Inflationary times, like the world is currently experiencing, erode the value of money. As inflation goes up, buying power goes down. That means the same amount of money at the beginning of the year will buy less goods and services at the end of the year. Put another way, you’ll need to spend more to get the same amount of goods and services.
Some people are hesitant to invest their cash, because cash feels safe and comfortable. They like knowing it’s stuffed under their mattress or buried in the backyard. The risks associated with investing hard-earned cash in the stock market, for example, is too much for them to bear.
The harsh reality is that by not investing and exposing themselves to risk, people lose money over the long haul. Investments are a way of moving forward, because they appreciate in value; doing nothing with cash is going backwards, because cash loses value.
The same thing can happen with your project management skills. If you have been with the same company for a number of years, you may feel safe and comfortable. You’ve used the same project management skills, tools, and templates. Your colleagues and managers know what to expect, neither are there any surprises nor anything new.
Here’s the startling news. You are not standing still–rather, you are effectively going backwards and losing ground! As time passes, new tools, methods, processes, and methodologies around project management continue to develop. If you aren’t keeping up with the latest and greatest, the value of your project management skills diminishes. It may be time to get out of your comfort zone and take some risks.
Here are a few investments that will increase your value:
- Network with People Outside of Your Company - Get out of your comfort zone, and instead of spending time with the same people at your company or your small circle of friends week in and week out, attend industry events, have lunch with people from other companies, or volunteer to be part of a committee. Is it uncomfortable and risky being with a group of new people? Yes, but, well worth the dividends.
- Try Something New - Those people you spend time with will share their project management practices, so bring some of those tried-and-true ideas back to your hive. There’s always a risk that some won’t work at your company, but there’s a greater chance they will.
- Ask Your Company to Pay for PM Training and/or Certification - Many training opportunities and certifications are available to help you do your job better. It may feel risky to ask your manager if the company will pay for it. What if they say no? They might. But, if you’ve made a good business case for how investing in your training will help the company, they will more than likely say yes. If they do say no, take the risk and pay for it yourself. You’re worth the investment.
Do you know what the greatest and most dangerous risk is? Doing the same thing you’ve been doing for years. Your project management skills will lose value as time passes, and you’re setting yourself up for the biggest crash of all… yours.
Just do it. Take a risk. You’ll be glad you did.