The Most Important Investment You Can Make is in Yourself

Financial advisors do a lot of great work on behalf of clients. We help you plan for retirement, give recommendations on how to save for large expenses such as college tuition, and help you allocate your portfolios. The best advisors focus both on helping you manage these financial tasks and understanding how it can help you get the most out of life.

One area where advisors have been helping clients indirectly—but will need to do more in the future—is career guidance, planning, and reinvention.

I was listening to a podcast by Steve Sanduski who was interviewing Michael Haubrich, a financial advisor and author of the book “Career Asset Management”. Their conversation focused on how individuals need to take the time to reinvent themselves and reinvest in themselves. After listening to the podcast, I thought this would be a great topic for me to discuss on the blog.

With technological advances happening at a rapid pace, individuals are going to constantly need to reinvest in new skills and themselves in order to keep up with innovation. This becomes even more important if you believe that the future of work won’t be characterized by permanent employment, but one where many people are independent contractors working for several companies at once (hat tip

Advisors need to help clients maximize their most important asset: their ability to earn an income. Here are some basic tips that can help you start the process, leading to better career opportunities for you and potentially maximizing your income over a lifetime.

Create a LinkedIn profile

Many people are on social media, but usually just Facebook. That’s fine for sharing photos of your family but a LinkedIn profile, in my opinion, is a necessity in the new job market. This is especially true if you’re looking to make a job or career change.

A LinkedIn profile becomes your living resume and a reflection of your current job and skill status. Plus, LinkedIn is a great way to network with individuals and companies who can help you further your career or even hire you.

Here are some key things to feature on your profile and some helpful tips

  • Use a professional photo for your profile, but one that also shows your personality
  • Write a compelling summary of your skill set, including the people you serve and a vision of how you work
  • Fill out your entire profile
  • Pay for a premium subscription—it’s worth the cost for the additional networking features
  • Search for job openings and individuals you know who can introduce you to the decision makers for a potential new job
  • Write about topics you know from your work experience to demonstrate expertise or value

Set money aside for continuing education and retraining

As part of your personal budget, earmark some funds you can tap to increase your skills for a promotion in your current role or to develop new skills if you want to change careers.

Changing careers is becoming an integral part of the retirement planning process for many people. There are lots of pre-retirees who don’t want to stop working but would like to “retire” from their current job and begin something new and different.

This doesn’t necessarily mean taking classes at a university. It could mean attending industry conferences, workshops or even webinars that are available online. The key is to gain continual knowledge in order find opportunities to maximize your income while having fun.

Learn problem-solving and the art of persuasion

I firmly believe classes on problem-solving and the art of persuasion are essential if you’re going to reinvest in yourself. I tell my kids all the time, if you can learn to help people solve problems and persuade them to your point of view, you will gain skill sets that cannot be outsourced or automated (at least not yet) and can be used in just about any industry.

Many people think these skills are innate, but many experts disagree. So do I. Anyone can develop the skills to effectively problem-solve and persuade others—all it really takes is the opportunity to practice.

Regards,

Michael Sicuranza

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