As an administrative professional, you play a crucial role in the smooth operation and success of your organization. Continuing education and training opportunities can help you stay current, develop new skills, and advance in your career. However, investing in professional development can sometimes be a challenge, especially when budgets are tight or there is resistance to change.
Tips for advocating for training and professional development opportunities as an administrative professional:
Make a case for the value of training: Explain how training can benefit the organization, such as by increasing efficiency, improving customer service, or enhancing the skills of the team. Share examples of how training has had a positive impact in other organizations or in your own work.
Identify specific training needs: Identify specific skills or knowledge gaps that you or your team members need to address. This can help you create a more targeted and effective training plan.
Find and propose training resources: Research training options that align with your organization’s goals and budget. Consider online courses, local workshops, or professional associations that offer training and development opportunities.
Get buy-in from your manager and others: Involve your manager and other key stakeholders in the training planning process. Share your ideas and ask for their input and support.
Follow up and document the results: After training, follow up with your manager and team members to discuss the impact of the training. Document any improvements in efficiency, productivity, or other key metrics to demonstrate the value of the training investment.
Investing in professional development can have a lasting impact on your career and the success of your organization. By advocating for training and seeking out opportunities, you can stay current, expand your skills, and contribute to the success of your team.
What if I’m denied training?
If you are denied training or professional development opportunities, there are a few steps you can take:
Ask for feedback: Ask your manager or HR representative for specific reasons why your request was denied. This can help you understand any concerns or limitations and give you the opportunity to address them.
Look for alternative solutions: If your request is denied, consider other options for learning and development. This could include online courses, local workshops, or networking with professionals in your field.
Explore self-directed learning: Take the initiative to learn new skills on your own. This can include reading industry-specific articles or books, participating in online communities or forums, or seeking out mentorship or coaching from more experienced colleagues.
Negotiate for other forms of support: If budget or time constraints are a concern, consider negotiating for other forms of support. This could include flexible work hours to allow for self-study, reimbursement for self-study materials, or access to resources such as online learning platforms.
Keep advocating: If professional development is a priority for you, don’t give up. Continue to share your goals and interests with your manager and seek out opportunities for learning and growth.
It’s important to remember that professional development is an ongoing process and there are often many ways to learn and grow in your career. By staying proactive and persistent, you can continue developing your skills and advancing in your field.
Download our free letter-to-leader template to help you in your approval process.
*We hope this letter is helpful as a starting point. Be sure to tailor it to your specific needs and goals, and consider including any relevant data or examples to illustrate the potential benefits of training for your organization.
What are some ways to ask for training?
There are several ways you can ask for training or professional development opportunities:
Set a meeting with your manager: Schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your interest in training and the specific skills or knowledge you would like to develop. This can be an informal conversation or a more formal presentation, depending on your preference and the nature of your request.
Submit a written request: Prepare a written request outlining the training you are interested in and why it would benefit you and the organization. You might include information about the specific skills or knowledge you hope to gain, the potential impact on your work or the team, and any relevant data or examples.
Include training in your performance review or development plan: If you have a performance review or development plan coming up, this can be a good time to discuss your training needs and goals. This can help you and your manager align your training goals with the broader objectives of the organization.
Seek out opportunities independently: Take the initiative to research and identify training opportunities on your own, and then present them to your manager as potential options. This can show your commitment to professional development and give your manager a sense of the types of training that you are interested in.
Ask for support from other stakeholders: If you are unable to secure training through your manager, consider seeking support from other stakeholders such as HR or a senior leader. These individuals may be able to provide resources or advocate on your behalf to help you secure the training you need.
Remember to be clear and specific about your training needs and goals, and be prepared to discuss the potential benefits for you and the organization. By approaching the request in a professional and proactive manner, you can increase your chances of success.
Here are two examples of how professional development and training can have a positive impact on an individual’s career and the success of an organization:
Case Study 1:
Sara is an administrative assistant at a small marketing firm. She is highly organized and efficient, but she wants to enhance her skills and take on more responsibility. She asks her manager if she can attend a workshop on project management, which will teach her skills such as how to create project plans and budgets, and how to track progress and performance.
Her manager agrees, and Sara attends the workshop. She learns a lot and is excited to apply her new skills at work. She creates a project management system for her team, which helps them stay organized and on track. As a result, the team is able to complete projects more efficiently and meet deadlines more consistently.
Sara’s manager is impressed with the improvements in the team’s performance and the value that Sara brings to the organization. She promotes Sara to a project coordinator role, which gives her more responsibility and a higher salary.
Case Study 2:
John is a sales manager at a software company. He is a strong performer, but he is struggling to keep up with the latest technology and trends in the industry. He expresses his concerns to his manager and asks for support in obtaining training and professional development opportunities.
His manager agrees and invests in a subscription to a leading industry publication, as well as a series of webinars and conferences. John takes advantage of these resources and stays up to date on the latest developments in the field. As a result, he is able to make more informed decisions, provide valuable insights to his team, and close more deals.
The company sees an increase in sales and customer satisfaction, and John is recognized as a valuable asset to the organization. He receives a promotion and a salary increase as a result of his contributions.
These case studies illustrate how investing in professional development can have a positive impact on both the individual and the organization. By staying current and enhancing their skills, employees can contribute to the success of the team and advance in their careers.
In conclusion, professional development and training are important for the growth and success of administrative professionals. By staying current and enhancing their skills, administrative professionals can contribute to the success of their team and organization, and advance in their careers. Investing in training can have a positive impact on efficiency, customer service, and other key metrics, resulting in a return on investment for the organization.
Advocating for and securing training opportunities can be challenging, but there are many resources and strategies available to help administrative professionals pursue their professional development goals. By being proactive and persistent, administrative professionals can continue to learn and grow in their careers and make a lasting impact on their organizations.
If you are an administrative professional looking to further your skills and career, "Championing for Administrative Professional Training" by Kayla Hutchens is a must-read. As CESP, ACEA, and CWCA, and an experienced administrative professional, Kayla knows firsthand the value of continuing education in this field. In this handout, she provides valuable tips and strategies for getting approval for training from your employer, as well as the benefits of investing in your own development as an administrative professional. Don't miss out on this opportunity to take your career to the next level – download your copy today!