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The Honest Truth About Investing in Your Career

Updated: Apr 22, 2022

We believe that your health and career go hand in hand. That's why we've partnered with @careerbenders to help you create a healthy and productive life. Enjoy this guest post from Angie Callen, the Founder and Principal of Career Benders, Inc.

The health and wellness industry in America is booming. This $50B market continues to grow as we become increasingly more aware of our physical and mental health. I'm sure you've picked up some vitamins, popped a supplement, or passed on a brownie in recent weeks, all in an effort to optimize and maintain your health, but…

· What have you done to invest in your career health?

The average American spends 2,085 hours working each year. According to this report by Gettysburg College, we spend 30% of our lives – 90,000 hours on average – working, which is clearly more hours than you could ever spend in a gym, therapy, or on meal prep.

From 401ks to fashion, vacations, and personal trainers, we're great at shelling out cash for things that have a clear return on our physical and mental health while overlooking what is likely the single biggest contributor to overall well-being: career health.

Why You Should Invest in Your Career Health

If we spend more time at work than any other activity or area of life – including sleeping – why are we so reluctant to invest in our career health?

Whether you have an emotional barrier, you're naïve to the fact that career well-being resources exist, or you just don't think anything will change, investing in your career is a key aspect of self-care, a movement we're all very focused on today.

If the 2,000+ hours a year you spend in the office isn't enough to convince you how crucial investment in your career health is, then here are some stats from our friends at the International Coaching Federation (IFC), to back up my claims:

Career Health Statistics

· 80% of clients who experience career coaching report improved self-confidence.

· 73% of those who invest in career well-being via professional development also indicate an improvement in their relationships.

· 72% report that their communication skills have elevated.

· 67% of coached clients stated that their work-life balance improved.

From improved work performance – which leads to greater earning potential, greater productivity, better leadership skills, and improved time management, investing in your career health can have some serious impacts. Better yet, this stuff goes beyond life and mindset…and straight to your wallet!

In summary, here are just a few of the benefits that await when you invest in your career health.

· Improved work performance

· Greater earning potential

· Greater productivity

· Better leadership skills

· Improved time management

· Better effectiveness

Now that you're on board, let's talk about how you can invest in your career health.

How You Can Invest in Your Career

Investing in your career doesn't require a big bank account, hours of one-on-one coaching (although it helps!), or having a great leader in your workplace. There are never-ending resources out there to help you with self-paced professional development, upskilling, and career growth.

1. Read.

There are a plethora of books out there on this subject; here are a handful of our favorites.

Eat That frog by Brian Tracy

This is your resource if you're looking for practical solutions to amp up your productivity.

The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

If focusing on long-term goals and future plans is a challenge for you, this read will put it all into perspective.

Grit by Angela Duckworth

Angela is your lady for the stat-minded reader who wants proof of concept and metrics to show how we power through change.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

I love this old standby because it shines a light on how nature versus nurture can shape our thinking into abundance or scarcity. Awareness helps turn it around!

The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career Job and Waking Up Excited for Work Every Day by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew

Unlike previous generations, we're constantly changing and looking for new opportunities, and this book covers the "new" rules of engagement when it comes to career planning in the modern age.

Here's our complete list of book recommendations if you're a book worm and want some additional reading.

2. Take an online course.

Just because you've finished school doesn't mean you're done learning or taking courses. Life is full of learning, and there are many great platforms to do so.

Try Udemy for upskilling or skill-building, or even a Job Search Course that would help you identify your keywords, clarity, and secrets of the job market today.

3. Mentor someone at work.

Regardless of your level, you can always mentor someone. Whether you're a manager mentoring a team of mid-level staff, or a more junior person, there's usually an intern around who could be developed.

Growing others helps you grow as a professional. The best part? You reap what you sow!

4. Work with a coach or professional resume writer.

Yep, this is the pricey (and self-serving, ha) suggestion, but sometimes you just need to get out of your head. An objective perspective can be huge in helping you see blind spots and grow beyond what you think you're capable of.

Career coaching can help you develop a career path, become a better leader, understand your worth in the market, overcome past career situations, keep you accountable, negotiate a better salary, and the list goes on.

5. Receive a Weekly Reminder of Ideas on How to Have a Better Workweek.

Combat the Sunday Scaries with our weekly edition of seven ways to have a better work week. Receive the Sunday Seven!

Whether the investment is time, money, or a little of each, there are options galore when it comes to investing in your career. New to the world of professional development? Start small. Buy a book you normally wouldn't read, take a $12 Udemy course, or book a free strategy session to understand what coaching could do for your career health.

Results of Investing in Your Career

· Career satisfaction.

· More meaning and purpose.

· Less likely to dread Mondays.

· Realize you may need to make a change.

· Stronger confidence in what you do. Beat the imposter syndrome!

· More money, better work-life balance, and improved overall well-being!


Here are a few examples of real professionals who chose to invest in their careers.

Kathryn P. shares her story of a career change and the benefit of investing in a coach to walk her through the process.

"After starting a new job in early 2020 that was not the right fit for me for a variety of reasons, I quit my job during the pandemic before it was the cool thing to do. [My career coach] was truly a lifesaver as she guided me through a very overwhelming process of rethinking my career path and forging ahead.

In addition to helping me put my best self forward in terms of a major (and much needed) resume overhaul and interview coaching, [my career coach] was an invaluable support during that time. She stuck with me as I continued my job search, well after our "final session" had been scheduled.

Ultimately, I received two simultaneous job offers -- either of which alone I would have been delighted to receive -- but one of which I discovered was the dream job I had been searching for for years without even knowing it existed.

[My career coach] managed to motivate me, encourage me, and brighten my mood whenever I started second-guessing myself or got discouraged by the state of the job market. One of my favorite things about her coaching style is that her strong sense of optimism always remains anchored in pragmatism.

There was never any head-in-the-clouds type of soul-searching about my dream job. As someone who's a hard and fast realist (some might say "cynical," but I beg to differ!), this pragmatic optimism is exactly what I need to stay motivated and encouraged.

She helped me define my goals and showed me that they were indeed reachable. I am so incredibly grateful for [my career coach's] services, support, and ingenuity. She truly went above and beyond. I came in a bit distraught and very overwhelmed, and now find myself exactly where I want to be -- geographically, financially, and professionally. I cannot give enough praise."

If that wasn't enough to convince you, here's another story of investing in your career health - success stories and inspiration all around!

Melissa C. shares how her career coach helped her leave an industry she had been in for over a decade and a half to find something that brought her joy again.

"I found [my career coach] when I was looking to move on from a job and industry I'd been in for over 15 years.

I had no resume, no LinkedIn profile, and no idea what I wanted to be "when I grew up".

[My career coach] helped me with all of those things and more! She created an AMAZING resume from scratch, a cover letter template, and really spiffed up my LinkedIn profile.

When I changed directions a few months into my search, she then helped me revise everything to match my new path. She helped me navigate networking, prep for interviews, and eventually, negotiate a counteroffer for the new job I'm starting next week!

Working with [my career coach] is definitely the best investment I've ever made in myself."

Here's one last story from a real professional that invested in his career and got to see his value through a professionally written resume.

Adam H. found that his career coach helped him truly reflect himself on paper and screen.

"[My career coach] is a true professional that can give you a competitive edge against your fellow job seekers.

She took my resume from a 4 to a 10. My LinkedIn profile now truly reflects how I feel about technology and what my skills are.

I would highly recommend investing in yourself by using Angie's services. You will not be disappointed."

Moral of the Story

I could give you stats and never-ending real-life stories (because there are way more where those came from!) of professionals who chose to invest in their careers and the amazing outcomes.

But, you really won't know the benefit until you try it for yourself.

Start small. I recommend sitting down and taking time to map out your career goals. Here's a worksheet we created to help you do just that.

After gaining more clarity, this will help provide direction on ways to focus on your career health and determine how you need to invest in your career. Maybe it's something from a book, or maybe it's the accountability from a certified career coach. Perhaps it's seeking mentorship at work or taking the leap into a new position.

Whatever you choose, remember: your career makes up over one-third of your life. Your career - and overall - health depends on you!

Angie Callen is the Founder and Principal of Career Benders, Inc., a privately held company focusing on inspiring confident professionals through life-centric coaching for business and career. If you need help with an upcoming job search, resume project, business challenge, or salary negotiation, schedule a free strategy session with us. Follow Angie and Career Benders on LinkedIn.

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