There’s a saying: you need to spend money to make money. This doesn’t apply just to your finances but also to your career.  In other words, if you want to move up professionally, then you will have to invest in yourself. Of course, this isn’t easy for those who don’t have a bottomless bank account. You have to know when to spend money and when not to.

Which begs the question: how do you decide when to spend or not spend money?

Here are 5 situations in which you should (or should not) invest money in your career:

1: If A Certain Brand Name Will Make a Difference To Your Career 

Of course, this has nothing to do with clothing. Sometimes, listing a certain company or university can be beneficial to your resume and career. Most hiring managers will look for certain companies or educational institutions in your background. In either case, you can take a lower paying job at a respectable firm to get that experience or invest money to attend grad school for this purpose.

Simply put, it’s a long-term investment in your career. But make sure that the investment is worth it too by checking with mentors in the field as to the career path that are available.

2: You Have to Make an Excellent First Impression 

Whether you are going on an interview or starting a new job, it’s vital that you make an excellent first impression. This involves what you are wearing too. So, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a suit as this will help you to start your new job or take the interview with confidence.

Experts recommend that one should also invest money in a professional looking bag as well.

3: Meeting a Person Who Should Be Important to Your Career 

There are times when you might get some time with people who can influence your career greatly. In fact, you might have to travel to other cities to meet them. This requires an investment of your time, energy and can prove to be expensive too. Making this investment can be worth it especially if you’re looking to move to another city and need to get a feel of how companies hire you. Another instance in which you should invest involves professional conferences that might be expensive to attend.

4: Acquainting Yourself With Your Coworkers 

Spending your time with coworkers on outings can be an excellent way to build professional relationships. In fact, it is advised that you do this as often as possible. Of course, the more often you go out for lunch, the bill can all add to a lot. This is not a good idea.

One smart way of killing two birds with one stone involves eating a sizeable brunch while treating yourself to less food when you go out with colleagues. That way you can either get to keep them company whether you’re out on a meal or having a drink too.

5: Stay in Touch With All The Latest Professional Development 

There are a number of business and productivity books that can help you improve your career. Unfortunately, they can be very expensive – a cost that can increase substantially over time.

Instead, a library membership should work out to be cheaper as you can find these books there at little or no cost at all. Some of these libraries loan out audiobooks or ebooks as well. Yet again you can save costs here instead of buying books.

In Closing

If you’re smart enough to know when or when not to invest, you can end up improving your career prospects but staying on track with your finances as well. No matter what, it is definitely possible to find this balance – it all depends on the perceived returns, of course.

So, are there any other career situations in which you should spend or save money? If so, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.