Personal and professional development can be costly, but it doesn’t have to impact your bottom line if you can learn how to propose budget allocation for your professional development. Professional development is key to keeping happy and productive employees. Successful leaders are constantly learning, gathering insight, and helping the company thrive. Many employers know this and often will provide programs and training to support this. Large companies typically have formal programs and application processes, but small companies often have some funding allocated for this as well.
Over the course of my career, I’ve received tens of thousands of dollars towards my development, including professional organization memberships, conferences, certifications, and a Masters in Business Administration. Some of these were part of a company wide initiative or program, but all of them required a pitch of varying degrees. You can do this too by simply including a few key elements in your pitch.
Propose Budget Allocation for Your Professional Development
Having a plan that you can step through with your manager is the best way to begin the conversation to propose budget allocation for your professional development. It’s your best shot at getting approval. Here are 9 essential elements to include in your proposal:
- Pain Points that specifically describe the issue that you’re trying to solve
- Relevant facts that make a compelling argument for your education
- Ideas and plans for implementing what you learn
- Benefit statements that explain the value of the education
- Value added offer to help others in the company
- Alternative options so that you provide your manager with choices
- Details such as location and expense
- Your option preference
- Request for funding presented in a way that doesn’t provide a no option
Professional Development Proposal Example
Here’s an example of each of these points laid out on a pitch to to attend an educational content marketing conference.
- Pain Points-The market is changing. Our sales are flat, and our market share is diminishing. Consumers have adapted to the multitude of marketing messages that they encounter each day, and they’re no longer listening.
- Your Idea-We need to change our marketing strategy, and I’d like to explore the use of educational content marketing in our campaigns next year.
- Relevant Facts-Educational content marketing is significantly less expensive than paid advertising, often times 31-41% less according to Kapost.
- Your Plan-Therefore, in order to ensure we stay competitive in our environment, I’m requesting funding to attend the next marketing conference to learn how we can effectively implement educational content marketing in our organization.
- Benefit Statement-Funding this conference will allow me to get up to speed faster than our competitors, customize a plan for our company, and begin taking steps toward implementing our content strategy.
- Value Add-Further more, I’d be happy to present my top ten learnings during the next lunch and learn so that anyone from the company can learn.
- Options-There are two conferences that present best practices for educational content marketing. They are Content Marketing Universe and Social Media Universe.
- Location-Content Marketing Universe is being held in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 6-9 of next year and Social Media Universe is being held in Orlando, Florida on May 28-30.
- Cost-The cost of the conferences are $10,000 and $7,000, respectively. This include conference registration and travel expenses.
- Preference-I can attend either conference or both. However, my preference is to attend Content Marketing Universe because of the keynote speaker lineup and Chief Content Officer track.
- Request-Which of these two options works best in your opinion?