One big lesson from the finance world that can help women progress their career
In the last year alone I’ve read HEAPS of finance and negotiation books – many of them written by women, for women and to help women achieve greater financial freedom – and these books are sorely needed.
The latest gender stats on wealth, pay and superannuation here in Australia, continue to be eye watering –
- Women in Australia earn 21.7% less than men (WGEA)
- In the next 12 months, men can expect to see a pay increase of 6.3% on average, while women will receive an increase of 5.2% (ADP Research Institute)
- Women aged 50 to 54 have on average 32% less super than men (KPMG)
- And 80% of women are currently retiring with insufficient superannuation savings to fund a comfortable lifestyle (The SuperGuru).
Gob-smacking – in this day and age.
Yes the system is broken. But this doesn’t mean we stop trying or playing our part.
And while I’ve been loving the financial education I’m gaining I can’t help notice that financial lessons and investment principles don’t just apply to finances, but are equally relevant to women and their careers as well.
Here is one big investment lesson to inspire you to be a little smarter about reaching higher and investing in yourself.
Because if you don’t value yourself, others won’t either.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” ~ Amelia Earhart
THE BEST TIME TO HAVE INVESTED WAS YESTERDAY, BUT THE NEXT BEST TIME IS TODAY
You might have heard this phrase and think of it as only applying to your investment portfolio and the value (or is it magic?) of compound interest. But the principle is equally as relevant to your career.
Let me paraphrase – the best time to invest in your career was yesterday, but the next best time is today.
So how does this translate?
- Instead of bemoaning the fact that you took a career break when some of your male peers were starting to accelerate, do something about it now and get back on track – don’t wait any longer. Maybe you can springboard into something better with the wisdom of maturity.
- Instead of wallowing for 6 months in negative self talk or self belief because you missed out on that big opportunity, embrace your growth mindset, leverage the experience and create another (better) opportunity (or two) today.
- Didn’t get that big raise last month in the performance appraisal discussion and you feel like you missed your chance? Don’t let that stop you. Just do the work identifying and articulating your value in language the business values and understands then head on in again and ask your boss for a raise off cycle.
– Even better, put a plan and schedule in place to regularly ask for a raise moving forward.
– And you get a gold star if you bring your boss on the journey and ask them what they need to see from you in terms of both performance and evidence in order to be eligible for a significant raise year on year moving forward. Then get started.
- Said no (or boss said no) to a coaching opportunity because finances were tight – and realise with the wisdom of hindsight that things would have gone even better with a coach and you would have reached your goal far easier? It’s not too late – reach out again to that coach and get started today!
Repeat after me – the best time to invest in yourself and your career was yesterday, but the next best time is today.
Just get started.
THE IMAGINARY I DECIDE LINE
You know you’ve made it when you step over the imaginary I Decide line – everything below the line is where your career happens to you in some way. You feel out of control of your own life, career and destiny – and that’s a lousy way to live.
However, everything above the line is where you create your own reality, destiny and career pathway – the buck stops with you. And this is when your life, career and leadership journey will truly take off.
So what are you waiting for? Step over that imaginary I Decide line today. It doesn’t matter that you hesitated yesterday. The next best time to get started is definitely today.