There will be many a time in your professional career that you’ll need to develop a new skill set, either to further your career or adapt to a changing world of work.
There are a multitude of reasons why you’d want to get some training, from looking to take your career to the next level, through to managing team members or agencies with a specific skill set that you know nothing about. Plus, taking time out from your work week to get a fresh perspective and meet new people can be vital to our sense of well being and job satisfaction.
There’s one big hurdle you have to jump over when you want to attend training and that’s securing the budget from your boss (unless your self-funded of course). Every scenario is different, you may work for a company who have a set budget for learning and development that you’ll need to pitch for, or you might work for a company that’s taken the decision to restrict budget for training. Regardless of the scenario, the tactics you can implement to secure the training budget are relatively the same.
Do your research
Show your boss (or the decision-maker) that you’ve put some effort into this proposal. Make sure you have all the information to hand; dates, cost (plus VAT) and how much time it will take to complete the course. Show that you’ve considered all options, that the course fulfills your learning requirements and provides the best value for money.
Understand the decision-maker and pick your time wisely
Think about who the decision-maker is. How do they like to communicate, and when is the best time to ask them? Do they like to consider all the facts before making a decision? If so, send an email and follow up later. If they’re always busy, use some time in a one-to-one session when you know they’re focused on what you’re saying.
Reference your Personal Development Plan
If you’re the owner of a Personal Development Plan, you’ll know where you want to be in the next few years and how you’re going to get there. Sharing this vision with your boss can be beneficial in more ways than one. You can get their feedback, guidance, and support on the best ways to achieve your vision, and showing a roadmap of your goals is a great way to introduce the need for specific training.
Rachel Dean, Learning & Development Coordinator at Jellyfish thinks that the training conversation with your boss needs to focus on the bigger picture, ‘Think about how your training ties in with your career development or how it will help you progress in the company. Then be specific to how and what the training will help with. What do you need? Why do you need it?’
And if you don’t have a PDP, create one!
If you haven’t set your career goals and vision yet, what are you waiting for? Wikipedia has a great definition and details of what to include.
Be able to answer the question ‘what is the benefit to the company if you take this training?’
If the company is going to fork out for you to attend the training, put together a summary or even a short business case on what the benefits are to the business. Will attending the training save time or a certain cost? Will it allow you to understand what an agency or staff member is doing? If you can prove that the cost of attending the course can be recuperated from your new found skills, in either time or resource, you stand a good chance of securing any remaining training budget.
If you’re struggling to think of the benefits to the company, take a different tactic and think of what the company could stand to lose. Alex Bourgeois, Social Media Specialist at Jellyfish, thinks applying the theory of loss aversion could help you secure the budget. ‘People prefer avoiding loss to acquiring gains. Instead of saying "If I am trained, I will be able to perform better", they could/should rather say "If I am not trained, my performance will start to go down".
Try out some of the skills above and get yourself on one of our digital marketing, data & optimisation or creative & development courses.
Got a tactic that I’ve missed? Leave it in the comments below.