I’m currently reading a great book recommended to me by a friend called “So good they can’t ignore you”. One of the takeaways from it so far is the author’s “Career Capital” idea. I love it. Since it’s similar to what I tell my athletes all the time, I decided to touch on it. I think it’s an important concept for anyone who’d like to reach high levels in anything.
So what is Career Capital anyway?
Imagine a man named Fred. Fred is a ambitious, competent individual who wants to break into the sales industry. He gets an entry level job making cold calls and learning the ropes. Fred quickly realizes how much he hates the tedious, boring tasks he has to do and over time he no longer tries to go above and beyond his current positions requirements. He’s comfortable just being competent. Fred’s job level and pay reflects his lack of desire to improve himself.
Now let’s look at a man named Matt. Matt is also ambitious and competent. He gets a similar job with the same boring tasks. Instead of hating the tedious amount of work he has to accomplish, he throws himself into it. Through a tremendous, frustrating amount of trial and error, he develops a script for cold calls that closes many more sales than the current script used. Because of this he gets noticed and promoted. Not one to be content, Matt continues doing his best to learn and master every task that comes his way-big or small. His skills continue to develop because he is not comfortable being just good enough. You see, Matt desires to grow his skill level in everything he is confronted with as it pertains to his position. He enjoys mastering the things he does…not just being “ok” at them. Even though Matt does this for himself, something happens…
Matt’s career trajectory raises as his skill level does.
It’s a simple reality. Become better at what you do, and your career will become better for it. Grow stagnant however, and expect to remain in the same position for a long time. Each time you master a new skill, your “capital” grows, and it will pay off.