Tools & Tips

10 inventive ways of investing in your career for under €5

In our sprints, we ask: “how might you advance your career for less than €5?”. We’ve pulled together the best ideas from more than 100 Life Sprinters.

When you feel stuck, knowing where to begin to make change can be overwhelming. If only you had more time, energy, money, ideas… then taking that next career step would be so much easier!

Well, with just €5 and a few smart ideas, there’s a lot you can do to help yourself develop professionally. Here are the top 14 ideas - gathered from Life Sprinters - to help you advance your career.

1. Buy someone a drink and pick their brain

This is a classic, and every Life Sprint session has at least one version on this idea! Our favourite variation: message those you admire on LinkedIn and invite them for a coffee. Many people are honoured to be asked, and happy to make the time!

There’s nothing more inspiring than talking to someone who you admire and want to learn from. Who’s that person you’ve been dying to get a drink with? Send them a message now! (Do remember that some might super-busy and may not respond, don’t take it personally, we’ve seen a 40-60% response rate). 

2. Get out of town!!

Daydreaming is an incredibly powerful tool for professional problem solving, and one of the best ways to give your brain the space it needs is to jump on a train and stare out the window. 

Travelling is a popular way to give your brain a chance to rewire and recharge. The destination isn’t important, but we’d opt for a trip into nature or to a part of the city you’ve not explored before.

3. Signup for a self-care app

Staying cool is kinda hot these days. Sign up to a month’s membership, and make time to listen to a session on Calm or Headspace; it can be the perfect way to end a tough day and reflect on your journey. 

We found this article by wirecutter, in which the main meditation apps of the moment are reviewed, very informative.

4. Take half a yoga class

This was an interesting idea. We’re not sure if you’re allowed to just attend half a class, but bonus points for the creativity!

However, there are always a few free trial classes out there for you to try. But if you’re too lazy to go and face the cold winds outside, roll out your yoga mat at home and get cracking! Here are a few poses to get you going: try Tree Pose to get yourself grounded.

5. Get a planner

Whether you’d prefer to work on- or offline, invest in a planner. When you feel stuck, it’s easy to let time run away from you. A planner will help you rule your time and not the other way around. 

Again, here’s wirecutter to the rescue with their review of the best paper planners you can get your hands on.

6. Take an online course

Thanks to technology, we have a huge amount of knowledge at our fingertips. Whether you want to brush up on marketing, coding or SEO, or want to teach yourself about philosophy or persuasive writing, there’s a course for you. 

Here’s a huge list of courses that are up for grabs - most of them for free! Pick one and get started. We recommend finding a learning-buddy to help keep you on track.

7. Buy a book

While online courses are great, we still love a good, old-fashioned book! Scribbling in the margins of non-fiction masterclasses or getting lost in a literary great, they’re such a source of inspiration. 

To stay true to the €5 ceiling, find your local secondhand bookstore and get rummaging.

8. Build your landing page

Seriously! It’s never been easier to build your own landing page. We think it’s a good way for you to show off your writing or highlight your consultancy portfolio. Having your own website will also help you to hone your personal branding and professional identity.

Strikingly, Wix and Squarespace have enough free tools and templates to help you build one in no time.

9. Ask someone to critique or update your LinkedIn profile on fiverr

Fiverr is a great place to find freelance experts to help you with little jobs. €5 can get you an analysis of areas to improve your LinkedIn. You could also ask a copywriter to update the content for you.

Make sure you’re not underselling yourself!

10. Buy a second-hand Whiteboard

The best way to get ideas out of you is to write them down! Being able to scribble them big, change them, and connect them is incredibly helpful for your thought process. 

Head over to ebay and get searching! Perhaps you could even recreate your own offline Magic Future Board.

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Have you got more ideas? Let us know, we’d love to hear them!

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Life Sprint helps people get unstuck from their career challenges in a safe and supportive virtual environment. Over one hundred Life Sprinters managed to get unstuck in 2019 by “saying yes to a new career pathway, overcoming fears, and successfully negotiating new opportunities at work. What are you doing to get unstuck in 2020!?

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