Why You Are Worth It!

The biggest and best form of investment you can make is investing in YOU!

I was reading an article the other day stating that, on average, women currently make 77 cents to a man's dollar. How does that look in real-life? As an example, if a man earns $100,000; based on this average, women earn $77,000. There is a long way to go to close that gap.

Now the disparity in pay amongst the sexes is a conversation that is essential to have—and it is a personal desire of mine that the hospitality industry could lead the way in this societal shift—but what has been found true in many studies in regard to pay and education is one fact. Investing in YOU through education*, whether male or female, has true dollar value to it.

* In using the term "education" I mean a continuing learning knowledge base – not limited to just formal higher education but also including training classes, tech college, certification programs and exams, as well as on-the-job training.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a chart with 2013 unemployment levels where it was found that those with more education and training showed lower levels of unemployment during the same year. In addition it was found that those who achieved higher education, longer work experience, and more on-the-job training achieved higher salaries than those with less education and experience (http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_education_by_train.htm).

Studies have also shown investing in employees' education and training will likely reflect favorably on a company's goals and objectives. In addition, this could increase company loyalty thus decreasing turnover, both of which have an increased affect on revenue.

To be clear I am not stating you must go to college or earn a higher degree; what I am encouraging you to understand is that continuing to gain experience, education and knowledge—while learning new processes, programs and skills—can pay off in dollars and cents for your future.

It may not happen at one time, but the cost for the CMP exam, the cost for that certificate program, that degree program, that educational conference within the industry – those costs for continuing education are worth the investment. Not only to increase your professionalism, but to help close the gap on the salary difference.

Invest in yourself. You are valuable.

Posted by Larissa J. Schultz, CMP, MHA

Larissa is a writer, author, and professional speaker in the hospitality industry. She is also an adjunct professor at Glendale Community College teaching in the Hospitality and Tourism program.

Follow Larissa on Twitter: @LarissaJSchultz
Visit Larissa's Website: www.ljsmeetingstrategies.com/

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