Your Career Is A Bunch Of Investments

I manage my own investments (which I'm kind of glad of considering the market).  Now you may not be up for managing your investments, but there is one you should manage – your career.

Think about what an investment is – you put money into something (stocks, land, a business), from which you expect to get benefits that are greater than the money and effort you put into it.  The benefits may not be the same (an investment of time may make money, and investment of money may yield fame, etc.), but the principle is the same – put something in that yields more.

Your entire career is a series of investments.  Indeed your life is.

The training you took cost a few thousand dollars and took a few days, but if used right it means more opportunities and more money.

The contacts you make in fandom may lead to job opportunities or related opportunities in the future (and the contacts you make at work an yield people to hang out with).

The job you took may not be the one you wanted, but it gets you skills and contacts you can use later.

The move you had to make cost money (or sanity) but gives you more opportunities as you're in a better location for your career.

You can probably imagine many other similar "investments" one can make in their career that pay off.

So, take a look at what you're doing or could do to help your career.  What are investments that can pay off?  What are wastes of time?  What activities are you up to – or not up to – that can help your career?

For that matter, how many of your fannish and geeky habits are investments?  Building that fansite taught you HTML, your editing of game reviews gave you editing skills, conventions build networking skills.  You're probably investing all sorts of time and money in fannish things that yield a great payoff – and you don't even know it.

– Steven Savage