Like many adults, you may have heard: “You can do this by yourself.” “Don’t pay anyone to help you.” “Companies should pay fees to find you.” “You don’t need any help.”
Our society expects you to know how to get good jobs on your own, but nobody ever shows you how!
The usual procedure in modern life is to use experts when we can. Think about it. You go to a dentist to care for your teeth, an optometrist to care for your eyes or a doctor to care for the rest of your body. You see an accountant to handle your taxes, a lawyer to handle your legal matters, a mechanic to fix your car. You go to teachers to learn history, calculus, art, writing, dancing, science, etc.
You even learned how to do your present job from people who had done it before you. There is no vital realm of life where you don’t enlist the help of experts.
You can do-it-your-self, but only with small projects that can withstand an amateur. Pay a mechanic? You might do an oil change, but not an overhaul. Pay a lawyer? You might do a will, but not an estate plan. Pay a doctor? You’ll handle a headache, but not pneumonia. We get expert help on the big projects because the cost to do it yourself is too high.
Why, then, does society encourage do-it-yourself career management? Compared to other investments, your career is worth a hundred times as much! People balk at spending money on the care and feeding of the goose that lays the golden egg!
This makes no economic sense! If you earn $65,000 a year, you’re talking about more than $3 million in earnings over a career.
The right job and proper salary negotiation can net 10 to 15 percent more than a weak alternative. Over 3.5 years, that’s 35 to 60 percent of a year’s salary you could lose a few minutes of salary negotiation.
If you’re like most workers, you are undervaluing and undermining your career by hoping it will take care of itself. You assume that all you have to do is stumble onto the right openings and it will all fit together for you. You may have a picture of how you can be promoted, but no clear plan of action to get there.
Your investment in expert help can pay for itself. This is an investment in the very source of your 1-to-5-million-dollar life earnings.
You owe it to yourself to put your career investment in perspective. First, compare it to your investment in school, which is an indirect investment in your career. School can cost tens of thousand dollars but does not guarantee a job. [Note: Many colleges and universities have excellent career centres, take advantage of them!]
You not only invest money in school to get a degree, you also lose the earnings you could have had over those school years. After spending thousand dollars to get a degree, how much time, energy, and money do you invest to make sure that build your career? If you had a four-hundred-thousand-dollar home, you’d protect it. How do you protect your career investment?
Compare a career investment to other investments such as a car, vacation, mortgage, insurance, pets, etc. Please take some time to study the table below.
Comparative Perspective on Career Investment
How many people do you know who own a pet, and how many have a career consultant? Notice that people are more willing to put three thousand dollars into pet care than into getting the help they need to derive the most satisfaction out of this single most important—and potentially, most lucrative—aspect of their lives, the one thing that makes all other investments possible in the first place!
“Money,” they say, “doesn’t grow on trees.” So where does it come from? Your career! Your career is a money tree of a kind; if you water and fertilize it, you’ll reap huge rewards. If you expect it to grow and prosper without planning and attention, it may “dead end” you.
I hope you’ve seen the light and the logic of investing in expert help to reap a ten-to-hundred-time return on your investment. So now that you’ve decided not to do it alone, exactly what kind of support should you get?
You want someone who knows how careers develop today, and how jobs are created. Résumé services that will help you mass e-mail résumés like confetti are not career management consultants and coaches.
You want someone who will stick with you throughout the day-to-day challenges that will arise in your search. A wind-up-and-you’re-out-there-on-your-own-again approach is useless. The real value of consultation is persistent problem solving: handling the unexpected, firm-but-kind accountability and applying proven principles to the unique circumstances of your job or career campaign daily.
You want someone who’s been around for a while. There is no substitute for experience.
You want someone who will sit down with you and actually listen to what your goals and desires are in the work world and who will deal personally with your situation, not people who will indiscriminately throw a generic-services package at everyone they meet.
Making a career move alone will never allow you get outside your own limiting beliefs and blind spots.
It’s foolish to ignore professional help in the one area that is so critical to your entire well-being and security. Your career is a multi-million dollar asset that should be protected and cared for with utmost attention.
Need Career Help?
I provide innovative solutions to help people make effective career moves. I welcome you to be a part of the growing body of men and women who are determined to take control of their lives. You are invited to contact me for a “Career Action Plan” session to help you make your next move.
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