How To NOT Make Bad Career Investments (Self-directed Learner)

You have two big resources in life: Time and Money. Here's how you should spend them.

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@ Christie Mims

When you put on your “Career CEO” hat, it's easy to see that making investments in your career is a worthwhile endeavor.

But sadly, too many of us fail to put on that CEO hat in the first place, and we end up on a never-ending career treadmill.

Tired.

Bored.

Stuck.

Lost.

Any of that sound familiar?

Part of creating a fulfilling career is to periodically sit in your CEO chair and review how you are investing your career resources, to make sure you keep making progress (and don't end up stuck).

You have two big resources:

The first is your time.  You can spend your time a lot of ways – by always being at work or working long hours, by trying to bring more balance to your work life, by spending time on your learning, by using your time productively so you can work smarter instead of harder.

Time is a finite resource, but there are ways to make better use of yours.

The second is your money.

Yes, given that your career is YOURS, you have a vested interest in periodically paying to go to conferences, taking a certification program on your own, buying your mentor a cup of coffee, or even hiring a coach to help you figure out this whole passion thing. 🙂

It's not up to your company to be the only one investing in you.  Your career will most likely span 50 years, and you'll change jobs up to 11 times (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).  So, it's also on your to spend money wisely on your skills, network, and general growth to make sure you stay connected, informed, and agile.

(Did I scare you?)

Don't worry – we won't start with money. 😉

For the purposes of this article, let's start by focusing on where you are investing your TIME.

So, take a look at your calendar.  Take an honest look and for each major activity (at work and at home), ask yourself this question: “Is this the absolute best use of my time?”

99.9% of us will have areas where we are wasting time.

Maybe it's checking email….again and again and again.

Maybe it involves Facebook.

Or maybe you are just being incredibly inefficient at work, or procrastinating at home.

It happens, you are human!

But it's an interesting exercise, because when you think about how you invest your time, you start to realize that there's room for improvement  – areas where you can make more time for yourself (much needed downtime or play time), and for your career (to learn a new skill, or connect with a new person).

So, my challenge to you today is simple: Review your calendar, and make some time to invest in your career!

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