You should never stop learning new things, whether you need them for professional development or not.
If you attend online courses, go to seminars, or read informational and instructional books, you’ll have a chance to get at least one of the three major benefits of lifelong learning.
But what makes professional development different from that photography course you’re eyeing to explore your creative side? Well, professional development makes you a better asset for your company. And that raises an interesting question: shouldn’t your boss foot the bill for it?
As far as you’re concerned — they should. But your boss might disagree. Which is why you should do everything in your power to convince them. What you need to do is prepare an awesome pitch. Here’s how:
Understand your boss’s take on paying for training and development
The very first rule of preparing a pitch is to have a good understanding of the person who’ll be receiving it.You know your boss. But there are two things you can count on even before you start putting out feelers.
First, if you have to get your boss to pay for the courses that increase your value to them, they probably don’t have a learning scheme of their own in place. It might also be that the one they have is inadequate, forcing you to look outside of it for more relevant education and training.
The second fact is that your boss might be receiving advice about how wasteful employee training can be, and they might be taking it the wrong way. So instead of creating a streamlined learning programme, they’re opting out of having one.
Find the key benefits of your programme
Now you know what you’re up against, you should carefully study what you’re pitching to them. You are asking your boss to invest in you by paying for a learning programme. And you think they should do it because that will increase your value to them and their bottom line.
You should be able to find specific points in the programme that demonstrate how you’ll be a more valuable employee. Even on their best day, you shouldn’t expect your boss to giddily say “yes” to your pitch without at least a reasonable amount of persuasion.
Prepare answers for the most important issues
What are the reasons why your boss might be against investing in your development? They might not see the value in it. They might think the programme you’ve chosen is wrong. Or they might even think that you’ll leave them as soon as you finish the training.
Let’s start from the last point. One of the benefits of investing in employee development is a reduced turnover rate. You’re not going to leave a business that appreciates you enough to invest real money in you. And that’s just one way you can demonstrate the value of paying for your development.
If it’s only the programme they don’t like, that’s something you can work with. You have two options: to show them they’re wrong about or to find a different one. Either way, your work is cut out for you.
Prepare for the ‘no’
You can give it your best shot, but your boss’s response can still be ‘no’. That’s not the outcome you want, but it is an outcome you can get. It’s not the end of the world, though.
You should note the reason your boss denied covering your learning programme. Depending on the reason, you can take a step back and think off a more effective approach. You might adjust your questions or you might change what you’re asking for completely. Stay flexible, and don’t back down.