Investing in Yourself: Professional Development

< Back to Money Minute

Who doesn’t want to earn more and have better job opportunities? In today’s economy, I realize there’s not always an obvious road getting us there. But some things do remain constant over time. One of the best investments you can spend on yourself is professional development. Check out these numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even in today’s world, the more you invest in your knowledge, experience, and certification, the greater your earning potential.

Don’t fancy being a full-time student again? Don’t worry. Me either. Here’s a few ways you can tap into the investment re-without committing to college life (or thousands of dollars of student loans) again.

• Employer-reimbursed Classes

While not all employers help cover college costs, many do. Talk with your Human Resources department to see if they offer options for even just a few classes. It could be enough to get you a certification in your area, or pick up those last few credits you needed for your degree.

• Alumni Auditing

My alma mater will let me audit a class each semester for free. It might not get me to a new degree, but it helps me keep brushed up on what I know or try branching out to something new.

• Training or Certification Through Work

Even if your employer doesn’t offer college funding, most will do internal training or certification. These can be great opportunities! You can pick up skills to improve your customer service, managerial skills, or specializing in repairs for a particular type of product for example.

• Volunteer Experience

If you’re not currently working but would rather search for work than return to school, what are your options? Augment your job search with some volunteer time. Particularly if you can find something in the field you’re interested in, it gives you a chance to learn the skills you’ll need, make networking connections, and determine whether you really love the work.


My last recommendation is to make sure you brush up your resume to reflect these new skills. That way you’re ready to put yourself in the best light for that job interview – or discussion about a raise at your current job. With the skills comes a sense of confidence in yourself that will shine through in that interview. Check out these other Money Minute blogs to invest in your professional development to boost your earning potential:

< Previous Next >

Get Started with IRIS

Financial health happens when you partner with IRIS! Securely submit your financial information to IRIS and receive a free, comprehensive financial plan within hours! This plan is reviewed by one of our live Certified Financial Specialists. It's the first step on your journey to financial health!