Most people want to be successful in their professional lives and comfortable in their financial future. But creating the career and the financial picture that will make these dreams a reality is easier said than done. You need more than hard work to reach your professional potential, and you need more than a steady income to reach a comfortable retirement.
Below, you’ll find some simple tips that may help you build your career and plan for a happier and financially healthier future.
Look the part
You have probably heard that you should “dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have.” That advice may sound a bit dated, but make no mistake: While office dress codes have gotten more lenient over the years, many people are still paying attention to how you present yourself.
So whether that means stylish business suits for women in the office or simply means that you keep your food service uniform clean and pressed, make sure that you’re putting your best sartorial foot forward. Your attention to detail in how you dress will communicate your professionalism to your peers — and to future hiring managers, too.
Track your spending
Making ends meet isn’t always easy. But while we do have certain expenses that you can’t do much about — rent and groceries, for instance — there are plenty of other expenses that you do have control over. That’s why there are so many articles out there that talk about how much you could save by drinking fewer coffees or eating out less.
But maybe you don’t even like coffee, and maybe you’re careful about cooking at home most nights. Not everyone wastes money on the same things. The only way to find out which things you waste money on is to take the simple step of reviewing your past spending. Look at your credit card bill and add up things. What sorts of things are draining your funds? Use this information to curb your bad habits — and use it to create a household budget, too. Those are important.
Make sure your savings earns interest
To build meaningful wealth, you need to invest some of your savings and earn interest on the money. That’s the best path to a comfortable retirement. But it’s important to remember that you don’t want to have all of your savings in the market — it’s risky, and the money can be hard to access.
So where does the rest of the money go? If you put it in a checking account, you won’t earn much (if any) interest. That’s wasteful. Instead, look for ways to make something with your savings without risking it. Savings accounts are a great way to make some interest while still having your money accessible. If you can afford to leave your cash untouched for a bit (but still don’t want to take risks), term deposit rates will help you earn some money passively.
Tackle an extra task at work
Working hard doesn’t always get you noticed, nor does it necessarily help you build an impressive resume. But you do have opportunities to build your career within the structure of your current job — and those opportunities arise whenever you spot an extra task that you could do, but don’t have to.
When you tackle new things, you learn things. You gain experience and, hopefully, a reputation for going above and beyond. Expanding your responsibilities at work helps your employer, but it also helps you build your career. The little bit extra you do now could become something that you’re paid big bucks for at some point down the line.