We spend five days a week, 9-5 or sometimes even longer, working at our jobs, so it's pretty important that they fulfil the criteria that we have for them. For most folks those criteria are about making enough money, and getting a sense of satisfaction from their work. As if you are in a job that isn't working for you, it can have all sort of negative impacts on your life from emotional to financial. That is why it is so vital to invest in yourself in terms of your career. In fact, investing in your career is one of the best places to put your money to use in the long term. So read on to find out how to do it.
The first way that you can really choose to invest in yourself in terms of your career is to make the commitment to study in a formal way. This might be by going to college out of state, to a community college or on another residential, long-term study course.
Remember though, it won't necessarily always be easy, as you will have to learn to balance your time and your personal budgets to get everything done that you will need to.
But the advantages are that you will get to immerse yourself in a subject that you love and hope to make a career out of. As well as gaining a formal qualification that will get you started on the career path to the role that you want. It will also show potential employers your commitment to your area of study, and the ability to motivate yourself.
However, the cost is often something that puts people off from this option. This is because attending college can be expensive if you don't gain a scholarship. As there are tuition fees, as well as rent, board, and the normal overheads like clothes and going out to pay for.
To remedy this, many students decide to work as well as study, using their wages to decrease the amount of debt that they need to get into while at college. Although this can create its own problems with stress and burnout when deadlines are due.
The best solution for this is to pick up casual work such as waiting tables or events that you can drop when you have an important exam coming up, but still, bring in a decent amount. Or get something that is closely related to your areas of study.
For example, some student graphic designers are able to work remotely from their dorms, creating projects that they have found from freelance sites such as Fiveer.com. Then they are earning money with which to help fund their life and study but can choose what and when to work, easing some of the stress.
Career Progress Development Courses
But don't think that the only way to invest in your career is to head back to college, because it isn't. In fact, there is a lot that you can do if you are already in work that means you don't have to lose the wage that you are already making by going back to be a student.
In particular, if you would like to progress in the field that you are in you can invest in some career development courses that will help you perfect the skills that you need to get to the next level and beyond.
For example, if you are working in a business setting and are currently managing a few accounts, but you want to move up higher in the organization, you can take courses that will help you so this. Such as project management, dealing with difficult people, or data analysis.
You may even be able to get your current workplace to fund some of the cost of these courses for you. As you could argue that they will help you to better perform the role that you are doing at the moment.
However, it is likely that you will need to payroll at least some of the cost of the courses yourself. You may be fortunate to be in a position where you have some saving that will cover the majority of the training that you are looking to do. But if you are struggling when it comes to finding the funds needed, you could also consider getting a personal loan.
These sort of loans are perfect for career development funding because you can pay a lot less interest in them that you would if you put the course cost on your credit card. You also don't have to put up any collateral for loans under $1000 which mean that there is practically no risk in improving your career prospects and resume.
Another option in this area is asking for some additional responsibilities at work, without a pay rise. OK, so it sounds a little crazy! Why would you want more work at the same pay? Well, it shows that you are committed to progressing and taking on more responsibility in the company that you are in. It also gives you experience of certain roles in a real world setting, which you can then use to barter for a promotion, or put on your resume for another job.
So, while it seems like you are investing your time for nothing now, it can really pay off in term of promotion and better wages in the future.
Something else that you may wish to invest your time in is a volunteer or intern position. These are often the best idea for folks that are looking to change career completely, as the provide real life experience of the role, while allowing you to judge whether it will be the perfect fit that you are looking for.
However, now there are some risks associated with taking a role like this. Primarily financial ones, as you will take a big cut in wages as you will be working for free. This might create all sorts of problems in your life from not being able to pay your rent and car payments, to severely limiting your social life.
However, if you can arrange a part-time position, it may be possible to gain the experience you need without being penniless.
It can also help to have a nest egg to fall back on if you need to cut your hours for this sort of position. Which you can raise by selling some higher values items that you don't currently use.
This is a contributed post.