I once heard Warren Buffett state that a doctor or accountant or any type of professional will always command a portion of society’s income because of her skills. Even if there is inflation and prices go up, our skills allow us to command the same portion of society’s income. The implications of that quote are profound. We are not paid random amounts, instead there is a rhyme and reason to our compensation structures. Furthermore, we have some control over the pay we receive. The most important and impactful message I learned from this quote was to continue to develop and build my own skills strategically and to the best of my ability. The wider and deeper your skillset, the more opportunities there are for you. Instead of focusing on the money, focus on developing your skills and doing well at your job or business. As a result, the money will come in response to those skills.
Recently, I read the Schroder’s Global Investor Study titled “Are millennial investors facing a perfect storm?” which analyzed the expectations of investors, and in particular, millennial investors. I thought that some of the millennials’ expectations were extremely unrealistic and out of touch with reality. Unfortunately, having the wrong expectations when it comes to your investment returns and time horizons can seriously hurt you down the line. Although you won’t feel the effects until later in life, and often when it is too late, it is important to start planning correctly now since the impact of the decisions you make now will be magnified in the future.
There may be times in your career when you feel stuck and stagnant. You go through the same routine every day, talk to the same people every week, and create the same reports every month. You wonder if there may be a chance to get promoted, or just to try something new. In these situations, a lateral move in your company may be the right solution for you.
The first thing you need to do is to define what success means to you. This step is the most important. Success to your parents, teachers, and other people may be totally different than success to you. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and think deeply about the things that truly matter to you. Spend a few days thinking about this if necessary, since it will determine your path from this day on. Is it traveling to new places, experiencing new cultures, eating amazing food, cultivating genuine relationships, performing meaningful work, competing in your favorite sport, creating beautiful artwork or building a business from scratch?
We grow up in a world where people tell us we should be doing this, should be doing that, or we should not be doing something. Our parents, our families, our teachers, and other people that we are close to want us to live wonderful, productive lives. Many parents want their children to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, or any other high-status, well-paying profession so that they can be financially secure and well-respected. Their thinking is that these professions will be a guaranteed path to job security and wealth. Even those these professions are highly regarded, that doesn’t mean they are the right path for YOU.
Professional Development and Personal Finance Blog