Top Career Investments for 2012

Source: Forbes: Top Career Investments for 2012

As you reflect upon 2011 – here are a few questions to get you started:

  1. Did you get better at your work?
  2. Did you help advance those around you?  Are you a better leader?
  3. Are you more influential?  Did you advance your organization’s goals?
  4. Did you improve your skill set and your mindset?
  5. Did your networking generate a positive ROI?
  6. Did your perspectives change about what you should be doing for a living?
  7. Did the industry you serve discover your unique talent?
  8. Were you asked to give a keynote and/or contribute to a blog?
  9. Did you “package yourself (your brand)” better for success?
  10. Are you making more money?  Do you feel more successful and significant?

If you didn’t answer Yes to at least 8 or more of these questions, consider the following for 2012:

  1. Develop Smaller Networks of Influential People
  2. Improve your speaking and negotiating skills (Speaking and writing represent two of the most important skills for career success.    Mastering the art of communication is more important than ever at a time when trust and relationship building is at a premium.
  3. Develop your wealth in resources (creating wealth that authentic relationships can bring)
  4. Play a more active role in the industry you serve (Be active, contribute and earn respect from your peers.  Down the road they may help your career.)
  5. Evaluate your own progress each month (write your career goals down and steps needed to get there.  Evaluate outcomes each month.  Get feedback from peers and boss.  Hire a coach)
In the end, you’ll always know if you are making progress and if your investments are paying off.  Others can have an opinion, but your gut will tell you if you are making the right investment decisions.   Too often people focus on what others want them to be rather than following their own passions.  2012 will be your year if you focus, invest, and stick to your plan.
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  1. I agree the art of public speaking is one of the biggest prerequisites for professional success. I think that most colleges fail to prepare students to speak publically. Sure they have to give a few presentations, maybe even take a class on public speaking but I do not think that they get the skills they will need to be successful in today’s marketplace. Keep in mind I am making a generalization, I am sure that there are a few schools out there doing a wonderful job. My perspective may also be a bit dated as I have not attended school in some time. I can say that the entry level folks my company is hiring do not seem to be coming in with any useful public speaking experience. I think this may be a situation where some professors may have an outdated understanding of what is needed in today’s businesses. I will step off the soapbox now. Great post.


    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I fully agree. I might also share that I’ve taken several incoming shots from readers on point #10 (“Are you making more money? Do you feel more successful and significant?”). They indicated that for most industries making more money isn’t grounded in today’s reality of no/low economic growth and total reward compensation coming in flat to way down. And secondly, more readers felt that tying one’s significance and success to making more money is terribly misplaced thinking. I agree with this feedback as well.


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