When we think of smart investments, rarely are we thinking of investments we put into ourselves as humans. But, in 2023, you may want to hold off on the stocks and shares, because investing in yourself could just be the wisest decision you’ll make all year.
In the same way that successful companies make smart choices now so that they may reap big rewards in the future, you too can begin making choices that will future-proof your success—both in your career and your personal life. We call this ‘human capital’, which encompasses things like education, training, skills and health, as well as personal traits that the world of work sees as valuable, like loyalty, punctuality and enthusiasm.
It can feel a bit cold and calculated at first, seeing human beings as ‘capital’. But in reality, the concept of human capital in 2023 is much more rewarding for the actual humans involved than it once was. As more and more companies take a people-first approach to business (i.e. putting the needs and comforts of employees above profits) so too has the concept of human capital shifted.
These days, the choices you make that raise your own stock can be ones that benefit your mental health, creativity and work-life balance. After all, happy employees tend to make better employees. Diane Ring, interim dean and professor of law at Boston College, says that there are three main categories for growth when thinking about our own human capital: professional, personal and health.
Like actual stocks, you don’t want to pour too much into any one area. You don’t want your life’s focus to be solely on earning money, or your personal life would plummet. Similarly, if all you ever focus on is having a fruitful social life - eating and drinking with friends, for example - your overall health might not be so great. It’s all about finding balance, ensuring that you’re pouring a little into each pot, and making careful choices that turn you into a truly valuable asset.
The crucial thing to remember about the concept of human capital is that it is not a quick fix. While you can make instant choices that could help your career or social life - buying a new suit for an interview or offering to get someone’s coffee for them - it’s better and more strategic to think long-term. How might you accumulate a decent pension pot? How long until you have enough to invest in property? How can you broaden your skillset so that you can have a career that you’re truly passionate about, rather than one that simply pays the bills?
If you have these kinds of goals in mind, as well as clear stepping stones to get there, those rewards might not drop into your lap in the next few months (or even years!) but when they do, you’ll be glad you had the patience and planning to do so.
At Remotify, we’re passionate about the power of human capital. We know that happy employees and leaders are better employees and leaders. Whether it’s finding your dream industry, restoring your work-life balance or giving you the freedom to work anywhere, we can help you to transform your career or company for the better. Want to find out how? Get in touch with us today.