Most of us agree that investing for retirement is important. It protects your future options and quality of life. But how much of your salary are you investing in your career? Better performance at work enhances your current options and quality of life, which can have a compounding effect on your income over time.
Here are five ways to make your money work for you and your career:
Invest to expand your knowledge and network
- Get an industry certification. Set some time and money aside to get an advantageous certificate that will improve your job performance and expand the career options in your field.
- Take a class at a community college. Community college classes are a great way to stay in learning mode outside of work. They are also a great way to network and meet people who can help you make valuable connections for your professional network.
Invest to make work easier
- Upgrade your office tools (keyboard, mouse, monitor, bag, etc). Those daily annoyances drain your valuable time and energy. Don’t wait for the company to pay for them.
- Hire a Virtual Assistant. Finding the right Virtual Assistant can unlock levels of productivity you didn’t know were possible. They can be particularly helpful by helping you follow through on those great ideas that aren’t integrated into your “day job.” Virtual Assistants often have skills beyond email and calendar management and can be helpful with a wide range of tasks – both personal and professional.
- Hire a coach. A great coach can help you set priorities, maintain focus, and brainstorm solutions to tough work challenges. Handling a certain situation well can mean the difference between a good review and a great one. The compounding effect of better career decisions on your long-term compensation is immeasurable. Coaches are also a safe space to vent your occasional frustrations, thereby avoiding potentially career-limiting outbursts.
Whatever you choose to spend it on, set some money aside and start investing in your career today. After all, a better career means a better life today and in retirement.