Some people may not know what investing in anything is truly about, at first; I didn’t either.
Every time I heard the word ‘invest’, the thought that came to mind was of; stocks and bonds, a home, or in my future. Yet, I have been investing since I began working at the age of 16.
Invest in a word that is thrown around a lot but really not explained clearly. That is why some people don’t know what to do when they are approached with the word invest.
Like investing in a home. When people invest in a home; that investment is for 5 to 20 years. That is why I rent. That scares me to invest in something that long!
One of my mentors gave me a different perspective of looking at investing. He asked a question of me, as I want to ask of you:
Do you know you invest in your 9 to 5 jobs every day? I thought about what I invested in my previous job. Another question my mentor asked:
Do any of those investments contribute to anything I do? I thought I had a good answer, but, we will get to that later. However, some people have great answers to why they work where they work.
My mentor wasn’t downing my job at all. As I am not, at means, doing to you. I needed my job as that was the source of everything. I understand you need to do the same thing.
Wanting you to see a bigger picture of what you can accomplish if you invest in yourself too. I never thought of investing in myself or really knew what that meant.
I will show you the best ways to invest in yourself. Yes, yourself!
Have you ever thought about it? I will explain in more detail what it means to invest in yourself and the best ways of going about it.
My Experience Investing in my Job
Like I mentioned, I didn’t know that I was investing in my previous job. My previous jobs, I was there for about 4 years. I really loved being a satellite technician as a female. It was almost unheard-of.
However, just like any job out there; there were certain criteria that I had to meet before I started:
- Work boots
- Certain Tools
- Commercial Van (driven by me)
These items you may need to start; however, it doesn’t mean they would not have to be replaced in the long run. It seemed like I had to replace items quite frequently as I progressed as a technician.
How many times do you have to replace items to keep working efficiently(ie. Computers, cell phones, pen, paper, uniforms, business attire etc.)?
I did not understand why my mentor was asking about everything I worked with as a technician. I was scared to tell him I bought extra tools to make my job more efficient to make more money.
Let’s start with the cost of those items:
- Work Boots: $100
- Commercial Van: $30 weekly (if you wanted to take the van home)
- Drill: $150 (they give to you, still you are charged for it)
- Glow Rods $30-50 (depending on which ones you get)
- The tools list can go on and on in cost!!
Thinking about everything I bought, I was getting upset. I really spent a lot of money on that stuff. Not understanding why my mentor wanting me to think about all that. The answer was,
All the things I bought was my investment for me to be a better satellite technician. I would not have bought those things if it was not to better my skills in some way.
Thus, the term investing in something was becoming more clear to me. For my understanding. I figured out why my mentor was asking me those questions:
I was investing in my job as a satellite technician by:
- Work Boots: Buying for the safety of your feet (dealing with most climates)
- Commercial Van Rental: To leave right from home to start your route instead of the office
- Tools: To make the job more efficient
I started to wonder about all other jobs I had in the past. How much I invested in them too?
What People Invest in Jobs Today
To think back, I was investing a lot to keep working for those jobs efficiently.
Other jobs are really not that much different from being a technician. I can name a few that I had in the past:
- Fast food or being a waiter/waitress: Slip-Resistant Footwear, black or blue pants
- Secretary: business attire
- Labor Worker: Almost the same materials as a technician needs
Any type of 9 to 5 jobs, you have to invest something.
The main thing a lot of people really don’t know is that their time is their most precious investment. It does matter how much you bought to work for that job. What also matters is the time you spend on that job.
Hence, before you buy anything, you are in training for some many days or weeks. That time you sat through training was an investment towards that job. You are sitting there for nothing.
In my experience:
For two years as a progressing technician, my body did not want to contribute to my investment any longer. I planned to invest in being a technician for about 5 years. I never thought I would get hurt or that any serious problems would come along to deter my plans.
As time progressed, my body became worse.
Four years in, my body could not take any more. Though, I loved my job my body was changing. Yet, my job had some bad news. Budget Cuts! One of the worse things to hear from your job.
Thus, more work for less pay. Ugh!!!! I felt this was so unfair.
Now, my body is saying I can’t do this kind of job anymore. On top of that, there are budget cuts. Where is my investment ‘being a technician’ going to contribute to now?
You cannot always do the same thing forever, your body is not a machine.
Now understanding where my mentor was going with his questions.
Does that Investment Contribute To You
As the years went by as I became a better technician, these items became more and more expensive and need to be replaced frequently. Yet, the wages at my job was not increasing as I had hoped for. The profit that I was making, it was not evening out to the investment that I was making towards being a better technician.
How many of you have been in this situation? Or had to leave a job for whatever reason but stuck with the items you invested in? Do you have to choose to stay in that line of work because of that investment?
Some people don’t think about this until you are struck by the devastation of losing the job first. That is what happened to me. I didn’t notice how much I had invested in being a technician until the job was taken from me.
Although, you have not lost the job and still working there; yet, is all the investments to work there is contributing to you or that company? Hmmmm…
With my mentor asking this question, I thought these investments were contributing to me. But was it?
Looking at the aspect of it, I thought everything I bought was for me; instead, it was for the purpose for me to work there to have those things.
You may not have heard me. Read that line again.
If the reasoning for your investment is not benefiting your purpose. Why would you do it then?
My mentor explained:
“You purchased those items to work at that job. Your reason for buying other items; the purpose to make your profit as a technician easier and faster. I understand quite well of all your investments you made to be a technician; however, where does that leave you now not being a technician anymore?”
“Where does all that investment go that you needed then? It can happen if you hurt yourself and still could not work in that same field again.”
You have yourself. Do you believe in yourself as you believe that you could be the best technician out there; despite, you were working in a majority men’s field? That did not stop you. You made the best of it and accomplished your goal as being one of the top technicians in your area.
“Now those investments you made, you can not get back. Although, the purpose of them was for being a technician nothing else. The reasoning was to make more money from that job. Yet, the decisions of how that job pays you; you have no say so. You have to deal with it or leave it.”
“Why not invest within yourself, where nobody can take that from you? Have you ever thought of that?”
My mentor really had my head rolling with confidence that I was putting in a job that I could do for myself. I did not know how to go about investing in myself.
With my mentor’s knowledge, I will give a few pointers that may help you start the process.
The Best Ways To Invest in Yourself
Ok, this does not take any money to do. This is all about you. My mentor allowed me to understand that my job was precious but not as precious as I am.
The best ways to invest in yourself:
- Believe in Yourself: How many of you truly believe in yourself of what you can be? Believing in yourself is such a wonderful thing to do. Having a passion for something; drawing, writing, or whatever it might be; you are passionate about it.
- Be Confident in your Passion: I know you see so many things on the internet of how to do something. How you ever thought about what you do or thoughts about something is unique to you and people may feel the same, but don’t know how to show it. This is why people ask you certain questions about things to get your input on it. Your opinion means something to someone other than yourself quite often more than we know. That is why people come to you or the internet for insight.
- Allow your Passion to be Heard: Be confident in what you are passionate about. Your passion is your passion. No one can take that away from you. I understand people will criticize you or try to down what you are passionate about. That didn’t stop the person’s passion from making a chair; to advance a person to make a couch. It all started with a passion, your passion.
Starting with these strategies will help you to invest in yourself; what you truly want to do. Investing in yourself is something that will not be wasted; where you would not know what to do with it.
Your passion will always keep you thinking because it is all about you and what you love.
Don’t allow anybody; I mean no one to criticize your passion, where you are not passionate anymore. Be you! I know your passion can be sensitive to you; just look at criticism as consideration.
In all things considered, your job is important; however, do not let it be more important than you. As much as you invest in that jobs, you can invest in yourself. My mentor was right; investing in yourself is your greatest investment. Why?
When everything else fails; like your jobs, or your body decreases where you cannot function like you use to. You have something to always fall back on; investing in yourself. You can’t go wrong.
You may have some bumps in the road; you cannot allow that to stop you from moving forward.
I will leave you with this short story:
I know a young woman that is paraplegic since she was 16 years old; yet, that didn’t stop her from moving forward in her life.
She found a way to make everything work for her. She finished school; all the way to college with flying colors. In short, she is now working for herself as a professional paralegal for several lawyers in the area.
In the end, she found her passion in herself and never let it go; regardless, of her situation that life put in front of her.
Don’t let the days of life; investing in your precious 9 to 5 jobs, be a waste. Find the best ways to invest in yourself and make it happen.
You will not regret it!
If you like to share your story in what you invest in your job. Or have some other suggestive ways to invest in yourself. Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below. I would love to hear your feedback.