June 16, 2017 • 4 minute read • by Saeed
“Learn from the past, live in the present, and create your future.”~ Joel Brown
We all know how a regular bank account works. We make deposits, save up money, and when we need that money later, we withdraw from it.
Your career bank account works the same way. You make certain investments in it and over time, you build up your career capital.
You can make career deposits or career withdrawals (toxic behaviors) and with each you either build or take away from your career capital.
Just like any investment, the building of your underlying value and fidelity as a professional helps you build career capital.
A recently conducted Accenture Survey found that more than 89 percent of professionals believe building their career capital is the key to success in the workplace.
Today’s worker has to dig deeper, much deeper to find his or her underlying value and to make daily deposits in his or her career bank account. Here are three of the most important investments you can make:
- Invest in your core competencies:
In a nutshell, competencies are the combination of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors.
- Knowledge is information developed or learned through experience, study or inquiry. Increase your knowledge relentlessly.
- Skill is the result of repeatedly applying knowledge or ability. Continually improve them to perfection.
- Ability is an innate potential to perform mental and physical actions or tasks. Use these to your optimum advantage to achieve your goals.
- Behavior is the observable reaction of an individual to a certain situation. Always keep these positive.
You are hired for your competencies. This is the gateway to achieve higher levels of performance. Knowledge, skills, abilities and behavior are the key ingredients of your career capital investment portfolio. You can achieve mastery over the market like Warren Buffet by blending these and channeling them towards your career goals.
- Invest in your relationships:
Your network is one of the most important career assets you have. If investment in real estate is all about location, location, location, then investment in your career may well be about relationships, relationships, relationships. Nurture them and they will nurture you. The surest way to burn career capital is to burn bridges. As a rule, try never to burn any.
- Invest in your brand:
If you watch a Nike commercial, the last thing you’ll see is a reference to shoe laces and leather. Apple commercials never boast about their monitors or keyboards. Rather, what you see is an association: great athletes in the case of Nike and great thinkers in the case of Apple. To develop your personal brand, you must ask yourself what you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name. A strong personal brand is reliant upon a strong narrative. As an exercise, sit down and write your own story (your past and your future) and then align everything you do with that story.
Employees and jobseekers know that to advance, they must invest in the appropriate education, training, and skills. Employers know that training provides a return on their investment in retention and job satisfaction. But that is not nearly enough. As you go through your journey, you’ll find that the foremost rule of the road is that career tracks are no longer linear. If there was ever a yellow brick road, it has been replaced by interconnected webs of opportunity, exposure and experience where a willingness to learn, to grow and to adapt to a brave and yet uncharted new world gain the greatest returns on investment. You’re not in Kansas anymore.
©2017 – All Content and Photography by Saeed H. Mirfattah, M.A.
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