I recently had a conversation with someone who was considering two different job options. They were relatively young and early in their career and so they were concerned with developing their skills in order hopefully to move up within the company in the future. With one of the job options, the person would be using skills at which they were proficient and which they enjoyed using. With the other job option, they would be using skills with which they weren’t as comfortable but that they hoped to develop. The person asked me which job opportunity I thought would be best for them and their future development.
I opined that they should take the job that they were good at and liked doing. The caveats were all things being equal, meaning the bosses and the groups were comparable, the salaries and benefits were alike, and advancement opportunities were similar between the two job opportunities. I told this person that I believed they would go farther and get more out of performing the job duties that they were good at. While it is admirable to think about working on one’s weaknesses in an effort to get better at them, I felt they would grow even more if they continued to hone those skills at which they were already good, and that their goal should be to be the best in their company at that particular skill. I also gave the person kudos for recognizing what they were good at and what they weren’t so good at. That’s better self-awareness than many people have.
Why Is This Important For Financial Planning?
Getting the most out of your career and maximizing your salary and bonus within a company is one of the most important elements of a personal or family financial plan. After all, what you make equates to what you eat and where you can live. The decisions you make about your job, as well as your performance on the job, will have financial ramifications for you as you continue to work and thereafter. Therefore, having a personal strategy about what you want to do with your job as well as where you hope to be in 5 to 10 years are very important elements with huge financial ramifications. Work can be very competitive and life is short, so you should make the best of it. Therefore, you should recognize early on what you are good at and find job opportunities that fit what you are good at.
For instance, there are people who are good at finance, people who are good at sales, and people who are creative. Typically, those aren’t the same people. People aren’t typically good at all disciplines. There are those who are good with other people, and those who aren’t. People who have poor interpersonal skills, for instance, should not take an outward-facing job, even if they think they can improve their people skills with such a job.
To use and example that is a little closer to home, there are people who are good at investment management and financial planning, and those who aren’t so good at those disciplines. If you recognize you aren’t as good with money matters and you recognize this, then you should work with a Financial Planner. Stick to those skills at which you excel, and delegate that which you aren’t as good to someone who is.
I feel like I am good at listening to other people and providing them with my perspective about things like what job opportunity they should take, but not as good at being as objective about myself in such circumstances. As a result, I have in the past sought out the perspective of others to help me make important life decisions. It has worked for me, and I believe it would work for you as well.