Start Investing In You

“If you work on yourself and you get everything in line that you need, you continue to learn, build yourself, that other stuff follows when you network and you find those right people that are really willing to reach back and help you up.”

-Katie Sowers

“Remembering the fact that “every job is temporary,” you cannot afford to languish in any position for long without taking some proactive steps toward developing yourself. (Work It Daily)” It can feel like everyone else has more time than you to work harder and gain new skills, but maybe those are the people who MAKE the time. Don’t be afraid to take time off to invest in yourself, “life won’t end if you’re off the grid for a day or two. In fact, it could be a new beginning.(Forbes)”

Grow Individually

If you don’t know where to start, hiring a professional development coach could be the best place. Coaches are great at brainstorming, providing objective advice, and keeping you on track. “Having a coach act as an accountability partner helps to make us keep our commitments.(Inc)” Check out the link for more ways an executive coach can make a difference for you.

While coaches can be a great asset, they can also be pricey. If getting a coach just isn’t in your budget right now, look to other low or no cost options for motivation and inspiration. “Whether you want to snag a promotion, switch careers, or take a side hustle full time, there’s a podcast out there to help.(NBC News)” I may be a bit biased here, but podcasts can be great for hearing others stories and learning how they achieved their goals. Find a podcast, book, or audio book on your job market to gain added perspective.

 Grow as a Group

Women’s retreats have become very popular in the last few years. Retreats offer well spent time with other female business leaders, great speakers, and often a little relaxation. “A wellness retreat can act as an escape but also a time of community and personal and/or professional development. (Mind Body Green)” Mind Body Green has created a how-to for organizing your own retreat. Having control of the details and the guests can mean getting the most out of your retreat.

If organizing or participating in a retreat isn’t your thing, try a conference. Conferences are often just part of the job in many fields, but there are a lot of options out there for extracurricular experience. “A great way to maximize your conference experience is to participate in some way—like being a presenter, session facilitator, or committee volunteer. (The Muse)”

 Where do you want to go?

“How can your unconventional experiences translate to marketable job skills?(Career Shift)” Career Shift has thoughts on how different educational paths, travel, and other experiences can play in your favor. Find a way to create your own unique path, set of experiences, and skills.

If you aren’t sure what step to take, think of your end goal and work backwards. If you want to be a CEO, do you know anyone who is? If not, can you read about their experiences somewhere? Does it make sense for your path to be like theirs? And, most importantly, what step can you take today to put you on your path? Breaking it down into daily, monthly, and maybe even annual goals can make it more tangible.

We all learn in different ways and it may be that none of the above options make sense for you. And that’s ok, there are a ton of options out there like, networking, toastmasters, travel, volunteering, board service, and more. Whatever it is, find the time to do it for YOU.

Nonprofit Spotlight

In Her Shoes is a Chicago based nonprofit focusing on the development of women and girls in the Chicago area. They have “professional development workshops (that) bring together, motivate, empower, and inspire women from all walks of life to promote positive professional growth.” They additionally do workshops for young girls focusing on healthy living and navigating the pressures and expectations of adolescents. Be sure to click on the link to learn more about the work they do, and if you’re in the area, how to get involved.

What are working towards this year, how can #HerStoryofSuccess help?