The featured image was taken in the spring of 1991 at my second “real” job. I was sixteen years old.
Investing in yourself—in your success, financial security, and happiness—is perhaps the surest way to achieve an optimal sense of worth. This is the thesis that will emerge as I develop the post.
Since I started working at the age of fifteen, I have had thirty-two (32) jobs. That number does not include the multiple odd jobs I picked up every so often to earn extra bucks. My career path shows a distinct pattern of job-hopping, which has its basis in moving out of state or country on the average of every three years.
It would seem that at age forty-two, one would be settled in an occupation counting down the years until retirement. But nope, not me. The way I look at my career path is that I’ve had over thirty-two opportunities to figure out what I’d love to be doing for the rest of my life. While I did not particularly enjoy most of those jobs, I learned invaluable lessons that have undoubtedly prepared me to move from employer dependency to being financially self-sufficient.
Although I do not live my life looking backward, if I had an opportunity for a career do-over, I would not work for anyone, which is the first lesson I’d like to expound on.
For twenty-seven years (age 15-42), I gave my time, energy, and effort to employers who saw me as a disposable commodity. I believe that’s the biggest mistake many people make when they settle into a career, which is to be dependent on an employer for their financial security.
Putting aside this one-sided dependent relationship, think of what I could have accomplished in twenty-seven years had I invested those years in building my own brand.
Investing in oneself is arguably the best return on investment a person can have. In an interview with Forbes, billionaire investor Warren Buffett maintained, “You’ll have a more rewarding life not only in terms of how much money you make, but how much fun you have out of life; you’ll make more friends the more interesting person you are. So go for it, invest in yourself.”
We will continue the topic of Investing in Yourself in an upcoming post titled: How to Escape Salary Slavery.