Money can drive your New Year’s resolution. But simply saying that your resolution is to “make more money in 2018” won’t help you succeed. How do you plan to get there?

In  “Making Your New Year’s resolution stick.” Psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD, advises setting smaller, attainable goals throughout the year. “It is not the extent of the change that matters,” she says, “but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and {then} working toward it, one step at a time.”

Step One: consider certification

Instead of simply resolving to “make more money,” ask yourself: What skills and knowledge do I need to develop to compete for a higher-paying role? Professional certification might be one answer. Certifications are credentials that demonstrate a level of skill or knowledge needed to perform a specific type of job.  According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers with a certification or license were 35 percent higher than earnings for those without such credentials. And, importantly, unemployment is lower in this group.

Achieving some type of professional certification is probably within your reach, even without advanced education. Professional sales is an example. About one-third of the available jobs in the U.S. are sales roles, and there aren’t nearly enough qualified candidates to fill them.

Next step: explore sales education

If you have strong interpersonal skills, enjoy talking to people, and have good English-language and math skills, Virtanza can help you qualify for a higher-paid career as a Certified Professional Sales Consultant. Start by checking out our program and reading our catalog. You’ll discover that professional sales is all about research and communication: learning about the customer and the market, then developing and articulating win/win solutions.

Virtanza offers instructor-led, online training for in-demand sales positions. Class schedules are designed to meet the needs of busy adults. Our Virtanza Sales Training and Certification course is recognized as an official Sales Career School by the Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools. We offer a variety of funding options, and many applicants may qualify for full tuition through OhioMeansJobs. The program includes five weeks of sales training and certification coursework. We cover topics such as active listening, presentation skills, and relationship-building techniques that apply to both in-person networking and online reputation building. Additional subjects include Microsoft Word and PowerPoint training. After the training, we provide job readiness coaching and help connect our certified graduates to employers seeking qualified salespeople.

The course is also available for college students as a two-hour college credit course. The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) has evaluated and recommended college credit in the lower-division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 2 semester hours in business communications, sales, or marketing.

Make 2018 the year you reinvent yourself as a certified sales professional. Contact  Virtanza  today.

Author Ibby Vores, SHRM-SCP, is part of the supportive team of instructors at Virtanza. She’s a senior certified HR professional recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management. Ibby teaches resume writing and cover letter skills. She also coaches Virtanza graduates on interpersonal effectiveness for successful job interviews.