin seeing positive changes in your investments (your child's grades improve, you see muscle mass/weight loss, growth in savings, etc.), and you know your investment was worth it.
Is an investment in your professional growth and/or success worth it? Are YOU worth it? So many struggle at work and feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled, but they sit in complacency thinking that they can "sweat it out" for a few more years, miserable, full of anxiety, exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally.
If you are ready for a career that is going to bring you success and fulfillment, challenges and opportunities; a career that excites and motivates you to get up in the morning, here are 9 ways to start investing in yourself for professional growth & fulfillment:
Take stock in what's important to you. Grab a notebook and describe your ideal job and everything you envision it to be.
Understand your value. Understanding your value will help you better understand what you are capable of as well as how you can contribute to an organization. It will also increase your confidence which is vital in getting what you want out of life.
- Write out your personal & professional achievements
- Acknowledge the obstacles
- How did you overcome them?
- What solutions did you provide?
- What were your contributions?
- What was the the outcome?
- What lessons did you take from this experience?
- What character traits were required for you to accomplish each of these?
3. Set Goals. Based on the description of your ideal job, write out the steps you need to get there. Remember: SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
4. Create a Plan. As you would plan a cross-country journey, plan out how you are going to execute your goals.
5. Educate Yourself. If you want to learn to do something better, do things to educate yourself. Read (or listen to) self-help books, watch instructional videos, take a class, sign up for a seminar/webinar, talk to people.
6. Leverage Your Network. There are people in your personal and professional network who have been where you are today. People want to see you succeed; they want to be a part of your success. If someone reached out to you for professional help, would you help him? Believe that people will want to help you, too. Leverage those connections.
7. Practice Self-Care. In order to be in the right mindset, it's important to be physically healthy. This means eating healthy, exercise (mind and body) and getting a good night's sleep to reduces stress, improve your memory and improve your attitude.
8. Set your intentions for the day. Make a conscious decision for how you want your day to be. Choose to be happy. Choose to be kind. Choose to be committed to yourself. Choose to have a positive attitude. At the end of the day, take note of how your day aligned to your intentions. If you had a few moments of misalignment, it's OK. Acknowledge it and know that tomorrow is a new day!
9. Hire a Career Coach. Just like your kid's tutor, your personal trainer or your financial advisor, a career coach will work with you to help you uncover what you really want professionally, and will work with you to create a plan to get you from where you are today to where you want to be. Just as it is in the world of sports, the coach is your accountability partner, your cheerleader, your motivator.
Investing in yourself sends a message that you are important enough to commit the time and energy towards professional (and personal) growth. It sends the message that you have experience and value, and that you have the confidence and courage to take the steps towards a better you. A better you will attract better opportunities.
To read more about learning to value yourself, read my blog, How to SOAR Through a Career Transition: Finding Your Confidence and Knowing Your Value, or contact me for a Complimentary Session.
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