Financial planning is a crucial aspect of life. Most people seek help from financial planners so that they can safeguard their assets. The majority of the issues that people present to financial planners revolve around budgeting, risk management, retirement planning, savings, and investments. These are the main areas that their spheres of interests tend to cover. However, most people tend to forget another important area that helps them accomplish a lot financially.
When it comes to insurance, people think about their cars, homes, investments, and health. They never really think about their job. Your career is probably your biggest personal asset. Have you ever stopped and wondered what would happen if you lost your job? Your financial state would be in a critical condition, especially if your job is your only source of income. If financial plans are all reliant on your career, you will accomplish nothing without your job. This is why it is important to take a career inventory.
A career being your sole means of an income means everything. If you have a mortgage to pay every month, the money comes from your paycheck. You might have recently acquired a car which your job is still paying for. If you by any chance you lose your job, you're likely to lose the car. The same applies to your health insurance, if your employer covers it, it will be gone as soon you are sent packing. People say that there is no guaranteed job security, but as much as that is true, it would help to know what your future career prospects look like and decide whether there is a need to change it or invest more in it.
Factors to consider while taking a career inventory
Sensitive changes within your industry should raise an eyebrow. Some of these changes include unemployment statistics which give a clear picture of whether your industry is growing or diminishing. Technological advancements are also good indicators. If jobs within your career are easily becoming automated, then soon, you may not be needed. In short, seek to understand how your industry is evolving and who the major players are to help you determine how secure your career is.
Skill sets are paramount to every career. Your skills need to strongly match with your job. You may have had the most sought after skills some years back, but are they still hot? If they are and you are still building a wealth of experience, chances are your future financial situation is safe. If not, you should invest resources and time towards sharpening and upgrading your skill set.
Being relevant in a career is not the same as being valuable. Try and figure out which skills can help you stand out. It could be learning a new language or acquiring knowledge on emerging technology issues that are relevant to your industry. Always look for ways to increase your value.
Building a network
If you intend to remain in your career for decades, it's imperative that you build networks to strengthen your position. Build and cultivate new professional relationships that could open up opportunities for mutual benefits, and don't settle in a comfort zone. Take an initiative to get out there and meet your counterparts.
Competition and players
It helps to know what your competitors are currently doing. Observe their direction of growth to see where your industry is going. Knowing the key players in your industry is important. Apart from the same old players, which new players are gaining entry to your industry? Are the current players shifting their focus to another industry? This will help you know whether your industry is growing or stalling. In case you are ambitious and want to advance your career by taking another role in a similar company, you will know where to go looking.
It is easy to get blinded by the financial progress that you have made throughout your career. However, you should not disregard your career whatsoever. It is the anchor to your financial prosperity. Therefore, it is upon you to monitor the trends and act accordingly. Do everything within your power to continue growing in your career. Focus on excelling because, after all, isn’t your career one of the biggest investments in your life?