by Larissa Schultz, CMP, MHA
The biggest and best form of investment you can make is investing in YOU!
I was reading an article in a magazine the other day and it stated that on average women currently women 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 conversations 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 the 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, exams as well as on-the-job training.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a chart with 2013 unemployment levels where it was found that those with more education and training showed lower levels of unemployment during the 2013 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.
Companies listen up - studies have also shown investing in your employees' education and training will likely reflect favorably on your company's goals and objectives. In addition, you could increase company loyalty thus decreasing company turnover - both of which has an increased effect on revenue.
To be clear I am not stating that you MUST go to college or earn a higher degree; what I am stating is that by continuing to gain experience, continuing to gain education, new knowledge and learning new process, programs, and skills - pays in dollars and cents.
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.
Larissa J. Schultz, CMP, MHA, is an advocate of continuing to grow through learning and forward momentum! She has been actively involved in the meeting management industry for over 20 years and is the founder/owner of LJS Meeting Strategies based out of the Los Angeles area. Her background and experience as a meeting planner includes working with corporations and associations planning both domestic and international conferences, meetings and festivals. Larissa is also an adjunct professor at Glendale Community College teaching in the Hospitality and Tourism program. Three things she believes in - laughter, a good glass of wine, and trusting your own instincts.
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