Self-Love September: Investing in Yourself

Up until about two months ago, I had no idea what the stock market was, who Dow Jones is and that, or that in this post-WWII society, “bonds” still existed. Even with a 50/50 chance of success, investing is the key to gaining wealth. People have bought homes, started businesses and become successful through making investments. However, why is it that investing in stocks is more appealing than investing in ourselves?

Courtesy of https://atlantablackstar.com/
Courtesy of https://atlantablackstar.com/

As a member of the Broke College Students Club (and the Broke Recent Grads Club), the hesitation that comes when people start talking about money is well-received.

“You want me to pay how much for this conference?”

“Why do I have to get a new pencil skirt? This knee-length bodycon skirt looks just like it!”

“I am not paying thirty bucks to attend a networking event – I network at free events all the time!”

While one might think that going the frugal route is best, consider this: If you didn’t invest in a house, would you even have the wealth that comes with homeownership? If you didn’t invest in a car, how would you get to and from interviews so that you can eventually pay your monthly payment or service? Thus, we have to ask – If you don’t invest in yourself, how will you become successful? If that hasn’t sold you, here are some reasons why investing yourself will really make you rich:

    • “Um, who are you?” If you really want to break into your career, it’s not just enough to do the paperwork. Networking is key in any field. If you don’t invest in opportunities that allow you to interact with people in your field, when the time comes to apply for jobs, you’ll be hearing this question a lot. Sure – $65 to attend a conference may seem steep now. BUT, when you’re looking back on it from a leather seat in a corner office at your dream job, paying that money to meet your present employer will be worth it.

    • Goals Without Experience Won’t Get You Far. Congratulations! You finally got accepted into that internship program you’ve been pining for in LA. The only thing is…it’s unpaid. You haven’t been saving like you meant to so you can’t afford an apartment. It’s too late to start a GoFundMe account and you never got to finish that scholarship application you started. Now, you’re forced to pass up an amazing experience because you didn’t invest in yourself from the start. Savings are crucial to gaining experience.

    • BUT Preparation Will. Say you’re a natural hair blogger looking to make it big as an editor. Your internship coordinator asks you to work an event hosted by a local theater troupe. At said event, you cross paths with the editor of a local magazine who’s looking for someone to serve as a copywriter for their website. It would be great if you could give her direct access to your blog, huh? Oh wait, you didn’t buy business cards when you had the chance, so now she won’t have a way to remember. By the end of the night, it’s very likely that she’ll have forgotten your name, nonetheless an actual URL. In any internship, your coordinators will most likely invite you to different functions. At these functions, you HAVE to put your best foot forward. Dressing the part and having business cards on hand is a necessity. So guess what that requires? More investing. A nice pencil skirt, professional heels, business cards. All of these require money that you better be willing to spend.

    • You Need To Upgrade. If your closet is filled with more club dresses and stilettos than work-appropriate heels and work pants, there’s a problem. Everyone likes to go out every once in awhile. (It keeps you sane!) But if you’re at the point in your life where it’s time to start your career, you should be interview ready at the drop of a hat. Don’t have enough money to overhaul your wardrobe? Plato’s Closet is a fantastic buying and selling resource. Some of the best pieces can come from your local thrift store or Goodwill. If you want it enough, you’ll make it work.

    • Everyone You Envy Already Has. All of those bloggers you follow who get products sent to them for reviews or your friends who got job offers before graduating have already done all of this. Companies like to know that their employees are willing to invest in themselves because it means they will invest their time into the company.

      Courtsy of www.atlantablackstar.com/
      Courtsy of http://www.atlantablackstar.com/

Now, are there situations in which you need to hold off on these things? Of course. If you’re working your butt off to make ends meet with barely enough to buy groceries, definitely hold off. But if you pay $10 to get into the club every weekend and go to happy hour twice a week, but can’t purchase your own website domain, you need to sort out your priorities.

Kayla Alexander,
Styling Soul Staff Writer ❤

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