People question investment all the time. Where is best to invest? Is it in stock? Is it in property? I think one of the best places to invest, is in yourself! For months, I found myself looking at drones. Did I want one? Yes. Could I afford one? Possibly. But did I want to invest that money in a drone? This was the question I couldn’t answer.
Not all investments are for physical things. Some are to put yourself through a course, others are to visit a different country. Not all are investments are of cold, hard cash either; time is just as important, if not more so. We can’t buy more time in this life! Whether it’s developing a skill, getting creative, or honing your body and mind in a new direction, these things aren’t to be looked down on, even if others think they are. If you want to learn to play the guitar but don’t have a musical bone in your body, why shouldn’t you try? Exploring culture, expanding our minds, enjoying new experiences – these are not bad things.
So often, people sit at the same desk, within the same four walls, making money for the same company for years and years of their lives. That’s brilliant in the sense that it’s a job which is essentially allowing you to live your day to day life. But at what point do you start putting something back into yourself? Your own brand? How does doing the same job forever help you progress, not only in your career, but in life?
If a potential employer was to look you up online – so many do these days – what would they find? On one hand they could find a single page about you being at your current company and perhaps your private Facebook page. On the other hand, your name could bring up that time you travelled to Australia and did a bungee jump, with the photos as evidence. The search could detail your involvement in a charity, volunteering your time or perhaps even (if you bought that guitar!) you strumming away to Red Hot Chilli Peppers on a YouTube upload. Even if it doesn’t sway them one way or another, this shows you’ve lived and you’re living! You’re willing to put yourself in situations, step out of your comfort zone and run that extra mile, or even half-marathon!
These are qualities that people want to see. Invest in that pair of trainers so you run the race. Invest in that camera to capture those beautiful landscapes. Invest in learning Chinese and then spending a week in Beijing. Invest in life. If you’ve been out there – experienced the world, gained wisdom, seen things, done things – then you’re more likely to have a well rounded view of life (and work) than the next guy. People who spend time doing things they love are often more content and able to focus on the task at hand, which is ideal for the workplace.
I’m not saying you should blow a month’s wage on an off-the-cuff investment, but take a look at where your passions lie. Investing in yourself doesn’t mean the same thing for every person but it can affect your work life in a similar way. If you fail, at least you tried which is truly admirable. But, so often when you invest in yourself, when you put the time and effort into something for yourself, failure is not an option.
By the way – I bought the drone.