Professional Development Is An Investment

There was a recent announcement yesterday about an increase in cost for the VCDX Certification.  This has resulted in a rash of posts and tweets talking about how it’s unfair, and now too costly.  I won’t get into the fact the information was pre-released irresponsibly by a VCDX Community member himself.  Well maybe I just did…..  While I may agree that price increases on anything is upsetting, (refer to my posts on my crooked water utility), it’s one of those facts of life we just have to deal with.  Look, most people that know me understand I’m a straight shooter so this is no different.  The bottom line is investment in yourself, regardless of who pays for it, you or your company, is your choice to make.  You are deciding to learn more, and take steps with professional development and sometimes those things cost money.  My wife, as many know, is a small business owner.  Every penny she makes gets re-invested back into the business and into her education.  She does not take a paycheck, it’s all about investment in her growth and the growth of the business.

Career and professional education is no different.  Universities hike prices all the time due to rising costs, but do we stop going to school because of it?  Of course not, we suck it up and move on because we choose to grow ourselves.  This is no different.  There is a massive cost in sending panelists to defenses as well as the cost in time they spend manually reviewing all the submissions.  They have other job responsibilities and supporting the program is a volunteer basis and outside their day job.  Some folks cannot even participate due to their other responsibilities.  That has no bearing on the cost increase I understand, but travel has become more expensive.  Workshops have always been FREE and people complain there is not enough of them, then the ones I’ve seen held end up with less than 10 people in the room.  Those workshops cost money to support and anyone that’s ever owned a P&L knows that eventually you have to lose less even if you may not be making more in the long run.  It’s about funding the support for the efforts, the marketing, the recognition and all the things that go with it.

So I have to ask, are people really dedicated to their professional development?  If so does the cost in investing in yourself really even matter?  You have to spend money to make money as the saying goes.  If you invest X-Amount what is your overall return?  Do you feel you will get that back 2 or 3 fold?  If you don’t think you can leverage what you pay for development to your advantage, then maybe you need to evaluate the return.  When it is all said and done maybe this will affect the submission numbers but who knows, maybe not.  You have control over your education.  What you value that to be worth is on you, not who you are paying to educate you.  Stuff costs money….nothing is free and if it is you generally get what you pay for.  Think long and hard about what you want and what your professional development means to you and your career.  Then at the end of the day, you can decide what things are worth the cost for the potential return and it is really that simple.  If you want something, suck it up and go for it regardless of how painful it may be in the short-term.

Finally, someone made a great point about value.  The value of anything from today to tomorrow may not be different if it costs more overnight.  Is fuel more valuable when you filled up yesterday at $2.00 vs today at $3.00 overnight? Is the fuel in the ground that is the SAME as yesterday any more valuable?  Yes…to the oil shareholders maybe but NOT to you.  Also what’s the value of YOUR time in the process?  You are worth something right?  Add up all your time and use your FTE cost and put a value on just that time you spent.  What about the time away from family to work on your submission?  Value is perception and everyone’s perception is different.

And going back to that crooked water utility.  As someone on twitter pointed out that was me not sucking it up.  Well, I did in fact lose, I did have to write the check, and it did cost me another $400 plus installation for the 2nd meter on top of the bill so from one month to another I had over a 2800% increase with no warning I was going to have that expense to pay.  So yeah….that is exactly sucking it up and moving on.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.

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