Career

The One Thing You Should Invest In That Will Greatly Boost Your Income Potential

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Jeff Cuellar

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Money and success aren’t everything right? Well, that’s only true for two types of people – those who worked hard enough to achieve both, and those who grew up privileged enough to get a hard start towards attaining both.

The reality of living in Singapore is that most of us have to work incredibly hard to get even the smallest rewards – such as a 5% raise, promotion, or even a simple word of thanks.

We’re all working our asses off to earn a little more each year, save up more each year, and (hopefully) invest more each year towards eventual retirement.

However, there’s one investment that can help you achieve more money and success faster than any blue chip on the market – yourself.

 

Why Aren’t You Investing in Your Most Powerful Asset?

No, I’m not joking. You really should invest more in yourself – that is, your professional development. Think about it, the most important asset you possess that can directly impact your earning potential and future success is YOU.

You should invest in improving your skills, knowledge, and experience. And like most other investments, the sooner you start, the bigger the rewards will be down the road.

Remember – you can’t work forever. The number of years you can work is limited to 30-45 years, depending on your profession.  That might sounds like a long time, but it really isn’t.

So start now by investing a portion of your annual salary towards accelerating your professional development.

 

How Much Should You Invest Each Year?

This is a question that has no straight answer. Your profession, financial liabilities, and family obligations ALL factor into how much you can set aside towards personal “investment.”

However, at the very least, you should invest about 2%-5% of your annual salary into your professional development.

So if you’re making $36,000 a year, here’s how that’ll stack up:

  • 2% = $60 monthly/ $720 annually
  • 3% = $90 monthly/ $1,080 annually
  • 4% = $120 monthly/ $1,440 annually
  • 5% = $150 monthly/ $1,800 annually

Believe it or not, even $60 a month is enough to make a difference in your professional development.

Of course, the more you invest in yourself, the greater the “return” will be – but unlike most investments that require no action on your part, investing in yourself will require both money AND hard work.

If you think the monthly cost to invest in yourself is too steep – you might want to read our article on how to cut your monthly expenses so you CAN free up the cash to do so.

 

What Should You Invest in Each Year?

If you’re lucky enough to have an employer that looks after your professional development and constantly supplies you with the latest skills because it wants to groom you for promotion – that’s great!

However, for the 95% of us who aren’t working for such employers, the reality is that professional development isn’t something that a company is willing to spend on. That means the responsibility for your career progression fall on… you.

So instead of waiting or hoping for your employer to invest in your professional development, take the initiative and do it yourself!

Here are 3 ways you can invest in your skills and knowledge:

  1. Hone Your Strengths: Some people know their key strengths are early in life while others discover their key strengths after a few years in the working world. Regardless of which category you’re in, you absolutely must hone your strengths. You can do this by investing in courses or seminars that’ll help you enhance your key strengths.
  1. Always Be Learning: Never assume that you know everything there is to know about your job or industry. The truth is that today’s knowledge is tomorrow’s old news. You should always be learning. If there’s a new book or online industry training platform out there that’ll give you the knowledge you need to get ahead of the competition, invest in it.
  1. Build Positive Connections: Learning can come from plenty of places such as books, courses, and your workplace mistakes. However, you can develop your professional skills and knowledge by building positive connections with senior colleagues, other professionals in your field, and best of all – a mentor who can help you chart a successful career path.

If you’re on a seriously tight budget and can’t afford to invest a whole lot into your professional development, take time to read our article on 3 Ways to Upgrade Your Professional Skills without Setting Foot in a Classroom.

How much do you invest in your professional development every year? Share your experience with us on Facebook! For even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!

 

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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.