Warren Buffett, one of the richest and most respected businessmen in the world, has made billions off of smart investments. Smart investing doesn’t necessarily mean being successful in the stock market or real estate. No, according to Mr. Buffett, the most important investment you can make; the investment with the greatest return, is investing in yourself.
“Generally speaking, investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They (the government) can run up huge deficits and the dollar can become worth far less. You can have all kinds of things happen. But if you’ve got talent yourself, and you’ve maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold.” – Warren Buffett
The court reporting industry has undergone a considerable amount of change over the past decade. Technological adaptation and innovation has transformed the playing field for most litigation professionals, and in turn, has reduced their need for professional services. Being a court reporter, you are tasked with the responsibility of using your knowledge and skills to create accurate, precise, verbatim records of all legal proceedings. You and your work product are essential parts of the judicial process; technology will never be able to fully replace you.
It is imperative that as a court reporter, you are always taking time to invest in your future, improve your skills, and stay abreast to the technology that is constantly changing around you. Here’s why:
It increases your value as a professional service provider. A good question to constantly be asking yourself is, “How can I ensure that I am more valuable today than I was yesterday?” Realtime reporting is a skill that is in demand, and the need for qualified reporters is predicted to increase over the next few years. Being able to provide realtime will increase your value to your current and future clients.
It allows you to better control your professional future. Learning realtime, or mastering the skill if you already provide it, can open many doors for you in the future. Realtime reporters can transition into different fields, like closed captioning, or working in a courtroom. It also opens the doors for new and exciting opportunities, like reporting during a State of the Union Address, or after a sporting event during the Press Conference.
It keeps you relevant and on the cutting edge. Technology is always changing around us. It is important you stay on top of the changes happening in the industry and the relevant technology behind it. Educating yourself on these changes allows you to be prepared and provide your clients with services that will keep them on the cutting edge as well. Doing things the way they’ve always been done will eventually make you obsolete and ultimately replaceable.
It will boost your confidence. In any profession you should always be pushing your limits, if not the job becomes mundane. Learning a new skill boosts your psyche and keeps you on your toes. It makes you feel good about yourself and confident in the services you provide. When you push your limits, and what you are capable of, the sky’s the limit.
It Allows you to show your expertise in your field. Reporters who provide realtime are viewed as the top reporters around the world. If you want to be seen as an expert, the services you provide need to show that. Once you are viewed as an expert, or a go-to reporter, it can open up the door for higher paying jobs, and other opportunities like mentoring or speaking engagements.
I once heard someone say that not investing in yourself is like going white water rafting without a paddle, or without knowledge of what’s around the next bend. In the beginning it might seem like nothing, but eventually you will realize that having tools to help you maneuver through the roaring rapids and provide directional guidance probably would have been a good idea. Never underestimate the value of investing in yourself. Investing in yourself and investing in your skills, is the only way that you can ever be prepared for unforeseen changes and ensure a more favorable professional future for yourself.