Invest in yourself: One of the most important things to do after graduating
I was speaking on a panel for a leadership class at a local university and a question came up on “what is the most important thing to do after graduating? My answer was to “invest in yourself”.
The answer echoed many of the previous panelists. One said to “find a mentor”. And subsequent panelists built on our responses. One said “never stop learning”
Why invest in yourself
Investing in yourself is so important as you are the one resource that cannot be taken away from you. The money you’ve made could be depleted. The business you’ve built and all the assets you’ve accumulated could be taken away. But no one can take the skills and experience that you’ve accumulated away. So if you hit the worst case scenario where you hit rock bottom and lost everything, you can be thankful that you invested in yourself and accumlated the wealth of knowledge and built those relationships to pick yourself back up and hit the ground running!
Find mentors in everyone you can
You’ve seen my many posts on mentorship so you knew that finding mentors would be part of the answer. The previous answer seemed to focus on a single on a small number of mentors. My approach is to continually learn from everyone around you. My belief is that everyone has something to teach you. Some have great insights on how to acheive certain goals in your career. Others are better suited to teach you what NOT to do. And not to be self-serving, but if you have to pay for a mentor then that’s an option too. Plus you’ll be surprised at how much more valuable the advice is when you pay for it. So take the time to invest in finding mentors in everyone you can
Prioritize your development with non-negotiable time
If you’re not familiar with the concept that I call non-negotiable time then read the post here. Non-negotiable time basically forces you to invest in yourself. All of those personal and professional development tasks on your to-do list build up over time: Connecting with that friend from your old class, reading that industry journal, attending that busines networking event, and many other activities could be done now, and are often put off until later. I guess another shameless plus for CAS (Catalyst and Accountability Services) which helps you stay on tasks with your development goals.
Everyone is busy and we often say that we’ll take that course when… that we’ll figure out how to do that when… that we’ll connect with that person when… and when often never happens. Sure, you could always wait. BUT, if you start now it becomes like compound interest for yourself. Instead of our bank account growing steadily where small investments at the beginning will drastically influence the end result, investments in your personal development account would also show the same growth. So start now and reap the compounding rewards later!
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