How much should you invest each year in your own professional development?
What types of professional development are a good investment of time and money?
Obviously, the answers to these questions depend on your individual circumstances.
But I think it is safe to say that everyone - no matter their craft - needs to “keep their saw sharp”, as the saying goes. Otherwise the risk of falling behind in terms of capability and/or efficiency starts to rise.
For full time employees, this responsibility is somewhat outsourced to employers who will typically allow a budget of around 1-6% of someones salary. So for someone on $100K, that amounts to $1000-6000 per year. My observation is that the level of expenditure tends to be at the lower end of that range, and it doesn’t happen consistently for every employee. However, professional development sponsored by an employer is a construct I think we can all recognise.
So what about for freelancers?
There is the double hit of needing to pay for the professional development, and also take the time away from billable work. This is always the case, but perhaps somehow easier for an employee to justify or navigate than for a freelancer?
It would be great to hear your perspective!