When I first experienced collective lay-offs in a multinational company, I was shocked. There is no security, no stability in this world. At the age of 50, I could become redundant and useless. It sounds bitter, but it might happen to anybody one day. That`s life.
Plenty of questions started floating in my head. How can I create more stability for myself? Are there ways how I can stop counting on my employer and still stay motivated at work? Where to focus?
I thought that I could invest in areas that nobody would take away from me. Areas that I could easily transfer to another company or to create my own business.
My best investment nine years ago was to take a Full-time International MBA. I learned how to cope with business problems without having any past experience. I changed my mindset and became more open to the teamwork, people`s differences and cultural diversity.
Tip: Think about how to you could further increase your education and professional expertise. Continue taking courses that interest you and expand your current horizons.
Ability to use different software, tools, techniques that help me do better and faster work. I wish I did not have to write this one, but unfortunately, I can not change the world we are living in.
Tip: Stay open to new technologies and consider them as a help rather than a burden. Find your own style how to stay updated – a tech magazine, a geek friend, get involved in a tech start-up as an advisor.
Having the right self-management is necessary to develop any soft skill, but also to stay motivated when there is no external motivation, keep advancing with my own projects, stay focused and organized even if the times are challenging, not to waste my time.
Tip: Set yourself objectives (smaller, bigger, short-term, longer-term) and start noticing what makes you demotivated or vice versa motivated, what helps you persevere and what makes you give up too soon.
Ability to communicate and interact with people who are different than me, who have a different culture, different style of communication and a different mindset. Ability to incorporate this diversity increases my own ability to come up with more interesting solutions.
Tip: Mingle with people that are different than you, observe them, exchange your thoughts, enjoy the process of sharing ideas. Connecting to expat groups is a great way to find such people.
Some people would call it a professional network, but it sounds a bit impersonal. I prefer to say friendships because nurturing relationships requires effort. And it is less effort for me to stay in contact with people who are interesting for me, whom I like and with whom I enjoy exchanging views and opinions.
Tip: Find your routine how to catch up with your friends, where to meet them and how to stay in contact if distance is a problem.
What do you consider as your best career investments?