Three priceless gifts of your career asset

Three priceless gifts of your career asset

It’s the season when everyone is thinking about meaningful things they can give to the people around them. Here are three gifts that stem from one of your most valuable financial assets—your career.Career Asset Management

The career gift of your knowledge. Never underestimate the value of your years of accumulated knowledge. Companies rely on long-standing employees who hold a wealth of institutional knowledge in addition to the knowledge they hold about their given job or role in the organization. Institutional knowledge is like being a company historian—because you’ve been around for a while, you’re probably able to navigate company politics like a pro, likely to have great information on processes and projects that have been used in the past and you know leaders who’ve come up through the ranks. Knowledge about your job is also important and human resource departments are always looking for ways to “transfer knowledge” to up-and-coming career talent who will eventually replace retiring talent. You can share the gift of your knowledge by suggesting ways to capture it and transfer it to younger employees.

The career gift of your skills. Like knowledge, you’ve likely invested heavily in building technical skills related to your role. Through the years you may have had to call on different skills in different roles and collectively they contribute to your overall value as an employee. Each new skill you add to your toolbox adds value to your career asset and can be viewed as a gift you’ve given to yourself at some point that can then be given and shared with others.

The career gift of your experience. In financial planning, we note that past performance is not indicative of future performance; however, in the case of your career asset, it can be a great gift to offer others. Sharing stories of how you approached an important decision or how you addressed a difficult situation can truly make a difference to others. Perhaps you worked on a project years ago that shared common characteristics of a contemporary project. Sharing your experience of the highs and lows of the original could help the team anticipate potential obstacles and prevent them from delaying the project or limiting its success. Like sharing your skills and knowledge, your experience is heavily weighted when it comes to younger talent seeking to learn from the gifts of later-career members.

In this season of gifting, take time to reflect on all the gifts you can offer through your own career lifecycle. Those are gifts worth sharing that will be received with lasting gratitude.

Learn more about Career Asset Management or get a copy of Mike’s book, Career Asset Management: Getting Ahead, Staying Ahead and Using your Head to Maximize your Career Value at

Three habits for growing your career asset – (part 2)

Last month I outlined five areas regarding your career including how you can convert it to financial assets, protect it with insurance, borrow on it, enjoy it and grow it by investing in yourself. This month, I’d like to focus on the three habits for growing your career asset which is the engine for the rest of your financial success.

Historically, people worked for the same employer for decades and relied on their managers to guide them with career decisions. These arrangements are increasingly rare which shifts the burden and opportunity to each of us individually. Most people are ill-equipped for this responsibility, which is unfortunate because the consequences of a misaligned career are significant.

What can you do to enhance the value of your career? Start with taking responsibility for managing your career like you do other financial assets. While there are people available to assist, it’s your responsibility for seeking out this guidance. There are three additional habits you can use to optimize your career including benchmarking your compensation, increasing your skills through training or other professional development, and networking with peers.

Benchmarking your career simply means determining the value of your skills or job within your industry. Websites such as or can provide an estimate of what you should be earning. Other factors to consider include your past experience, location and level of education.

Speaking of education, it’s not just formal degrees that matter when it comes to excelling at your job. Other opportunities for professional development such as certifications or conferences are crucial to staying current. Older workers start to lose their value to employers not because of their past experience (which is actually very valuable) but because they neglect to stay abreast of changes in their fields.

Attending conferences or other training events also helps with the third habit of networking with peers. Too often we see people waiting until they’re in a job transition to begin reaching out for other job opportunities. The best time to develop relationships is when you’re securely in your current position as relationships take time to

Another helpful resource for networking is, which allows you to stay connected with a wide variety of contacts. Look at networking opportunities both within your current company and externally in your industry to develop the most robust connections.

Each of these strategies is outlined in further detail in my colleague, Mike Haubrich’s book “Career Asset Management.” Haubrich also provides an overview of the appropriate mindset to have when viewing your career as the engine of financial success.

As published in the Racine Journal Times | March 2, 2016

Book Review: The Start-Up of You

The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

This is a great book for anyone employed (or looking for employment) who is concerned about the changing landscape of employment. The disruptive creation of our modern economy has mandated we change the way we view and manage our careers. Reid Hoffman, one of the co-founders of LinkedIn recommends adopting the strategies of a startup entrepreneur – nimble and constantly reinventing themselves.Start up of you image Continue reading