No one will ever care more about your career [or life] than you should do.
This is from one of my career management programmes. It is designed to remind people of the potential problems that arise when we take our eye off the career ball and allow the priorities of others to take over. Problems such as stress, redundancy or the growing realisation that you hate your job/manager/commute, etc.
If we’re honest most of us probably think that these potential problems don’t or won’t apply to us as we’re in tune with our desires and clued-in about managing our careers. But are we really? This topic comes up in my work again and again and causes real, painful difficulty for so many. Problems such as these faced by three real current clients*:
Regardless how great your manager may be, and how wonderful the company is, there will always be a tension between their needs and yours. Ideally we aim to keep thereasonable needs of both in balance. It is likely that your employer is fairly good at having their needs met. But how good are you at having your needs met? Do you even know what they are?
If you’re unsure, you may like to take some quiet time to reflect and ask yourself:
You can choose to take back control and ownership. Do not allow that focus, or dependency, to shift to your employer. Keep your needs and desires in mind.
What other great questions could you be asking?
If you’re like the average UK working adult, each month you spend approximately:
£50 at the hairdresser
£200 on clothes, shoes and accessories
£400 per month on leisure and recreation
…and possibly £60 on gym membership
So on average £710 on ‘personal maintenance’ and fun things. The bulk of your income is probably going on mortgage/rent, food, transport and other essentials like that. So taken as a proportion, the ‘fun’ expenditure is probably the smaller chunk of your earnings.
In comparison, how much do you invest in your career in the average month? By which I mean spending money on professional books, training courses and coaching in order to achieve success and fulfilment at work (and possibly also a bigger income)?
Here are 6 reasons why you shouldn’t spend a penny:
Of course, if those reasons don’t apply to you maybe you should re-examine those spending priorities and take control of your career direction and success.
A good professional skills book will probably set you back no more than £20 while a good private coaching programme will probably cost you less than half what you’re spending on entertainment a month. Like all good investments you’ll get out more than you put in.
Are you worth it?