Some people invest their time, energy, and money into a business – building it up from the bottom and watching as it grows and gets more successful, but what about thinking of yourself in the same way? When it comes to making an investment of any sort, perhaps you should put your resources into improving the business of ‘you’ first. But just what do we mean by the ‘business of you’ – and how can you best invest in yourself?
No matter where you are or what you are doing you can always work to improve yourself by learning new skills, picking up knowledge and information, or even physically through exercise. In fact, more than anything else, it is these types of improvements that we should seek out, as we can take them with us through our whole lives. It’s like learning to drive, once you have the skill mastered it is yours to take with you wherever you go.
In many ways, even your schooling was all about building and investing in the ‘business of you,’ by setting you up with knowledge, inter-personal skills, and more to get you going. You are your own brand and that brand is made up of many things, from your knowledge and your personality to what you can bring to a situation, workplace - or anywhere else for that matter!
The idea of investing in your future is a strong part of why so many young people decide to go to university. Despite the huge costs involved (many students are now expected to leave university with debts of around £50,000), many young people see university as a necessary step to a good career – the cost of the degree is all about investing in a future.
This is certainly true, but the question is whether it is a smart investment or not?
For some graduates university is indeed a good investment as they go forward to land a well-paid job and build a successful career, however you may be shocked to see the statistics for how many graduates don’t get a good return on their investment!
Of course, an investment is not just about money, but is also about time. An apprenticeship, being fully-funded, means that your financial investment is cut, but you will still be putting plenty of time and effort into it, so you need to make sure that an apprenticeship is right for you.
What do you hope to gain from an apprenticeship? What skills are you looking to get, and what career path will they open up for you? Even the most academic young people shouldn’t just disregard apprenticeships as an option either, as they are becoming an increasingly diverse route into various careers.
However, the fact is that deciding what you want to do in your career is tough for so many young people who simply aren’t yet sure what they want to do. It can feel like you are being forced to make a choice that will impact the rest of your life, but perhaps the best idea is to look at building the ‘business of you’ rather than trying to choose a single career?
If you look for things that engage and interest you, there is a better chance that you will succeed at them, while also building a foundation that you can work with and build upon. It is true that you may change your mind over time, and you never know where your life will take you, but you can always take your skills and knowledge along with you. Whether that means learning a trade, picking up some I.T. skills, or getting a university education, the key is to keep improving and re-investing in your own brand - the ‘Business of You.’