No one has more stock in your career than you. Think of yourself as a company and that you have controlling interest. What is controlling interest? Controlling interest is defined as “an ownership interest in a corporation with enough voting stock shares to prevail in any stockholders' motion. A majority of voting shares (over 50%) is always a controlling interest.” Now you might be telling yourself that you don’t, but I am here to tell you that you do.
To have a successful Navy career, you must first think of your Navy career as an investment. As in all investments, there is an expectation of some benefit/return in the future. The majority of investments are done with money, but the investment in your Navy Career is done with time and effort. The time and effort you put into improving yourself as a Sailor is a direct contribution into your Navy Career. There is another 49% ownership interest in your career, but you have no direct control over this 49%. You may not have the ownership in the 49%, but your effort of investing within yourself does have an influence. Think of it this way, why would the other 49% invest into you if you are not investing in yourself? Successful investors do not invest into something in which they do not yield a return. So let’s focus on the three major ones you do own:
How you conduct yourself in the execution of job or work you have been assigned. It is all about effort and doing the best you can. Maximum effort is always noticed even as much as minimum effort. You know how much effort you put into each day and assignment, so don’t be surprised of the outcome when it comes time for evaluations.
Preparing for Advancement
Preparing for the Navy Wide Advancement Exam begins your Occupational Standards for your specific Navy Occupation Specialty, which is minimum skill and knowledge required for enlisted personnel at each paygrade in their career specialty. You must know what is required of you before you can start preparing for the Navy Wide Exam. Once you have your Occupation Standards you then can gather all the references listed in your bibliography for advancement. The bottom line is: the score you receive on your Navy Wide exam directly correlates to the effort you put into preparing for the exam.
When we hear the word education the thought that comes to our mind is the formal process in a classroom environment. Education through the formal process does substantially contribute to your investment; however I want to talk the informal method that we tend to overlook. This method is not done in the school house but on your own by qualifications in and out of your Navy Occupation Specialty, familiarization with Navy personnel program policies, e-learning, and the MCPON reading list. You will not get a certificate for completion of most of these, but the knowledge and skills you acquire is a sizable investment into yourself. A good way to look at this investment is: “They can take your house, they can take your car, they can take your money, and they can take your job but they cannot take your education.”
Performance, preparation for advancement and education are interwoven with one another and no one but you has 100% controlling interest in them. Investing in one will influence the investment of the other two but to be truly successful you must equally invest into each one of them. Not as easy at is sounds. Just like any monetary investment, you must develop a strategy. You must have a plan and be flexible about when and how to distribute your investment. At times you will have to invest more into one area then the other two.
I cannot overemphasize that you have the controlling interest in your career. How much time and effort you put into bettering yourself will be how much you get in return. If you don’t invest a lot of time in effort your will not get a big return, however if you invest a lot of time in yourself you will receive a large return. No one will invest in you the way you can invest in yourself. It is your career, your investment and at a minimum, you own 51% of it.