Professional development will always be a continuous evolution and investment that is necessary, regardless of which industry you practice or would like to learn more information to help enhance your skillset, deepen your knowledge, and help further yourself in your pursuit. With the
According to U.S. Student Loan, Americans currently owe over $1 trillion dollars in student loans amongst 44 million borrowers. This equates to over $37k per borrower they currently have in debt. And this is to further their education (which I am a huge advocate on furthering your education I do not recommend going broke).
Despite the current deficit with student loan debt, you do not have to go into debt to fund your professional development, no matter which industry.
I, too, have student loan debt which I am on the path toward financial freedom in the next five years. Even while doing this and operating three businesses, I still invest in my professional development without going into debt. Actually, I allocate a certain budget on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.
I am going to share five ways that you can potentially fund your professional development, without going into debt.
- Save up/Budget
a. Review Dates of courses/programs
b. Look at what is the investment up front
c. Review finances
d. Set the dollar amount to save for development
a. Inquire with organization or company to see if they are in need of volunteers
b. Volunteer with the organization/company that you want to gather more insight on to contribute to your development.
- Employer Benefits
a. Inquire with your employer, if applicable, if they provide any assistance for professional development including the following:
*Workshops, Conferences, Training, etc.
*Paid development hours: an allotted amount of time to dedicate to professional development course/program/etc.,
b. See if your department has an allotted budget to account for additional training
c. If neither of these options apply, in-house mentorship program could be another viable option.
4. Scholarships and Grants
a. PMI offers scholarship directory for professionals in the project management industry.
b. The scholarships offered through PMI are offered 4 times year in February, April, Sept/Oct and Dec
c. Conduct internet searches on various professional development scholarships and grants that are applicable to your industry
a. If funds are tight, reach out to your family and friends that know the journey you are enduring and ask for help.
b. They could offer help financially or put you in contact with someone or something that will help advance you to the point that you need to get towards.
Your professional development is essential for your business growth and it is imperative to invest in your business and brand, regardless of the selected method. Keep pushing in your endeavors and invest in yourself and your development. If you are ready to invest in your professional development without going into debt, be sure to sign up for my ACCELERATE mailing list to receive project management tips you can instill into your business, life, and career!