The Ultimate Checklist to Help You Invest In Yourself
Ah, the good old checklist. Nothing like a piece of paper or a note on your smartphone to keep track of your day-to-day. It is as simple as a trip to the grocery or setting up business-related appointments. Or it is the perennial bucket list - places to go and things to do within your lifetime that you have not experienced or would not dare to.
This time, we are going to talk about you. Yes, you. It is like how the saying goes, “Love yourself first and everything else falls in line. You have to love yourself to get anything done in the world.” In short, always do it first. It is the ticket to your achievements in life. So you should start investing in yourself, the only captain of your boat, and rightfully so because you matter!
Here is the ultimate checklist of you and Godspeed!
Step 1: Find Yourself a Guide
If you don’t think that inspiration comes from people of interest, think again. Whatever spectrum of career you are in - the sciences, arts, finance, or business - there is sure to be someone you would look up to. Someone who you would want to emulate or surpass on their lauded benchmarks. Someone who inspired you to even jump at your chosen niche in the first place. And at some time in their early lives, they were in the same state as you are in now - inspired by their heroes and heroines.
These are what you call mentors. They are highly influential in their respective careers and lead a positive path for those who want to learn. And they too have had mentors who helped shape who they are at present.
As this part of the checklist promotes your career growth, it might do well to have someone you can lean on and learn from. They will guide you through the waters of your chosen niche and help avoid pitfalls through their own experiences. It is their way of molding people they mentor to be successful at their career earlier and foster better decision-making. Who knows, you might already have one in your midst, you just don’t know it yet. Or you can connect with them through LinkedIn if you have not yet.
Step 2: Find Your Style, Whatever That May Be
We have all been there, admit it - making fashion mistakes due to following trends. You would have seen it in a movie with your favorite actor or actress or an Instagram post from a famous influencer. And there is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from any medium. In every step, you take when it comes to style, you should reconsider if it makes you happy. And you have to!
Instead of buying new stuff to don, start rummaging your closet. There might be choice cuts that go together great when mixed where you initially thought didn’t. This way, you can also remove the ones that don’t help define who you are at present. The undesirables, in turn, can be sold online and someone out there can make it part of their style.
If you’re still having a hard time mixing and matching, look for inspiration. There’s Tumblr and Pinterest aside from Instagram as your go-to sources. Fashion blogs are everywhere on the interwebs, which prove to provide sound advice from stylists and fashion gurus. You can also tap a family member or a friend who’s confident style-wise and get a second opinion on style choices.
The most extreme advice would be to jump at a choice that you’re not used to. Familiarity is a factor causing people not wanting to adapt to better style choices. You may not see yourself in it at the beginning, but it may give you the comfort and confidence that you never thought you need.
Reassessing your wardrobe choices with a sense of realigning to your identity is the way to go. All that matters here is you should do you. Once you are comfortable with what you are projecting towards your peers through your style, you can do no wrong! You may end up being somebody else’s style inspiration in the long run.
Step 3: Find Your People
Finding people who you can connect to for your chosen career is integral. Finding the right people, however, is more important than most. It may not be a guarantee that it gets you what you want ASAP but keeping at it you may strike gold when you least expect it.
Networking may seem like a near-impossible feat due to the pandemic. But LinkedIn has helped a lot of people grow their network, connect to like-minded peers and mentors (Aha! That’s Step 1.). And all this is through online means, which makes it easier especially if you dread face-to-face conversations.
Be ready though. You can’t grow your network without explaining your reason to do so. May it be you’re trying to launch a business because you were inspired by your mentor who is in the same niche. Or you have an idea for a novel with your favorite author in mind as your muse. Craft your introductory statement with a choice of words that will be able to hook them in. State your intent- to observe and learn from the best or any other reason close to your heart.
Not every connection-to-be would give you the time of day so better be ready for a lot of non-responses. That should not stop you from attaining your dream. As it is a professional social media platform, you can garner attention by sharing articles relevant to your career path and add your two cents to it. It would be better if you can create your distinct writeups. Your genuine efforts will bear fruit sooner or later. Or your LinkedIn inbox blowing up with connection requests, catching the right people as intended.
Step 4: Find Your Post-Grad Curriculum
We at Levo are firm believers of “learning never stops.” And that rings true today, especially at the height of the pandemic. There is nothing else to do but work, Netflix, or feed your cat - if you have one. You will get bored soon enough. But no more!
Did you know that you can kill time by learning new stuff? There must be things that pique your interest that you haven’t had the time to explore, pre-Covid! Skills and interests that you never know would prove beneficial for you in the end.
Some professionals rode with the wave of being Youtube content creators while they were in a career slump. And some have found to amass much attention and following that they made that their career and are happy for it. This opportunity is open for anyone, provided you have content that can attract the right audience.
If you don’t want to burden yourself with thinking of content and editing Youtube videos, try a new skill. Photography, perhaps? Want to try your hand at code and programming? Or Interior Design? A lot of websites and online learning platforms are available for everyone to access. Futurelearn, Coursera, and Udacity are just some that provide certifications once you finish a course. There are casual platforms too, like Skillshare, MasterClass, and even LinkedIn Learning. These are subscriptions based and some would provide you lifetime access to your chosen courses. A lot of learning is out there if you only want it, folks.
You can also get into reading. Audible is one source for those who like their books read for them. You can search through inspirational career stories like #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. Or a self-help book like Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy. These are books that can help better your odds to a great career trajectory.
Step 5: Find Time For Yourself
In life and within your career, balance is important. There is time for work and there is time you need to accommodate yourself. By accommodating, this means you are mindful of yourself and well being. In a normal setting, there are 8 hours of work, 8 hours that you can allocate for yourself, and 8 hours of rest. And oftentimes, the 8 hours that should be dedicated to yourself end up getting wasted.
As the pandemic still looms over us all, we tend to rely on anything online. Mental health is skyrocketing given the stress and worry on top of the one that you may already be getting at work. Or you already lost your job due to downsizing. This will also definitely affect your 8 hours dedicated to sleep, if not addressed sooner. Here’s where support systems are important right now. Your family and friends are immediate sources to lend you a supportive hand. They might also need your support, given that they are in this pandemic as well. If you have a mentor, they can also provide you advice on how to overcome adversity or would listen to you.
Meditation can also help give you a sense of serenity, especially when done at the start of the day. This, in turn, will get you going positively throughout the day. If you are swamped with your workload or feel that it is taking a toll on you, say no. You have every right to do so. The other party should understand that it is for your welfare so you can work with better results upon recovery. As your mental health is integral to who you are, you should take utmost care.
It’s not only your mind and emotional well-being that we need to tackle in this part of the checklist. We need to look after your physical well-being too. If you have a bike and there is no lockdown from where you are, you may do so. It’s going to help your cardio moving instead of slumping on your couch watching tv. You also have apps that can act as your personal trainer on both Android and IOS. There will be little to no need for gym equipment with the exercises that they offer and you can do all these in the comfort of your home.
With the combination of both aspects, you can then create a daily plan to keep your overall well-being up and running. And this leads to a better, happier, and healthier you.
Step 6: Find Your Voice
If public speaking or conversation is not your forte or the thought alone would leave you a shaking mess, end that thought. You need to get your act together and brave it up. Be surprised because this will go back to a few items on this list.
The secret here is confidence. Confidence that you can get from a mentor, which is Step 1. You can also get it from creating your best self through your style from Step 2. But where this generally applies is Step 3 - Networking.
If you can, practice with a friend. Think of them as your manager or boss. It also helps that you look at your listener or audience and treat them as to how you would yourself. This can give you a mental picture of trying to address yourself and help overcome the fear of judgment. And always put the genuine you at the forefront.
Step 7: Find Your Independence
Having a job and earning doesn’t mean you’re all good. Yes, you can put some money in the bank and pay your bills but don’t settle for anything less than that. You can make wise investments from resources like NerdWallet and Merrill Edge. This move will secure your funds until such time where you will need them. There is nothing in the world other than looking forward to the future worry-free.
We would love nothing but to empower people to take control of their life and career. We hope that this guide of sorts will help you wade through your career path and in life as well. Cheers to bigger successes and continue to do you!