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This is the true story of an old man in his 70s, a very successful and energetic coach and consultant who shared his life lessons with me. He told me as his career advice, that it dawned on him 10 years back that the best investment in life is self-investment when by chance he came across a session speaker who said that. Self-investment is about taking time to develop and refine one's skills sets. He said he regretted to have allowed many wonderful opportunities to pass and didn't care about career development, because he thought at that time those were just a waste of money; he used to spend multiple amounts of money on carefully planned vacations.
After hitting that moment of truth, he switched his mental gears and followed an intense regimen of self-development and self-investment over the last decade. He shared with me that since that time, his income has increased manifold. Although he retired, he is self-employed and has earned almost 10 times the amount he spent on self-learning, which is still ongoing.
Did you realize that since childhood we have been conditioned that our education is mainly to be paid by our parents? That even as we grow older, we get trapped in the mindset that when we get employed, it is our employer's responsibility to take care of our professional development?
This is absolutely wrong. Employers only provide training and development opportunities specific to their purposes. There is no guarantee that these trainings will be a right match for your career aspirations and goals. The best thing to do is you must allocate a certain percentage of your income, ideally 10% each year, for self-development in your own personal time.
Remember, formal education just gives you enough for a living. With continuous self-development and asking career advice, you can earn a fortune and never ever be unemployed.
Handy Hints on Career Development
• Employers only train employees according to company needs
• It is wise to allocate personal time to develop your skills sets
• By investing in self-development, you'll reach your career goals
Source: Kamran Ahmed Siddiqui, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is a Training Manager in a major Abu Dhabi Oil & Gas Company