Adding Up the Pennies

Landon Coyle, MDTC Economic Development Specialist

The other day I saw a penny lying on the ground in the parking lot. I stopped for a moment and
wondered if I should pick the penny up or just let it be. What is a penny really worth? I know that when I
was younger, finding a penny in the parking lot brought me a lot of joy and excitement. Now that I am
older, I have to say that I do not get as excited. I relate this story to how we see the bigger picture in our
career choices. In this article of the Economic Corner we are going to cover the importance of career
investment and how it applies to your career journey.

“Big picture thinking” is a mindset that everyone should have. There are many benefits to having long-
term career goals. Having a long-term goal helps you with setting up short term goals. When looking at
career decisions, it is important to ask, “What type of investment is this career opportunity going to
provide for me long term?”

Most students that I work with today have big career dreams that they are wanting to accomplish but
few have mapped out a pathway to achieve those dreams. One of our goals for economic development
is to help students setup short-term and long-term career goals. Today there is a lot of emphasis on the
here and now but not so much on the future. Being able to budget and the ability to be patient are key
factors in helping you make the right career decision. The world moves at an incredibly fast pace and if
we not careful we can lose sight of our vision for what we want in our future. We have to be able to
pause and look at job opportunities from an investment perspective. This is something that few people
do when analyzing career options.

What does career success look like for you? This is a great question to get you started in seeing your
career as an investment. Success is defined differently by each individual person, so it is important that
you do not compare your career journey with someone else. Studies show that those that write out
their goals and review their goals tend to be more successful in their career journey than those that do

It is also important to keep on developing your skills throughout your career. If you are not growing skills or learning more as a person then you tend to get stuck and become complacent. These two things can lead to career dissatisfaction and can be discouraging. Choose to make an investment into bettering yourself. This can help you achieve career promotion.

Let us be people that have a clear career vision and look at careers as investments instead of day to day
decisions. The truth is that pennies turn into nickels, then dimes, then quarters, and ultimately dollars. It
is what we are able see and do with the little that makes a big difference. Next time you see a penny on
the ground be excited and think about the future opportunity it presents. Check out our website to see
all of the career opportunities and investments we provide at Mid-Del Technology Center.

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