This week the SQLRally team published some notes to help you convince the boss to send you to three days of great training. It’s good stuff and worth reviewing, and I want to add a couple tips of my own:
- Make it concrete. Get a copy of the schedule and circle your “A” and “B” picks for each hour. Make it a mix of things that directly involve your day to day work and some that might be things your company would use if it (you) were more comfortable with the technology. Read the bios of the speakers for those sessions so you can talk about why it’s going be worth your time and their money for you to go.
- Present it in a way that fits how your boss works. It might be the flyer with a sticky note that says “Boss, could we fit this into the training budget? It’s inexpensive and I’d get a lot of it. Or it might be sending over a meeting request with links and notes related to the request. Or you might wait until the next time you have a few minutes together, maybe waiting on a meeting to start, and ask then about getting some training approved.
- Go with a plan. Ask for 3 days plus travel, but be prepared to compromise. If you could go to the all day seminar OR the two day conference, which would it be? Would you be willing to share a room or cover your own travel costs if you had to? Finally, would you be willing to cover your own costs if they gave you paid time off?
Let’s say you strike out. It might be they don’t value training, they don’t have the budget, or you have earned enough karma with them. Time for Plan B. Go ask the other boss, your significant other, about funding it. Make it a mini vacation. Lots of low cost hotel options in Orlando, lots of ways to hold costs down and still get to go.
Why spend your own money if it comes to it? The first reason, and the best one, is that it’s an investment in you. The other reason is that if your boss is a doubter – any many are – it shows that you’re serious. Think about it. Imagine an employee comes to you for training and you say no, and then you find out they are going anyway? Nine times out of ten they’ll think more of you because you are serious and not just trying to get a few more bucks out of them.
Give it a shot, it’s worth a few minutes to ask!