Undervaluing Your Most Valuable Asset

To value something or someone is a complex concept when you reflect on it.

You might value your relationship with your spouse or other loved one, but you would generally never put a monetary value on it, right? You might value your house by looking at comparable houses and their recent selling prices, “comps” in the vernacular. If you own a car, it is probably losing value faster than anything else you own. Yet, you certainly still value the car.

You probably have assets invested in the market (ouch!) that have a value, too. And let us not forget that unless there is some sort of active speculation in play, a stock price is generally a reflection of how shareholders view the income-producing capability of the underlying company.

What about education? It is an intangible asset. Yet, aside from the fact that a well-furnished mind is a joy, college educated adults undeniably earn more on average than do their less formally educated peers. Clearly in that sense, education is valuable.

So, as I say, to value something or someone is a complex concept.

Therefore, it is not surprising that you probably undervalue your most valuable asset because you probably do not see it as an asset. Yet it has an income stream just as a company or a dividend-paying stock does. It has a market value, just as a house or other tangible property typically does. You can invest in it and its value will probably go up. You can neglect it and its value will probably go down.

Interestingly, other than inherited wealth, for most people the asset I have in mind probably generates more income for a longer period than any other pre-retirement asset in your portfolio.

Have you guessed yet?

Yes, it is your career.

Oddly enough, most people do not think of their careers as an asset. They more or less leave their careers—their most valuable asset—to chance.

They have no plan to develop it, no thought of investing in it, no reflection on its market value…

That is where the Barrett Group comes in. We are a career management firm. Clients who work with us often come back repeatedly as their careers mature. Why? Mainly because we are very good at what we do. But also because their needs change over time. They value the professional sounding-board we can offer to help them determine how to generate the most wealth and/or satisfaction from their career.

For example, here is client Chris Burger talking about why he invested in his career:

“The leadership changes that happened didn’t necessarily fit my personality or my approach to problems. I could see that the company was not necessarily going in the direction I thought it should. When the initial support I was promised for a key project I was leading did not materialize, I started to realize that it was time for me to move on. Plus, I’m not the youngest anymore, you know, so I could see that I should take control of my destiny—and that’s what I did.”

With our help Chris landed a great job in record time and is really enjoying his new role. But more importantly, he recognized that “…what you don’t do often, you don’t do well…” That is why Chris came to the experts in career management when he needed to make a change. We do this all the time and have been at it for thirty years.

Another option is to clarify your career objectives before you begin, because, after all, if you don’t know where you are going, you are very likely to go nowhere.

The Clarity Program© doubles as its own stand-alone targeting tool, but also can be applied as the first stage in our five-stage career management full program.

The full program offers these major steps:

  • Targeting (The Clarity Program©)
  • Packaging (multiple resumes, LinkedIn, and your personal brand)
  • Market access (discovering opportunities in the recruiter, published, and unpublished job markets)
  • Preparation (interviewing skills and package negotiation) and
  • On-boarding (avoiding the pitfalls of the newly hired even before you start).

You probably employ a wealth manager of some kind to help you manage your money. Think of us as your career manager and consider investing in your most valuable asset. You may be surprised how much more it can generate in the right hands.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

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