Tips to make sure your career investments retain value and bring dividends
The stock market has been in the news a lot lately and this year we’re going to hear about it a lot more. It is a stressful time, for sure, for stocks go down and never seem to go back up.
There is another stock market that exists and that is the one for your career. Your value as an employee can go up and down for a number of reasons. Your personal value to your company can go upward or downward. And your previous investments in education or extra training can reap dividends.
Like a company’s stock on Wall Street, your status as a valuable employee can change over time. One day you may be important and the next day you might find your name on a layoff list.
How can your value change when you stay the same?
- Automation. The business might be able to replace you with a computer or robot.
- Changing world. You might find yourself in an industry that is becoming obsolete, like a giant shopping mall in a time when people buy online.
- Technology. Are you both able and willing to learn new technologies quickly and easily? Some people are not able to do so. Others are not inclined to do so.
How do you increase your value so companies (investors) will want to hold onto you as an employee (stock) and not lay you off (sell) when there is a panic in the air?
- Strive for longevity. Are you committed to the company and make sacrifices to help the company succeed?
- Costs/benefits. Does your value as an employee greatly exceed your costs to the employer? This matters a lot when they think of people they can dismiss or roles that can be eliminated.
- Leadership. Does what you do and your daily presence signify a leadership quality that other companies would want?
Consider some of the most successful companies in the world. What do they provide of value? I can think of a soft drink company that makes beverages that are sold at a low price to hundreds of millions of people. I can think of a technology company with an app that saves people time and money.
How can you improve your value to your business?
- Income. Learn skills that can help your company increase their incoming money.
- Costs. Develop strategies to help eliminate or reduce expenses.
- Opportunities. Suggest ways the future version of your business can outsmart competitors.
- Education/Training. Find ways to get more skills, education, or training that can help you in your career and help the work site.
All employees have some value, and some employees have great value. Think of what you contribute to your company and how you can improve. Strive to increase the value of yourself in your own personal career stock market. Don’t let your employee status be included in some big sell order, where you are one of the first items to be included in a sell order, if you know what I mean.