Is now a good time to invest in yourself?
There’s a popular meme floating around on social media; a little joke about dressing for the job that you want and finding yourself in a disciplinary dressed as Batman. This made me think… we may find it easy to dress for the job that we want (superhero costumes excluded), but are we qualified for the job that we want – or are we settling for the qualifications relevant to the job that we have?
Some time ago, my role began diversifying away from operations and into staff training. I was qualified in the information that I had to share – but how could I do this better? The answer was to improve my skills as a trainer. There were no opportunities to have “in house” help with this and the budgets just weren’t available. SO I DID IT MYSELF! I booked onto a formal course for teaching in the adult education sector and paid the significant cost myself, then went to evening classes until I qualified.
Think about the last major purchase that you made. Have you bought property? A car? An expensive family holiday? Think about the last time you made a time commitment. Do you take your son to football every week? Drive your daughter to a dance class? When was the last time that you made an investment in YOU? Investment doesn’t just have to be money; it can also simply be a commitment to giving time to doing something for yourself. NOW is always the right time to do this.
Why Invest in Yourself?
Investing in yourself may be the most profitable investment you ever make! The future returns can be pretty good, but quite often there’s an instant payback to you. It can be looked at in terms of growing your “Human Capital”.
Wikipedia defines human capital as “a collection of resources—all the knowledge, talents, skills, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgment, and wisdom possessed individually and collectively by individuals in a population.”
Imagine some of the world’s top entrepreneurs, some of the top business men and women, or the people who are recognised for being the best in their fields. If they lost their job or if all of their assets were wiped out tomorrow, they’d be back on top very quickly – all because of the Human Capital that these people have developed.
How to Invest in Yourself
Think about how you can make deposits in your bank account of Human Capital!
1) Develop your skills. You’ll not only make improvements to the skill you’re working on, but you’ll also boost your confidence. When we’re competent and confident, people are more likely to believe in us.
2) Expand your knowledge – read white papers, case studies, take freebie courses (Udemy has some good online ones). You never know, a snippet of information that you pick up may be enough to impress your boss and put you on their radar the next time a promotion opportunity opens up.
3) Take certified courses and achieve qualifications – and not just those that are expected. So you work on a Service Desk? Don’t let that mean that you take the ITIL Foundation and nothing else. Look at what having a qualification in Spanish, or Cyber Security or Project Management might mean to you.
4) Don’t rest on experience. We’ve all seen them; the “dinosaurs” of an industry, the people who have been around forever. So you’re an ITIL Consultant with 30 years of experience? Great. How about being an ITIL Consultant with 30 years of experience AND a brand new DevOps qualification?
5) Look at what your ideal would be and plan how to get there. Internal training is usually allocated according to a Training Needs Analysis – and that training focussed on giving you the tools to do the job you have. Human Resource Departments are unlikely to look at staff and think about how they can help them become a senior manager. So do this yourself, for yourself. If you want to be the IT Director, rather than a System Administrator – what do you need to get there? Go get it!
In my specific case, I passed my course and achieved certification as an adult educator. I grew in confidence and was developing and delivering in-house training that was far superior to that of our competitors. So our staff were better at their jobs, our audits showed better results and we ultimately gained more business. My employer at the time recognised my effort and reimbursed me for the financial commitment that I’d made when I paid for the course. And all of this started a different path and a career working in online training. All because I decided to invest a few hours a week and a financial commitment that was around 10% of what I paid for a car!
Take control of your future and invest in yourself… start today!
Kirsty Emmott is an account manager for ITSM Zone; an organisation that has been helping people to achieve their IT Service Management certifications since 2007. If your goals include certification in ITIL, Prince2, COBIT 5, OBASHI, ISO 20000, RESILIA, DevOps or BRM, then contact us today to make that happen!