If you want to get ahead in life you need to diversify yourself like you would an investment portfolio.
When investing it’s never a safe decision to put all your money into one single stock. This is because investing brings with it some inherent risk and the same can be said for a career path. If you only have one dimension to your resume then you are taking a risk that the employment market will always be looking for what you have to offer. The more broad your knowledge, training and experience, the better you will survive a significant employment loss. You will also better capable at changing career paths on your terms, vice someone else’s.
Currently my professional focus is the range of methods surrounding protecting VIPs, but that hasn’t always been the case. About 20+ years ago I started down the path of pursuing a career in Law Enforcement and Policing. This put me deep in the frontline security industry as it afforded great opportunities to gain some urban battlefield experience. I also combined my efforts by working down a parallel but distinct path as an Army Reservist, which opened other doors and opportunities.
Now fast forward twenty years and my current path is broad and varied. I have many opportunities and an excellent buffer should my career take an unexpected turn. I can easily change law enforcement employers, enter the world of corporate security or industry safety, pursue a position in Emergency Management or venture down some other similar field of protection. Additionally, because I have been a passionate entrepreneur for a very long time, a business administrator and a diversified investor, I can subsequently enter some realm of business management should I choose to or need to.
Of course, this ease of transition or potential hasn’t always been the case. For years I was focused on a single path and fought tooth and nail for every job I could get. It wasn’t until several years ago that I realized that my life long, seemingly random decisions, were actually a collective of very diverse but focused opportunities for growth. Coincidentally something I’ve also experienced with my investment portfolio (although that hasn’t paid off as nicely, so maybe I’m just talking out of my a$#).
As I sum up this post, I will leave you with this final piece of advice.
Invest in yourself like you would your money, as you are your greatest asset. Seek to diversify your knowledge, training and experience in whatever path you choose or wander down and you will greatly increase your chances of success. But much like any investment portfolio worth it’s salt, you also need to give it time. That opportunity you take tomorrow or next week, may not pay off until months or years down the road. If you continue to invest in yourself, your lifetime accumulation of diverse opportunities can only lead to great dividends. And if you stumble along the way, learn from it and move on. Remember, investing in yourself has risk but only through risk can you get reward.
Wednesday Wisdom is regular post where I share advice and tips on a variety of different topics. They are based on my experiences and observations and applicable in the moment. Please feel free to take them with a grain of salt. I have learned a lot over the years and continue to strive for more everyday. The lessons I’ve learned thus far are applicable now. Tomorrow that may not always be the case. Let’s learn and grow together. Use the comments below to add your value to this experience.
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