“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin.
Your knowledge and experience are your most important professional assets. Unfortunately, they’re expiring assets. Your knowledge becomes out of date as new techniques, languages, and environments are developed. Given the speed at which Web-years fly by, this may render your experience obsolete or irrelevant. As the value of your knowledge declines, so does your value to your company or client. To prevent this from happening, this quick guide will help you build the perfect portfolio.
A- Building Your Portfolio
Managing a knowledge portfolio is very similar to managing a financial portfolio:
1. The habit of regular investment.
Just as in financial investing, you must invest in your knowledge portfolio regularly. Even if it’s just a small amount, the habit itself is as important as the sum.
2. Diversification is the key to long-term success.
The more different things you know, the more valuable you are. Today’s technology may be almost useless tomorrow. The more technologies you are comfortable with, the better you will be able to adjust to change.
3. Manage Risks
Don’t put all your technical eggs in one basket. It’s not a good idea to invest all of your money in high-risk stocks that might collapse suddenly, nor should you invest all of it conservatively and miss out on possible opportunities.
4. Buy low, sell high
Learning an emerging technology before it becomes popular can be just as hard as finding an undervalued stock, but the payoff can be just as rewarding. Learning Java when it first came out may have been risky, but it paid off handsomely for the early adopters who are now at the top of that field. Another example is Kotlin which could replace Java in the near future. If you’re a programmer, learn Kotlin as soon as possible.
5. Portfolios should be reviewed and rebalanced periodically.
This is a very dynamic industry. That hot technology you started investigating last month might be stone cold by now. Maybe you need to brush up on that database technology that you haven’t used in a while. Or perhaps you could be better positioned for that new job opening if you tried out that other tech.
To be successful in your career, you must manage your knowledge portfolio using these same guidelines.
B- Setting Your Goals
Related Article: How to Achieve Your Personal Goals in 12 Months
Now that you have some guidelines on what and when to add to your knowledge portfolio, what’s the best way to go about acquiring intellectual capital with which to fund your portfolio? Here are a few suggestions:
Read Read Read
Read technical and non-technical books every quarter. Bookstores are full of books on interesting topics related to your current project. Once you’re in the habit, read a book a month.
Related Article: Read These Books if You Want To Be Rich
Look for interesting courses at your local community college or university, or perhaps at the next trade show that comes to town. If you prefer online courses, check out Udemy if you’re programming oriented.
Participate in local user groups.
Don’t just go and listen, but actively participate. Isolation can be deadly to your career. Sign up to Meetup where you can find like-minded people.
Subscribe to trade magazines and other journals. Choose some that cover technology different from that of your current project. If you’re interested in programming, subscribe to Codinstyle’s newsletter, and you will get 95% coupons on Udemy courses, and much much more.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Once you feel comfortable with some new language or a bit of technology, move on. Learn another one. The process of learning will expand your thinking, opening you to new possibilities and new ways of doing things.
Working out, especially doing cardio, is a great way to get your brain flowing and to keep your mental health in shape. It’s also a great way to think through difficult decisions or process new information.
Hang out with people who are smarter than you.
“Show me your friends and I show you your future” Dan Peña.
The people we surround ourselves who impact us more than we think, so be sure to surround yourself with smart and motivated people.
C- Search For Opportunities To Learn And Grow
So you’re reading voraciously, you’re on top of all the latest breaking developments in your field, and somebody asks you a question. You don’t have the faintest idea what the answer is, and freely admit as much. Don’t let it stop there. Take it as a personal challenge to find the answer.
Talk to a mentor.
Learning from other people is one of the most effective ways to stay educated.
Also, in today’s technology-driven world, having a mentor keeps you sharp with your people skills.
Go to coffee with someone once a month and have a topic planned for both of you. You may be surprised at how much you can learn from one person in an hour.
Don’t know how to find a mentor?Codinstyle is a great place to get started if you need a technical mentor.
Just remember: If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
If you can’t find the answer yourself, find out who can. Don’t let it rest.
All of this reading and researching takes time, and time is already in short supply. So you need to plan ahead. Always have something to read in a dead moment. Time spent waiting for doctors and dentists can be a great opportunity to catch up on your reading—but be sure to bring your own magazine with you.
So, how do you get one to talk with you? These are some simple but effective tricks:
1- Know exactly what you want to ask, and be as specific as you can be.
2- Frame your question carefully and politely. Remember that you’re asking a favor; don’t seem to be demanding an answer.
3- Once you’ve framed your question, stop and look again for the
4- Decide if you want to ask publicly or privately.
5- Sit back and be patient. People are busy, and it may take days to get a specific answer.
Finally, please be sure to thank anyone who responds to you. And if you see people asking questions you can answer, play your part and participate.