As women, we are often given investment advice.
Not the type that will help us retire comfortably. It won’t help you buy a house or put your daughter through school. Generally, the investment advice we receive centres on fashion. How many times have you seen a magazine article admonishing you to “invest in a new blazer” or “this skirt is the perfect investment piece for this season”.
If you are reading this and you are one of the few people who have turned a profit from your one of a kind Hermes bag, you can avert your eyes. For those of us who are not dropping £30,000 for handbags, fashion is probably going to be more “charity shop pile” than “pile of money”.
Recently, I was at a talk and one of the speakers highlighted that the hottest investment now might just be your education.
Most of us know that having a degree can be a huge help in today’s competitive job market, but that can’t be the end of your education. No, I am not suggesting another expensive degree. Having a diploma is different from education. With the rapid pace of change today, the things you learned in school might be obsolete within just a few years. It is important to continue to get training and, more importantly, showcase what you have learned.
There are a lot of ways to get the training you need. When I attend events or talks, even if they are free, I post a few notes about it on LinkedIn. This let’s people in my industry know that I am staying engaged. It only takes a few minutes. Another idea is to
ensure that you use a section of your annual review with your manager to discuss your training plan for the following year. Go into the meeting knowing the three – five courses or programs you need to advance your career. If you are not sure, ask them for ideas as a way to bring them on board. Last, don’t discount online courses. Many universities and massive open online courses (known as MOOCs) have online offerings that could help you get a certificate. This can help improve your chances of moving your career in the direction you want it to go.
Once you have a better job, you can make an investment in some new workwear. Maybe you’ll even get that Hermes bag. By this time you’ll have already made the most important investment of all…the investment in yourself.
About the author
Joy Adams is a blogger and one of WATCs 2015 Rising Stars. She is a British-American businesswoman who has worked in both the public and private sectors in the US and UK. Joy currently serves on the Advisory Board for Vital Voices Europe, an organization dedicated to supporting and developing women leaders. She also writes a lifestyle blog for budding philanthropists and art collectors at Luxeher.com.
The Workher blog is all about taking your work life to the next level with practical tips and details on the latest news about pay, progression, and opportunities.