Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who work for it.
There are few better feelings than when you accomplish something you’ve worked your hardest for. That’s not only true for your personal life but maybe even more so with professional endeavors. Setting goals and marking them complete makes you feel like you’re actually making achievements. So what happens when you’ve been doing the work but feel like you’re still standing in place? It may be time to step your efforts up a notch by marketing yourself as the best in your position and industry. While it’s true that some good things do come when waiting, it’s also true that you get them even faster when you go after what you want. Take control of your professional career by taking the steps to make yourself more well versed through classes, workshops, conferences, and other forms of professional development. Take it one step further by convincing your company to sponsor your efforts; here’s how:
Make your intentions clear
What do you want to achieve professionally? Personally? If you haven’t quite figured this part out, now is the time to start asking yourself those important questions. Questions like, “Where do I see myself in the next month, year, five years?” “How can this specific professional development benefit me and my company?” Specifying your requests and objectives makes it easier for you to become a subject matter expert on the topic and leaders are more likely to listen to someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Promote what you bring to the table
With business happening at the speed of light all day, everyday, sometimes your most notable efforts get overlooked at work. However, when you decide to ask your company to invest in you, this is the most opportune time to strengthen your case by presenting your contributions to their business. Keeping track of sale increases, stellar reviews, and awards earned are all methods that can be used to show just what you have to offer. Being humble is cool, but now is the time to brag on yourself a little bit. Don’t sell yourself short, companies don’t mind spending their time or money on people who prove to be assets instead of liabilities.
Sell the investment
When spending your resources, you want to know what you’re getting out of the deal. The same idea holds true for your company. Providing detailed information when presenting your case will help to put minds at ease and answer questions that are probably lingering. Be sure to include not only the price, but the benefits, dates, notable people involved, schedule, location, and any pertinent information that would justify what you’re asking for. Be as specific and clear as possible without inundating your audience with unnecessary information. Showing the value of the investment may not only seal this deal, but open doors for the future.
Have a plan
Asking for added responsibility also means being able to prove that you can handle your current work load and the new tasks you’d like to take on. Devise a well thought out plan for how you intend to juggle you professional and personal responsibilities and be able to eloquently share that with your investors. The question of your ability and the amount you’re able to balance will come up, make sure you’re ready to answer. You may find yourself sacrificing more in your personal life for a short time, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.
Present the benefit package
Overall, the primary question you must be able to answer is how what you’re asking for will benefit the company. Will this course, training, seminar, etc., improve business or increase productivity? How will it affect you as an employee? When the professional development directly coincides with your job title, expressing the benefits is simple. How will you explain attending a development that doesn’t relate to your current job? Perhaps your eye is on another position within the company or you’d just like to expand your skill set. Whatever your reasoning may be, make it clear. Your company is sure to be impressed with the desire to better yourself, especially if they can see how they’ll benefit as well.