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How much should you spend? 

You're not alone if you're not sure how much you should be investing in your professional learning. Most professionals don't.

 

Let's fix that. The following three questions will quickly define the right amount for you.

1. In the last 5 years, how much have you invested in your career? Include professional or other courses, materials revisions, and rewrites.

Here's a simple rule of thumb to guide you. To stay competitive, you must keep up with change and surpass the competition. To do that, Invest 3.5% of your annual income in your professional development, including your resumé, LinkedIn, and other professional marketing.

You can use this calculator to determine what that is for you. 

The vast majority of professionals make the mistake of investing less than 1% of their income, believing their employer should pay the tab for their development. This is a dangerous strategy because you have very different goals from your employer. Be careful!

2. What's your target salary for your next job and what % of your salary do you anticipate spending to secure your next job? 

3. How long do you plan to stay in your next role? 

If you feel you're behind, investing in yourself is the fastest way to get ahead.