career compound interest magic of small steps to big results

Career compound interest, the magic of getting better and better

Steve Kimmens Career, CTAforyou, Develop your skills, my career habit 4 Comments

Just think of what you could do with a 38 times improvement on where you are right now, that’s the magic of career compound interest.

Compound interest is concept with which we are all at least vaguely familiar. For most of us it conjures memories of school maths classes.

Here’s a quick refresher: Compound interest takes your money (the principal), calculates interest and reinvests this interest earned by adding it to the original principal. The result? In the next period interest is earned on the original principal and the interest you’ve just accumulated. And so, it continues.

Simple, but effective. The concept is seriously powerful and has the power to transform anything over a period of time.

Einstein himself called compound interest the ‘8th wonder of the world’. Warren Buffett calls compound interest the “single most powerful factor behind his investing success”.


Cool. But what does career compound interest have to do with my life and career?


Think about it. What do you do when you want to get fit, lose weight, or get strong? The proper way to go about it is to start exercising regularly and take care of what you are putting into your body. You know full well that this is going to take some time, diligence and perseverance. But eventually, the results become noticeable and improvements begin to build. This is the work of compound interest.

When it comes to your career, the same rule applies. Take the time to make regular improvements, to identify gaps in your skillset, learn new things or even strengthen the skills you already have. You will find the results to be worth the investment.

Imagine you made a 1% improvement in your life each day for an entire year. 1% of a day is 14.4 minutes. Doing this for 365 days will result in your life having improved to almost 38x your starting level. 38x is no small feat. And for only 14.4 minutes per day, it’s pretty miraculous – and extremely doable.


“The money that money earns, earns money.”

– Benjamin Franklin


What would you do if you were 38x better at something than you are today? Where could that lead you? What job could you have? How content and fulfilled could you be?

If it isn’t rocket science then why I am I here?

For most people, it isn’t the concept that they have difficulty getting their head around, it’s the motivation.

At my gym, for example the key reason they find men joining the gym is a recent break up with a partner. The break up is the impetus for change.

People are less likely to make change if they are comfortable or if they are scared, because doing something different requires energy.

If you already have a job, for example, your key focus may not be your development. You have what you want: a job. But what you miss out on is actively working towards becoming 38x better.


5 steps to start investing in your career compound interest


1. Get started. Now.

Investing in your 20s is better than investing more in your 40s. While it is never too late to start, the time wasted in getting your act together is improvement never realised.

2. Use a tool to keep you accountable and on track.

You may pay for a gym membership or PT to keep you on track with your fitness goal. my career habit is no different. We work out what it is you want to achieve, I put together a tailored program for you, and check-in once a month. What you pay for are the high-value changes that are going to be the big wins for your career.

3. Connect with your professional networks.

Your networks are going to be a great source of motivation and opportunity for your career development. Check-in regularly with your networks to get a sense of what is happening outside of your bubble.

4. Keep your skills up to date.

It is about being aware. What are your skills and how is your industry evolving? Think about whether the work you do is interesting to others and what you can do to make your skillset more appealing.

5. Sell what you currently do.

This is about cultivating your brand. What is your pitch? Get clear on what it is you do, what you want and how you are going to get there. It can be as simple as refreshing your CV on a regular basis so it is aligned to your goal.


Start with why

Use our find the why tool to use your career compound interest to achieve the goals you want.

Find your why

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