Guru Guidance Tips Series3Vol1

07 Mar, 2014

Guru Guidance Tips: Professional Growth and Development

Guru Guidance  
Blog Types

Read time: 1 minute, 25 seconds

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The Scenario

During one of their monthly meetings, a Guru and mentee get into a discussion about professional development. Both have occasionally had the desire to attend seminars or training sessions that, while not directly applicable to their day-to-day responsibilities at work, offer valuable opportunities for personal professional growth.

How might each sell it to company management?

  • Show them how in the future it could be valuable or worthwhile to a strategic direction
  • Remind them that you never know what you’ll learn or who you’ll meet: clients, partners, resources
  • Get the attendee list
  • Ask if there is a budget available
  • Prioritize a list for them (as appropriate)
  • Start with free events and clearly demonstrate value, then move to cost events - sharing the value of lesser investments may help to sell the larger investments
  • Take the initiative to tell you boss what you learned
  • Offer to take notes and share throughout the firm
  • Review policies for technical staff and leverage them
  • Volunteer with the organization to get in free/discounted
  • Apply for scholarship and ask for time off approval
  • Ask the right person - consider who you ask, may not necessarily be your boss but someone else who has a shared interest that will back you up
  • Figure out what is necessary to sell the PD and highlight only what’s important
  • be mindful of the timing of any request and look carefully at the environment
  • be mindful of your deadlines

Is it appropriate to ask the firm to pay?

  • Yes. If they say no, offer to pay a portion if it is really important to you.
  • From an employer’s standpoint, an employee taking the initiative is usually well received.

Should expectations for professional development opportunities be different at different stages of your career?

  • Be aware if your company tends to put a ceiling on marketing staff growth - push back and see if you can affect change, but have a back up.

Other thoughts:

  • Remember that “no” doesn’t necessarily mean “never.”
  • SMPS offers free and comparatively low cost events (e.g. – the Mid-Atlantic regional conference)
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