Your Human Capital

Over at Get Rich Slowly, some advice on protecting yourself from the risk of a layoff:

Continually enhance your human capital, which is your ability to earn money and includes your education, experience, skills, charisma, and ability to play nice with others.

This ability shouldn’t be understated. People often blame “the economy” for their jobs falling out from under them. Sometimes that’s true but more often, it was that their value to a company didn’t meet the money the company was paying them. It’s basic return-on-investment theory.

Enhancing your human capital—your ability to earn income and what I distill down to being able to get things done, and efficiently—is what makes you valuable. Sometimes your “productivity” is about getting you out of the thick of things, uncrossing your wires (as Michael Schechter likes to call it), or just staying above water1. What it should really mean for you is finding tools and workflows that make you an asset.

  1. I tried to think of as many cliche metaphors as possible.↩︎