How to Get Your Employer on Board with Investing in YOU

Investing in yourself is challenging. It involves time, energy and often money. It’s common that the benefit of the investment far outweighs the costs, but experiencing that benefit only happens once the investment has been made. I’m sure we can all think of a course, event or experience that we wanted to participate in, but held back, due to a lack of time, energy or cost. In 2024, I want to help us take advantage of growth opportunities by getting really clear on how we want to invest in ourselves and advocating for our employers to cover the cost.
Advocating is hard. It’s especially hard when we don’t necessarily understand why we’re advocating. In this article, I’ll help you get clear on how and why to make an ask connected to your own personal development and growth.
Let’s face it, on any given day you could sign up and pay for hundreds of different things marketed at making you grow or expand. There are guided meditations, Master Classes, continued education courses and so much more. Where do you begin?

The first step is using your values and areas for opportunity to identify where you specifically want to grow. 

  • When I think about an area of my life that I want to grow and develop, what surfaces?
  • If I were to grow and develop this part of me, what would that look like?
  • Why is this important to me, now and for the future?
  • How would developing this part of me benefit me and others?
  • What’s the cost of not developing this part of me?
Once you have the skill or part of you identified, then we can figure out how to invest time and energy into developing it. For the sake of this article, let’s say you want to develop your ability to set boundaries. From this place we can build a plan. The beautiful part of this process, everyone’s plan will look different. The plan is built from inside of you, rooted in the growth experience that feels best. I love how Nancy Eckerson talks about the power of open ended questions. To help you get to that place answer the questions below.
  • When I think about developing this part of me, what does that look like? Is it a book, a course, a retreat, conference, coaching or something else?
  • How do I want to develop this part of me to feel?
  • Who or what do I want to learn from? Is being physically present important?
  • What amount of time, energy and budget do I have devoted to developing this part of me?
To continue with this example, let’s say this line of questioning brought you to a place where you realized you’d love to strengthen your ability to create boundaries in an environment with other people. It would be beneficial to hear personal stories, while also learning boundaries and practices you can carry with you through all aspects of life. It would be ideal to be in-person with these people, but not a deal breaker. You have young children, which means very limited time, energy and budget. This means a lengthy course or long book is out of the question.
Continuing with the example, throughout this reflection, you realize that there’s likely a group or event in your area that at the very least has a component of boundary setting as part of the programming, especially as International Women’s Day is fast approaching. You decide to do some research. You find the Women’s Retreat, Self-Defined Living : Step Into Your Power,  being held at Labelle Winery. After digging a bit deeper, you realize strengthening boundaries is a core topic. You’re then able to see if it aligns with your other needs. It’s a one day time investment, there will be other women present, it’s during working hours and cost feels fair.
Now that you’ve determined how you’re going to invest in yourself, it’s time to advocate to get the cost covered by your employer. Why are we doing this? When people decide to invest in themselves, the organization they work for benefits.

If the cost of development is covered by an employer it not only decreases employee turnover risk, but increases employee satisfaction.

According to Zippia research, 45% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. But, how do we do this? We find the courage and the language to ask. I’m here to help. Below is a template you can customize to help advocate for any growth and development investment.
Subject: Request for Reimbursement for Women’s Retreat on International Women’s Day
Dear [Employer’s Name],
I am writing to request reimbursement for a ticket to attend the “Self-Defined Living: How to Step Into Your Power” women’s retreat on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2024, at LaBelle Winery in Amherst, NH. I believe that participating in this event will not only be personally enriching but will also contribute to my professional growth, making me a stronger and more committed member of our team.
The retreat promises to be a transformative experience. By investing in my attendance, you are investing in my holistic development as an individual and as an employee. The skills and insights gained from this event will undoubtedly contribute to my ability to navigate challenges, make sound decisions, and foster a more inclusive and equitable work environment. 
Moreover, the opportunity to celebrate the strength, resilience, and potential of women from all walks of life will inspire a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to our shared goals.
I understand the importance of responsible use of company resources and assure you that I will make the most of this opportunity. I have attached the details of the conference for your reference. The total cost of the ticket is $199 and I kindly request that the company consider reimbursing this amount.
I look forward to discussing more in person and to your favorable response.
(Your name)
It would be my suggestion to share this letter with your boss in advance of having a discussion about it. It might feel scary to ask for something like this. That’s normal because it’s quite possible we’ve never attempted anything like this before. However, it’s important to remember that the worst case scenario is, they say “no”. 

I hope you’ll join me in taking advantage of growth opportunities by getting really clear on the how of investing in yourself.

Let’s together take advantage of growth opportunities by getting really clear on how we want to invest in ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up in the needs of everyone else. In order to actually help and support the ones we love, we have to be healthy and whole. As you travel along this journey of self advocacy, please DM me @InfiniDEI, with the investments you’re making in YOU. I want to celebrate all of you. 


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