Monday, July 24, 2006

Would people invest in you?


Here's a scary question: if you had 10 minutes to present your "career" as an investment opportunity, would people invest in your career? How much would they invest? What return would they expect?

Treating your career like a corporation is not a new idea. Brian Tracy, the super-motivational speaker and author, has been encouraging people, for the last 15 years, to treat themselves as the "CEO of their own personal services corporation."

In my own life, I've always treated myself as a free agent, working on contract (by choice) for corporations in the 90s. I only worked as a "permanent employee" for a publicly traded corporation for 7 months, after which time I promptly quit.

Back to the scary question. If nobody would invest in your career, then that is not necessarily bad news. It just tells you that your career might not be going as well as you THINK it is. There's nothing like an objective opinion to help one get rid of self-delusions.

If people won't invest in your career, don't get mad at them. Ask them "why not?", then calmly listen to what they say. Here are some stuff they might tell you:
  • "Well, you don't seem really passionate about it."
  • "You don't take charge of your professional development."
  • "Your salary hasn't been increasing over the years."
  • "I'm afraid your job is a prime target for outsourcing to India."
Once again, don't get mad at them. The truth might hurt a little, but it will help you get back on track to have a great career.