Whether you work for a small business, you’re an entrepreneur with a new product launch on the cards, or are part of a big brand team, your future is unpredictable. Investing in yourself should always be a constant factor in your career and personal life, and it can make you not just a better person, but a more secure worker too.
If you’re running your own business or are a cog in a larger machine, the time and money that you invest in your own personal growth can go a long way to making the future much brighter. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut and you’re not sure how to improve your future prospects, then here are the key steps and actions that you should be taking to build a better you.
Evaluate Your Time
When people think of investing in themselves, they usually think about the cost. Personal investment is not always about money, it’s about time as well. Time wasted is time lost, and unlike money, you will never recoup wasted time.
Assess how you spend your time, and make a list of what you do every day. You can quickly recognize if you are wasting time on frivolity and needless social media scrolling once you realize that you are spending as much time on Twitter and Facebook as you are working on your career.
Prioritize the important personal growth tasks and limit your casual time.
Everyone seems to want to travel more, yet so few people do so. This can be a career mistake, especially for entrepreneurs.
Travel really does broaden the mind, and by experiencing new cultures and settings, you can bring those new experiences back to the workplace. Consider the restaurant owner who introduces exciting new menu items after a weekend break or the marketer who spots a unique form of guerilla marketing on their travels that could be effective at home too.
The smart career-focused workers will always want to add to their skill-sets and knowledge foundation. This has never been easier, and there are many ways that you can work on your education without having a negative impact on your workload.
Online courses are now widely prevalent and can be worked around your existing work schedule. There’s no real limit to the level of education that you can obtain either, and taking a Masters in Operation Management has never been more accessible. The more new skills that you bring to the workplace, the more value you offer, and that can mean the all the difference when it comes to the growth of your own business, or your progression up the ranks of the company you work for.
We already read a lot more than people think. The problem is that browsing your Twitter feed or scrolling through Reddit is not the ideal reading matter.
The biggest names in the business and corporate world are always releasing their lists of the best books they’ve read this year, and you would do well to follow their lead. Reading fiction can help boost your creativity and empathy, while reading business guides can bring you a vast amount of new information that you can then use.
If time is an issue, then consider using audiobook versions that you can listen to on your commute.
Learn to Network
This is a very understated skill, and it’s one that is more important than ever. Networking is all about establishing yourself among your peers, and whether you plan on networking in person or online, both can be effective strategies.
Take time learning how to improve your networking skills, and you’ll find that they can be a huge boost to your career or your business. Start slowly if you’re wary of networking. There’s no race to build relationships with those in your sector. Take your time and establish your own credentials, and you’ll be able to approach those you want to network within a much more confident way.
There’s no escaping the fact that humans do much better at tasks if they are broken down into achievable goals. There have been plenty of scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of goal-setting, so you should certainly be integrating them into your future plans.
The good thing about goal-setting is that you can have a series of them on the go at all times. Daily goals, monthly, and long-term goals can all provide you with the motivation to succeed and the sense of accomplishment when those goals have been met. This makes for a much more satisfying way of managing even the largest of workloads.
Coping with Procrastination
One of the biggest barriers to your future development is the problem of procrastination. This is an all-too-common problem, especially in the digital age when distraction is just a smartphone away. While setting goals is an effective way of managing your procrastination, there are other techniques and coping strategies as well. Learn about the best ways to avoid and cope with procrastination, and you’ll find that you get your work done a lot more quickly, and that then leaves you free to accomplish even more.
Look the Part
The more suitable that you look for work, the more professional you will feel. That will make you far more likely to stand out among your peers, and will also give you the confidence that you need to get your work done and even seek promotion. A little time investment in the morning can go a long way to improving your motivation for the day, and the more compatible your appearance is with the nature of your work, the more professional and accomplished you look. This is all about personal development, and is often the key to improving the levels of trust that both clients, teammates, and customers have in you.
No matter your career goals or personal ambitions, investing in yourself is always a high-impact achievement. Whether you’re dedicated to online learning to broaden your skills, or you attend a conference on better public speaking, will largely depend on your sector and your intent. Unlike any other investment, by prioritizing your own growth and development, you will never lose the benefits that you gain. That means that failing to invest your time or money into yourself is a mistake that should be avoided at all costs.