So you know you want to expand your skill set with professional development, to bridge the gap between you and your dream job, but there’s something holding you back... the costs. Is it worth the money? And how you can afford it if it is.
Here are 4 things you need to know when you’re debating whether or not to invest in professional development training. Plus we give our advice on how to fund it...
1. Your dreams won’t die
Remember being sat cross legged on the carpet during show and tell in primary school… trying to raise your hand the highest so that Mrs Bradley will pick you to share with the class what you want to be when you grow up?
Maybe it was an astronaut or a professional footballer… since then, you’ve maybe realised your asthma might be holding you back from your trip to space… and the fact that the only football match you’ve ever won was on a PS2 may stopping you getting your Chelsea signing.
We all have dreams and ideas of how we see our futures panning out, some a little more outlandish than others.
After primary school, of course, your dreams become a little more grounded, and definitely more achievable. Owning your own business maybe? Creating an app or working in the marketing department of a top brand.
Career based dreams, where-you-see-yourself-in-five-years-time type stuff, are great, because all you actually need to do to get your dream off the ground is a bit of investment. Time, effort, and a little bit of money and you’ll be well on your way.
The sooner you realise your dreams will always be dreams unless you really take them into your own hands, the better.
2. You get what you pay for
We all know it. In life, you get what you pay for. This couldn’t be more true of professional development training, furthering your education or generally upskilling.
Paying for a decent training course might seem like a bit of a ball ache at the time, especially when you think you’ve seen a cheaper alternative, but like paying a fiver for a pair of trainers and wondering why they’ve fallen apart after a week, or paying £20 quid for cheap theatre tickets and cursing that you’re sat directly behind a pillar… You can’t expect to pay sod all and come away with the level of knowledge or a qualification required to actually leverage your career.
With professional development, the more time, money, effort you put in, the better the benefits.
Plus, if you know you’ve spent a fair bit of money on your training, your motivation to work hard is surprisingly higher as you don’t want to waste the opportunity you paid for.
“Invest in the future because that is where you are going to spend the rest of your life.”
3. There’s a difference between a cost and an investment
Paying to further your education is the biggest and best investment you can make. Fact.
Sure, broadening your skills may seem like a bit of a boring way to spend your pay cheque, far less exciting than the new iPhone or a skiing holiday. And it’s true, you won’t see the benefits the very moment you part with the cash.
But boring?… hmm. Is it boring to be able to bag your dream role in 5 years time? Boring to brag to your mates about your latest salary increase or your brand new Range Rover? Boring to go on more holidays or to afford to buy your kids that birthday present they’ve been bugging you for?
Sure, you may need to sacrifice this year’s latest Apple model, but you’ll be glad you did when you see your investment paying dividends.
It’s not just a wasted cost… It’s like buying stocks in yourself but never worrying if the value will plummet.
4. You’ll benefit your mind and your pocket
Without a doubt, certifications and qualifications get you bargaining power - whether it’s the salary you can expect when you start a new job, or getting the edge when applying for promotions in your current one. You become more marketable with all those extra strings you add to your bow.
It’s honestly true that promotions are mostly offered to those who are always seeking to hone their skills. If you can tick the box as being someone who truly cares about improving the way they work you will get far.
How to fund your training
So we’ve told you why it’s worth it, and we’re sure you’ll be on board. Of course, not everyone has the money lying around to pay up front for professional development training, so here is our advice on how to fund your professional development training.
We totally get that every student is unique, and has different financial circumstances and needs when it comes to paying for training. A jack of all trades at the Learning People, not only do we provide top end training, we work with you to find a payment plan that suits you down to a tee.
With the help of a private lender, we’re able to offer personal help so you can cover your training investment in manageable chunks. Win!
Make a case for your company to pay
If the training you want is for a field you’re already in, pitch it to your boss. Tell them the benefits the team and the company as a whole will reap with that extra load of knowledge you’ll gain.
Forget the excuses
So now you know you’re worth investing in and how to fund your training, it’s time to take control of your own future, forget the excuses and act.