You can increase your income by increasing your career marketability, this could make you reach your personal finance goals quicker.
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I’ve felt very content with my career over the past few years. I have a good job and I am well on my way to achieve my personal finance and early-retirement goals. I’ve purposely avoided upskilling myself or completing any formal assessments of my skills as I haven’t seen the value in it.
I don’t see myself working in a corporate for too many more years and don’t exactly have aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder. Thus, my progress on my financial goals has made me very content where I am.
Upskill to reach your finance goals quicker
Something changed two weeks ago as I accepted a LinkedIn message from a recruiter. I generally don’t respond to these but something in the message caught my attention. I realized that a change of company could instantly give me a 10 – 20% increase in salary and that in turn would fast-track my goals. This got me excited and I decided to go for an interview.
The interview was a disaster though and utterly humiliating. Even though I have many years of experience, I’m lacking skills in some of the latest trends and technologies. I was also put on the spot when asked why I had not kept up with personal learning and how-come I had no new qualifications to show. Left the interview feeling somewhat old and useless. I thought then that I should just stick it out with my current employer and current financial goals.
Luckily I have come to my senses and after some reflection, I have seen how upskilling myself can fast-track my goals! I’ve looked at the job requirements from the failed interview and matched them to courses and qualifications that I need. Luckily for me, I can cover the gaps by some short courses and only 3 exams. In fact, I can add 2 qualifications to my resume with very little effort.
I have gone ahead and booked my first online exam for next month. Here’s why:
Investing in yourself is always good
Investing in yourself in terms of learning new skills or getting some formal assessment of your skills is always a good thing. Keeping up with new trends and technologies in your field of work will not only help you do your job better, but will also make you more marketable. You could negotiate an increase or even look elsewhere. Many companies will even pay for your studies.
Remember too that your skills and experience will be yours forever! You never know when your skills will open up some great opportunity for you in the future. Perhaps to consult, start a business or simply do what you do better!
You may not see yourself working in the formal sector all your life, but having skills and qualifications can open doors that are currently unimaginable.
Fast-track your personal finance goals
Whatever your personal financial goals are, the only ways to achieve them quicker are to earn more or spend less. By upskilling yourself you are working on increasing your income and depending on the potential increase, this could really make your goals become reality a lot quicker than planned for.
Where to start?
1. Identify skills you are lacking
Have a look at job sites in your field and see if there are any skills or qualifications that you are missing. Perhaps there are new technologies, software systems or research areas where you are lacking.
2. Do some calculations
Calculate the cost in terms of time, money and energy that it will take to gain the missing skills. Make an informed decision as to whether it will be worth your while. It may not be right now, and that is fine, but don’t assume anything before doing the calculations.
3. Do it
The best time to start is right away! If you feel excited and motivated to do something, then do it now! Find a course or assessment that you can book. Do your enquiries and make a booking as soon as possible! Once you have paid money towards something you will be far more motivated to follow through.
Reassess your skills every so often and make sure that you are making the best use of your time! Whatever it is that you do in order to earn a living, are you earning the best you can right now and can you fast-track your goals?
Life is definitely not about making the most money, but if there is a relatively easy path that will help you reach your personal finance goals quicker, then you should investigate it.
Some updates to this….
A lot has happened since writing this post.
Firstly, I wrote some technical exams and earned myself some industry certifications. This was rather easy for me as I actually had the knowledge and experience already. I also found a new job. It paid less but made sense to me. And, I have earned several more certifications since.
I’m now seeing the fruit of my efforts and am now on the path to achieve my finance goals quicker than ever expected.