Last month I spoke about my path that led to becoming the Executive Director of the American Association of Dental Boards, a Speaker, and a Writer. As I shared, I struggled early in my career to justify expenses that I did not see being reimbursed by my employer such as tuition. I was a dedicated employee who was willing to work hard and had the motivation and drive to make a substantial difference for my employer. My employer should absorb the cost of continuing my education, right?
Nope. I was dead wrong. After all, the greatest asset you will ever manage is yourself. If we do not invest in ourselves, why would anyone else?
Sure, employers who invest in their employees will reap many benefits and are smart to do so. “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to” is one of my favorite Richard Branson quotes.
However, working in healthcare, many of us envision ourselves as employees. That was my mistake. In today’s world of social media, thinking like an owner is especially important. Every time we post, we are sending messages to our family, friends, patients, colleagues, supervisors and/or employers. Therefore, we are essentially marketing ourselves to the world and successful practitioners are finding ways to manage the social media platforms to strategically brand themselves. Furthermore, we “own” our careers, right? My more mature self now realizes a better strategy for success is investing in my own career. I shifted my perspective and consequently have obtained two Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees. I am happy to report that the return on the investment continues to pay dividends today.
What is the last investment you made in yourself? If it has been a while, I invite you to find a way to enhance your professional knowledge. Sure, money can be a barrier, but investments do not need to have price tags especially with today’s technology. Many investments can be simply made with time and effort.
For the record, we are on this journey together. In a few weeks, I am back to school pursuing my doctorate. However, investing in yourself does not necessarily mean returning to school. Although school is what investing in my career looks like for me, it may look very different for you. Another practitioner might invest in loupes, a specific CE course, a saddle stool, or write an article to submit for publication. The possibilities are only limited by you.
Contact me on Facebook and let’s continue to grow and learn from each other!