Most of our human capital is developed between the ages of 10 and 25 years old. From 25 years on, we begin to realize our human capital in the form of monetization. However, you should never stop developing human capital or you may find yourself obsolete. This was brought to the forefront in 2008. We consistently heard individuals in their mid 30s, 40s, and 50s saying they got laid off. Then they either could not find a job or they found a job at considerably less pay. That happened because they never continued developing their human capital and/or refining it.
What happens if you stop developing human capital?
We have a family friend that was an accountant for 20 years. When she started, the company kept their books by hand and she introduced what we consider an archaic accounting program on a computer (it was extremely basic and just added, subtracted, had a ledger, and could print). She thought that she was technically advanced, plus she was extremely skilled on a keyboard. All great human capital skills 20 years ago. However, as technology advanced, her skills stayed stagnant.
In 2010, she was making $110,000 a year with great benefits. That year the company was sold to a Chinese firm and the corporate operations where moved to China. She then found herself without a job. She began applying for accounting positions. She sent out over 100 applications and only a handful replied. The best offer she received was $48,000 a year working part time.
Two human capital traits that you can develop
For millennials, developing human capital is extremely important to set yourself apart from others. There are two human capital traits everyone can develop with an investment of time. The first is language. As the world continues to globalize, an American’s job competition is no longer other Americans. It is students from other countries that are just as smart but speak not only 1 or 2 languages but often times 3, 4, or 5 languages. Another human capital skill I constantly hear employers complain about is communication. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but sending emails using texting language and twitter handles might work for your friends but not in business. Bottom line, be an effective communicator and you will automatically separate yourself from others.
If you have questions or comments please let us know. As always, please share this article with your friends…