While passive income is the ultimate goal, active income is important since it can be invested into passive income-generating assets and delay your portfolio draw down. My favorite work resources are:

1. A career coach in your field

My background is in engineering, and I have gotten lots of value from following The Engineering Career Coach podcast. It pushed me to obtain new credentials, and even though I didn’t need them at the time, they eventually led to new opportunities and pay increases. The podcast also has great information on setting/achieving goals, time management, and using performance reviews to advance your career. I understand this specific example will not benefit all readers, but they key is to find someone knowledgeable in your field who pushes you to the next level.

2. Linchpin

If you want to increase your pay and your job security, you need to become harder to replace. This book provides insights on how you can become (obviously) a Linchpin in your organization by doing the right thing, doing it with a passion, and overcoming whatever stands in your way. Ironically, pursuing FI will diminish the importance of your day job, but will also leave you in a better position to become a Linchpin; it is much easier to make bold, career-advancing moves when you aren’t paycheck-to-paycheck. In other words, pursuing FI will help you become a Linchpin, and becoming a Linchpin will help you pursue FI.

3. So Good They Can’t Ignore You

The conventional “wisdom” says that a fulfilling career comes from pursuing your passion. This book uses a number of examples to rearrange this wisdom by arguing that passion develops from gaining expertise in your work. Cal recommends building “career capital” by honing traits and skills that are rare and valuable, and then leveraging that career capital to gain autonomy and pursue a larger mission. One of my favorite quotes in this book summarizes his argument as follows: “Working right trumps finding the right work.” I also like this book because it gives cautionary tales of those who tried to pursue their passion (gain autonomy) without career capital–and failed spectacularly. This insight is critical for anyone thinking of quitting their job for an entrepreneurial endeavor in a field where they lack expertise.

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