Think Your Home is Your Biggest Asset? Think Again

The biggest asset you have is your career

Most people when asked, "What is your biggest asset?" typically answer that their home is their biggest asset.  In most cases, that answer is incorrect. Another common answer is investments they hold, which for some is true.

But what is the right answer for most people? Easy: The biggest asset you have is your career. For most, your career will generate the largest income over a lifetime.  And if your career is managed properly, you can maximize raises, bonuses, and perks for each new role you land. Thus, creating the positive financial landscape to invest in your home and maintain good investments among other things.

But many aren’t taking the necessary steps to ensure their career is the asset it needs to be.  Instead of proactively managing their careers, they are just sitting back and taking what comes next.  That leads to them feeling underutilized, underemployed and underpaid.

So, ask yourself: Are you proactively managing your career?  Or are you letting it happen to you?

If employers know you won't ask for a raise or won't position yourself to be qualified for the promotion, they won't give the raise or the promotion to you.  It's that simple.

"I can't believe they didn't give me that promotion" is a statement I hear often.  Sometimes it is a well-deserved promotion that didn't go to the right person. However, there are times where when I follow up with the, "Well, what did you do to earn the promotion?" question, I can tell the person was banking on commitment, seniority and loyalty to secure the career bump.  But the promotion went to someone who networked with the decision makers, was also committed and already demonstrated results that were needed in the new role. The person who received it earned it and didn't expect it to be given.

When you take the steps to improve your skills, network with decision makers and position yourself as the winner, you are managing your career and not passively waiting for things to happen to you.  This is how you maximize your earnings – and manage your biggest asset.

Let's think of this another way:  Think of your home. You buy a home. You do yearly maintenance. You paint every 3 to 5 years (or if you are in my house, every 10 years).  Occasionally something breaks and you fix it, so it doesn't get worse.

You might put in a new kitchen, update the bathroom or replace the siding on your house when you fix the roof. All these actions help keep, and most likely improve, the value of your home.

So treat your career as you would any other asset.  When was the last time you invested in your skills? Connected with fellow executives in your company on a personal level? Developed updated personal marketing collateral? Met new people in your field? Reached out to former colleagues and schoolmates?

These are all activities to keep the value of your career intact, and can increase the value of your career when done right.

Are you managing your career as an asset?  If so, bravo!  Seriously pat yourself on your back. And if not, you know who you are. Don't complain when you are not selected for the promotion or when the job search success doesn't come easy. Instead, look in the mirror. And know that person looking back at you can change and put your career in management mode at any time.

You are worth it. Go get what you deserve. If you don't take care of you, no one else will.

Categories: Human Resources