It’s a common enough question: why should I invest in my career? Shouldn’t my career be paying me instead of the other way around? The fact is, though, that not investing in yourself is like going white-water rafting without a paddle, a map, or any knowledge of the waters you’re navigating. You might see some short-term success, but long-term success will ultimately elude you.
To avoid just spinning your wheels and never achieving real success, you need to invest in yourself. One example of such an investment is your headshot—this is your personal branding, and a wise investment in this branding is extremely important for your career. This investment is the only way you will realize your long-term career and life goals.
If that doesn’t convince you of the importance of investing in your career, here are 5 reasons that investing in your career is essential:
1. You Won’t Find a Greater Return on Investment
When you invest in yourself, the ROI is higher than you’ll find in any other investment. You’ll increase your earning power over the course of your lifetime, and find possibilities you never imagined before. You’ll also provide yourself with job security and the satisfaction that comes from knowing you are growing personally and succeeding in life.
2. You’re the One in Charge
You are the President of Me, Myself, and I, Inc., and it’s your responsibility to make sure your company (you) stays in business. You achieve this through careful planning, consistent performance, and staying true to your mission and values. You also achieve this by investing in Me, Myself, and I, Inc.
3. Your Value Increases
This reason requires a little bit of homework. You should look at yourself once again as a company, but this time draw up two balance sheets. On one, you’ll list your financial assets and liabilities, and on the other one you should write down your skills, ideas, marketability, knowledge, personal networks, passion, and your ability to make things happen. You increase your personal net worth by investing in the second list—that increases the assets on your first list!
4. You Can Achieve Greatness
Greatness is within you, but you have to nurture and cultivate it. Most people don’t do this, settling to just achieve a fraction of their capabilities. When you identify your talents and invest in your potential, you avoid this tragedy by building yourself (and your greatness) up.
5. Your Goals Become Attainable
It’s way too important to achieve your career and life goals, rather than just leaving them as wishes. Your mismanaged career can send your life goals careening off the rails, but investing in yourself keeps the train on the tracks and gets you to greatness.
These reasons all depend on you investing in yourself. You can’t count on anybody else to do it for you, so you have to do it for yourself. Investing in yourself (by getting a proper headshot done, for example) is the best way to build up your personal assets and help you achieve your lifelong goals.