Something I see time and again is women like you being afraid to approach their company to ask about investing in your development. I’m not talking about something technical…that seems to be an easier ask. I mean personal or career development. 

Say you’re in tech, you’d think nothing of asking to do a course on the latest development in your field. It makes sense that you want to be skilled up. It makes sense for you AND the business you work for. It’s an easy yes to invest in you because the company will also benefit. 

Yet for some reason we see personal development differently!  You may know I run programmes to help you accelerate your career, and to help you step up as a leader. I often say to women “have you considered asking your manager to support you”. And I regularly get a look back as if to say “there’s no way I can do that”!

So I want to help you see that yes you can, and not only that, but that it’s a good thing to ask. Plus I’ll give you some strategies to do it successfully!

Why would your company want to invest in you to do the Career Elevator?

  1. On the Career Elevator you learn and develop key skills that are vital to business success; communication, relationship-building, how to increase your visibility, and how to have more influence and impact.
  2. You will increase your confidence in many ways, particularly as I will help you understand where and how you add the most value in what you do, and help you to increase your impact (amongst many other things). These developments are not only great for you, but they will also be beneficial for your business as you will be more focused, more effective, and more self-assured in how you operate. 
  3. This programme is like any other, it’s all about maximum action, growth, and accountability.  As you are coached for a year, you not only learn new approaches, but you get the support to put them into action.
  4. Career strategy is part of your job!  Any (good) company or manager will want you to grow and develop because they will benefit. You get better at your job, you are able to take on more responsibility, you are more likely to step up to more senior levels in the business. Win, win!
  5. Investing in you makes you feel valued. Feeling valued inspires loyalty. Loyalty means you are more likely to stay and grow within this company instead of taking your fabulous skills elsewhere. 
  6. You will use what you learn to help those around you. A key part of my value system is that you rise by helping others grow around you. The women on my programmes role model, support, and develop the people around them, so the ripple effect is everyone benefits!
  7. You learn how to be happier and how to get maximum fulfilment in what you do. A happy employee is more productive, more focused, and helps to create a more positive culture. They also add way more value to the business. 
  8. You build a network outside of the business. This network is great for personal support, and regularly leads to useful collaborations, learning, and opportunities for the business you’re in.

I could probably come up with another 10 reasons, but I think you get the idea. This is money well spent. The return on investment is huge!  With all of the women who’ve been on it so far confidently stepping up to a more senior level and having an even greater impact for their business. 

How to make the ask 

Now you know why you should be asking, let’s consider how to make the ask!  It should be a simple enough thing to do, but if you’re not sure about how open your manager will be then here’s some ways you can feel ready. 

Prepare your case

You’re asking your company to invest in you, so the number one question your manager will want answered is…what’s in it for them? It’s important that you think about this from their perspective as well as your own. 

Also consider what is important to your manager and the decision makers?  When influencing a decision it’s key to consider what the other person’s hot buttons are – so you can align with them (or avoid)!

Some useful questions to consider are…

What are the business/ team goals and priorities?

How I’ll you doing this training help you be successful in supporting those?

What difference will it make to you and your role?

Does your manager have certain priorities and how will this help support them better? 

What objections might they have? How can you respond to those?

Also consider…what’s your future vision for your role/ your career in this organisation and how will this training help you achieve it?

Pull together your key message…

A – what the Ask is

B – how this will Benefit the business and you

C – Clarify the next steps

Practice it ahead of meeting

You will be more confident if you’ve rehearsed your pitch ahead of time, preferably with someone who can give you feedback. It really helps to have said what you want out loud before. That way you can hear how it comes across. Recognise what you are comfortable saying, and also what you’re less confident about. Practice the parts that feel clunky and uncomfortable until you’ve got it. 

Make the ask

Now you’re ready, set up the meeting – let them know you want to discuss your future development. Prepare by getting in the right mindset, so have some time built in ahead so you can focus. Think about your posture and breathing before so you can deliver with impact. Go for it. Remember you’re worth it!

If it’s not an immediate yes, set a date to follow up. 

Following up

Follow up the meeting with an email and outline what was agreed and next steps. Now it’s up to you to stay on it. It’s something you want, follow up and make it happen!

If you’d like to chat to me further about joining the Career Elevator you can book in a quick chat here.