Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I Bonds & Career Development

Two items, one worth knowing and one worth thinking about:

Financial columnist Terry Savage has an article today about the I Series Savings Bond that currently delivering 6.73%, but could go down to 2% next week. It's a long-term investment, you have to hold it 5 years if you don't want any penalties, but that's a pretty nice rate if you want to park some money risk-free. But you have to hurry--Savage explains why in her column.

Over at Yahoo Finance, Jim Citrin has a thought-provoking piece about career development, and how branching out as your career moves forward can take you to all sorts of unexpected and neat places that you would never get to if you overspecialize.

He uses the example of former Senator George Mitchell, who is now leading Major League Baseball's investigation into steroid abuse after being chairman of Disney and negotiating a peace deal in Ireland and of course being a Senator. His point is that Mitchell got some of these gigs because he'd taken a varied career path.

I don't totally buy Mitchell as an example, because once you're an accomplished politician all sorts of doors open up, and we're not all going to have that happen. But Citrin also uses the example of an MBA graduate who chooses to do management consulting versus derivatives training. The first gives you wide experience across a lot of industries and builds a network as well, while the latter takes you down a narrow path of specialization. Neither is better, but if you want an interesting career that takes you to new and unexpected (in a good way) places, pigeonholing yourself is not the way to go. Pretty neat article, especially for people who are just getting started in their careers.


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