When you think of investing, your first thoughts are probably about the stock market or your retirement account. But as the financial markets ebb and flow, there is one investment you can make that will always keep you in the positive. That investment is in yourself!
By taking the time to pursue continued learning, you can play an active role in investing in your future. Growing as a professional shouldn't stop, even if you're in your dream job! What steps can you take to never become stagnant in your career? There's always new software, business practices, technology, or models of equipment to learn.
Benefits of Continued Education
When you take the time to invest in yourself, you'll feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The more diversified your skills are, the more valuable you become to employers, and the more completive you are in the market. Versatility can go a long way in the workforce, helping you stand out from the rest of the talent pool. For example, as a motion graphics editor, having a preference for a particular editing software is often expected. However, it's advantageous to have a working knowledge of other software in the industry and will help you become eligible for even more opportunities.
Ways to Invest in Yourself
Your goal is to learn how to do things differently, but also learn how to do different things. The key is to update and diversify your skills, and the options are endless. Here are a few ways to get started!
The presence of online training websites is rapidly growing to support our collective desire to grow and learn. From soft skills to technical training, the list of topics available as online training classes is extensive. Most classes allow you to move at your own pace and individually tailor your learning experience to what you need most.
With the rate of change in software and technology, it can be challenging to stay up to date with the latest versions. By taking online courses, you can learn new versions, brush up on a new techniques, or dive into brand new skills without making a significant financial commitment.
Most formal training costs money, but you might be surprised by the number of online training websites that are either free or have a minimal monthly fee. YouTube, for example, is a free resource with a wide range of video content, including demonstrations and how-to videos. A few online training sites to check out include:
Your ability to network can be just as important as your skills and knowledge. Networking allows you to expand your thinking while exchanging ideas with others. Speaking with those already in the industry or field you're looking to pursue can provide unique insights to help you grow. Whether it's learning the responsibilities of a role, the resources they use, or even hearing about their personal experience, the value is limitless. Networking events are also a great way to stay on top of current trends and innovations in the industry. Knowing what's in the works for your industry can help you set your goals and create your growth plans. Once you make those connections, stay in touch with them! You never know who you will meet and what doors they may be able to open for you.
It's also be beneficial to find a mentor. A mentor can provide a wealth of information regarding their experiences, how they climbed the professional ladder to their position, and make recommendations for your success. They can also help you pick up the skills and knowledge needed in the trade quicker than if you tried doing it on your own. Having a mentor can also be a valuable networking connection and as a reference.
If you're currently employed, check out your benefits package! Most companies offer some form of training, continual education, or certification benefit to their employees. Your company may also be willing to send you to a conference to help you excel in your current role, network, and learn the latest trends and technology.
A Good Place to Start
Don't get overwhelmed when choosing how you want to invest in your professional growth! Start by taking a look at your goals and outlining which skills you could learn, where you can learn them, and who to talk to to get what you need. For example, if your goal is to find a new job, start by digging into the job description and pinpoint which skills you need to focus on in your continued learning. You can also research whether on not a specific certification is required and start working towards acquiring it.
No matter how you choose to invest in yourself, growing both personally and professionally is one of the best investments you can make for your future!
Looking for a career opportunity that encourages continued learning and professional development? TeamPeople could be the perfect fit for you. We offer a wide range of job opportunities across industries and professions, from creative to technical and everything in between. Head to our talent page to learn about the perks of pursuing your passions at TeamPeople or check out our job board to see our current list of open opportunities.