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Thinking About Your Career as an Investment

This is a guest article by Howie Bick

Looking at your career as an investment can help you to better understand and make better decisions about which paths you want to pursue, and the career or position that works for you.

Your career is something that has the potential to affect many different areas of your life, and help you achieve or accomplish what you’re looking for. Whether it’s the work you’re looking to do, the lifestyle you’re looking to live, the accomplishments or achievements you’re looking to achieve, or the money you’re looking to make, the career you decide to pursue has an effect a variety of different variables that affect the lifestyle and the life you live.

Each career path comes with various positives and negatives, involving the commute, the hourly commitment, and the industry or company structure. By thinking about your career as an investment, you can analyze the different factors each career, position, or company offer you, and decide which path or option best suits what you’re looking for, and help you get to where you want to go.

Keeping in mind the industry you plan to work in, the company you’re looking to work for, and the type of path you may be pursuing, can help you better evaluate the positives and negatives each career, each position, and each career path offer you.

The industry you choose to enter

One of the important elements of any career or any position, is the industry you decide to enter into. The industry you decide to pursue is important for a variety of different reasons. The industry you plan to enter, is where you’re going to be spending your time, the skills or expertise you’re going to be learning, and the path or direction you’ll be headed in.

In industries where there is lots of growth, and lots of opportunity, the career or path is going to be one where the personnel experience that growth and opportunity as well. That might mean a wider array of tasks, more of an opportunity to rise up the ranks, to pursue or explore areas of the business you’re interested in, and also the strength and stability of the career you decide to choose.

It’s important to consider where the industry you decide on is heading, whether the types of skills and experience you’re gaining is going to be valuable in the future, and how the industry plans to evolve or adapt over time with any new changes or developments. Industries that are going through contractions, or seeing their businesses decline, impact everyone within that industry, from a low-level person, to a high-level person.

Choosing an industry or a position where you’re going to be entering into a growing, expanding, and poised to do well in the future can be beneficial when trying to analyze and evaluate the different industries, positions, and company’s available.

The time, energy, effort, and work

Whenever you decide on a particular industry or position, part of what you’re doing is investing the time, energy, effort, and work you have into that industry.

Ultimately, besides the money you make, you’re gaining experience, learning skills, and obtaining knowledge for yourself, and for your future. Considering all the time and effort you exert into your position, your company, and your career, you’re investing into that industry, into that company, into that path, and into that company. You might be receiving a salary or an income from it, but you’re also investing into your time, energy, and effort into it as well.

Each task, each day, each assignment, and each project, is in essence a form of investing into your career. Seeing how when someone invests their money into something, they consider the health of the company or investment, the future or direction it may be going in, any major risk factors or elements, or anything that may affect the success or performance of that investment.

Your time, energy, work, and effort in your career or position is the same. Even though you may not be investing money directly into your position or company, you are investing within in a capacity. The skills, knowledge, and experience you’re gaining, may become outdated, or worth less in the future, or make it tougher for you to use the experience or skills you have to find another position or career. The time, energy, work, and effort you invest into your career is an investment in and of itself.

The path or track you're on

One of the elements to any career or any position is the track or path you’re on. Each industry or company has a particular progression from the entry-level position, all the way up to the senior or c level executives.

The track a particular position or career puts you on, is important to consider when you’re trying to decide if it’s worth investing the time and energy to getting there, and if you feel that is possible to get there.

When you select a particular position or career, you’re investing into that position or career to help you get to where you want to go, and to help you put yourself on the projectory or the path you’re looking for. Taking the time to analyze and evaluate whether a particular position or career might lead to or help you get to the position you’re looking for, or the career you want can help you decide on whether it could be worth your time to pursue, or to keep looking at or for other options.

The earning potential or capability

The position or career you choose, is one of the main elements and paths to achieve the type of earning potential or capability you’re looking for.

Part of the elements of any career, is the amount of money you can make, or the amount of money you can make. Each career and each position come with different types of salaries, bonuses, or commission structures, that play a role in the type of earning capability or potential that you have.

Part of what you’re doing when you choose an industry or a company to work for, is investing into that company, industry, or path to help you produce or get closer to the type of earning potential or capability you’re looking for. Evaluating whether a particular position or a particular career might get you the type of salary or earnings you want, is important when you’re trying to decide if a career or position is right for you.

Ultimately, you’re investing into that avenue to help you generate the income or money you’re looking to make.

Conclusion

Analyzing your career like an investment, can help you to understand the different benefits, the different advantages, and the different disadvantages each one offers you.

Gathering all the information, evaluating the different likelihoods or probabilities of getting what you’re looking for, and understanding the different dynamics or paths available to you, is something that investors do when it comes to investing, that you can also do when you’re deciding on which career and position you’re going to pursue.

Considering the direction, the industry you’re pursuing, or the industry you’re entering into, is important to factor into the skills you’re learning, the strength and stability of the position you have, and the value of the experience you’re gaining.

The time, energy, work, and effort you do within your career, is another way you’re investing into your position, or company, even if you’re getting paid for it. The path you decide to pursue is an important element of the investments you make and the returns you reap from the career or position you have.

The career or position you choose, is one of the main investments you’ll make in trying to produce or generate the type of earnings potential or capability you’re looking for. Part of the financial analyst job description is to evaluate and analyze the different investments, returns, and decisions a company makes, but applying those principals and fundamentals to the career you choose, and the position you select, can help you to make the best possible decision.

Howie Bick

Howie Bick is the founder of The Analyst Handbook. The Analyst Handbook is a collection of 16 guides created to help current and aspiring Analysts advance their careers. Prior to founding The Analyst Handbook, Howie was a financial analyst.

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Last updated: 11 Sep 2020

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